The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 2, 2014

Fayetteville Town Council: Meeting features new member, old nuisances

FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville Town Council introduced a new council member and tackled the old business of nuisance properties and the transition to a new mass transit authority during its regular meeting Thursday.

Mayor Jim Akers began the meeting by introducing Don Elmore, a past recorder for the Town of Fayetteville, who recently accepted the vacated seat of former councilperson Hank Seay.

“He’s been on council before and I think he’ll bring a lot of expertise to the Town of Fayetteville,” said Akers.

Town Superintendent Bill Lanham then took the floor to present the results of the town’s recent “Great American Cleanup” initiative, a project of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., that seeks to clean up, build and sustain vibrant communities.

Lowe’s, a corporate sponsor of the Great American Cleanup, awarded Fayetteville with a $350 grant for its participation in the program, which was used to purchase a weed trimmer and a backpack leaf blower.

Lanham said that 38.9 tons of material was recycled through the combined efforts of Fayetteville Town Park’s recycling event on April 11 and 12 and the electronic recycling event last Saturday at Lowe’s.

Lanham said 500 Fayette County residents participated in the event.

“I just want to thank everyone who came out and made a difference in the Town of Fayetteville and Fayette County,” said Lanham.

He also thanked the Fayette County Commission and the Fayette County Solid Waste Authority for their partnership in the event.

First on the agenda under old business, Akers opened the floor to a public hearing discussing an ordinance creating an Urban Mass Transportation Authority.

Since the Mountain Transit Authority announced that they would be pulling out of Fayette County beginning July 1, many residents have been concerned about what that means for the county’s public transportation.

Lanham said the Fayette-Raleigh Metropolitan Planning Organization is working to maintain federal matching funds and replace Mountain Transit Authority’s services with Raleigh County Community Action Authority.

John Tuggle, executive director of the FRMPO, said the Raleigh County Commission will only be assisting the process by serving as a conduit for the flow of money, but the Urban Mass Transit Authority — comprised of representatives of each town and county within the FRMPO — will develop the policies.

“Raleigh County Commission will help in administering the federal funds that come through, but you’re establishing a transit authority, which will be the ultimate authority in the policies that go on,” Tuggle said.

Tuggle said the FRMPO is working to “establish a status quo” with this transit authority so that the federal dollars continue to flow in for the next fiscal year.

“By then, the transit authority will be established, and that’s when decisions can be made by the authority on routing, considerations of additional routes and so forth,” said Tuggle.

Council voted to approve the second reading of Ordinance 2014-3: An ordinance creating an Urban Mass Transportation Authority.

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Also under old business, council passed a motion to refer the following nuisance properties to the Fayette County Planning and Zoning Board: 103 Stokes Lane, 132 Dempsey St. and 2230 Maple Ave.

Lanham said a high volume of nuisance complaints is coming through his office doors.

“We’re trying to get these nuisances abated, but there’s a lot of them coming in the door, and not all of them are dilapidated buildings. Some are vehicles, some are brush, some are appliances,” said Lanham. “We’re working extremely hard.”

Town attorney Larry Harrah added to Lanham’s comments, saying he believes “good things are coming down the road.”

“What we’re seeing is a lot of these (structures) are coming down voluntarily, and that’s really what we want,” said Harrah. “We want to encourage that land owner to take it down voluntarily before we have to take it down.”

Lastly, under old business, council voted to accept the lowest of five bids to demolish the Second Avenue Bridge. The bid came from Empire Salvage and Recycling Inc. in the amount of $37,279.

A demolition date for the bridge has not yet been set, but council discussed that it will likely need to take place after school is out in order to not affect bus routes.

Wayne Morgan, of Pentree Engineering, said trucks will have to be rerouted around the bridge for up to a week as the rubble is hauled away, but the bridge demolition will likely only take one day.

— E-mail: bunderwood@register-herald.com

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