By C.V. Moore
OAK HILL —
The Oak Hill City Council may consider a permanent, open air facility for the Fayette County Farmer’s Market.
City Manager Bill Hannabass reported that he met with market members to discuss the possibility. The city property next to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources office is one option for a location.
“I think a farmer’s market benefits the community. It creates a lot of activity and good will. It’s not only an opportunity for residents to buy fresh produce, it’s also a recreational event,” he told council at their Monday meeting.
Council member Tom Oxley wondered how the market would benefit the city. While stating that he was not necessarily against the idea, Oxley also questioned whether the market would compete with the local supermarket for business.
“Before we invest $25,000, is there a benefit to the people of Oak Hill whom we represent?” he asked.
The market group has formed a committee and will provide more information at a later meeting.
— Oak Hill’s new councilwoman, Anna L. Holt, placed her hand on a Bible and was sworn in as Ward I representative Monday. She replaced Fred Dickinson, who was appointed to fill the mayor’s seat after the previous mayor resigned.
— The city council accepted the recommendation of the Structural Inspection Board to order John Zink to demolish a dilapidated apartment building he owns at the intersection of School Street and Central Avenue.
The board determined that the building was not up to code in several areas. Zink has been notified of the recommendation and did not attend Monday’s council meeting to protest the decision.
If Zink does not begin the demolition in a certain timeframe, the city may demolish the building and place a lien on the property to recoup the cost. The city already has liens on some other properties owned by Zink.
— Sharon Cruikshank of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce reported that her organization wants to make some improvements to the building they occupy on Oyler Avenue, including repaving the parking lot and re-staining the exterior.
She asked the city to consider a long-term lease on the building, or that the property be deeded to the chamber with a reversion clause. The council took no action but agreed to get a legal opinion on the issue and consider a contribution of funds toward the capital improvements.
Bids on the new paving range from $27,000 to $35,000.
— Replacement of Christmas decorations for utility poles in the city were discussed. Hannabass presented several different options for replacing electrical drops on the poles and the decorations themselves.
In the end, council chose to buy decorations ($20,746), new drops ($9,700), bulbs ($30,446 to $37,334), and five accent pieces ($2,339).
Other business taken up by council included the following:
— Police Chief Mike Whisman reported that Oak Hill’s police canine will soon be retiring after seven years of service to the city.
— Vicki Setterl, who organizes the city’s Rail Trail Expo, showed a short video slide show and provided updates on her current work to prepare for the festival June 1.
— Dianna Smallwood-Russell was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a three-year term. The board still has one vacancy. The city tabled appointments to the Recreation Commission.
— Council approved a resolution to authorize a Community Participation Program grant for $2,000 to purchase equipment for the police department.
— Council voted to advertise for bids for an emergency generator at City Hall.
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