WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (WVDN) – The White Sulphur Springs City Council met Monday evening, Sept. 12, and was largely attended by citizens with interest in the location of the walking bridge joining the parking lot on opposite side of Howards Creek to the Main Street section of town.
There were six citizens signed up to speak the first of which was Janene McDermott Kaufman.
Kaufman stated what was the underlying theme for the evening, that a walking bridge is a great addition but that the location of egress at the site of the Veterans Memorial is not appropriate considering the solemn family gatherings that take place there.
Speaking with support for the bridge were Tom Guthrie, Max Hammer and a spokesman for HubCAP who all agreed that the importance of extended parking and ease of access for pedestrians from parking to shopping or recreation in local parks is a superior plus for the city.
Hammer said “keeping pedestrians away from the vehicular corridor” is the main advantage, and that the location of the bridge abutments does not matter to him.
The White Sulphur Springs citizen Bobby White has been involved in the initial construction of the Veterans Memorial and maintenance of the site; he strongly opposed the current location plan putting the bridge at the serene cluster of standing plaques that list the names of memorialized veterans.
“Potential vandalism access is just one aspect,” said White. “The better location for the bridge is 40 feet downstream. Why can’t the bridge be placed where it naturally connects to the end of the walking path?”
Mayor Bruce Bowling’s answer was, “a sewer line location is the reason behind the location choice for the bridge.”
In other business, Police Chief Scot Teubert made a statement to all that the recent rash of vehicle break ins and thefts in the city of White Sulphur is under investigation and there is already good news.
Of four vehicles stolen from White Sulphur and one stolen from Lewisburg, there have been four recovered. All were stolen with their keys inside them.
The dozens of vehicle break-ins similarly resulted in vehicles that were unlocked, except one that had a window broken out in it. The chief stated that a person of interest is being sought at this time and just has not been found yet.
Other business involved a B&O tax exemption request by The Schoolhouse Hotel. The request is for a five-year exemption from paying the tax to the city. There were questions by the citizens of how much money is actually involved in this and can the city afford to go without the income. Councilperson Mark Gillespie moved to table the decision until more information is available including the exact number of dollars involved.
Also, Councilperson Chris Hanna said the Zoning Ordinance creation and development has nearly reached a completed 109-page publication and soon will enter the public hearing phase.
Michael McIntire spoke about the various snags in public conveniences that he has witnessed and also aided in addressing but asked for help to bring a handicapped and wheelchair access trail to life. The city has ordered and awaits delivery and installation new of Handicap access doors to the City Hall.
Also parking for city hall is in the works that will make access for mobility challenged citizens on the same level as the front door and talk has begun about connecting the lower-level police station to the main floor by a handicapped motorized lift.
Projects were presented and accepted as budget items including monies earmarked for PPE gear at the school; $7,000 will now be available for the school to plan their purchase.
Finally, trick-or-treating will be held Monday, Oct. 31, from 7-9 p.m. in White Sulphur Springs.
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