Halloween, Boardmembers, and Grants Discussed At Ronceverte City Council

Special events, Halloween, grant awards and more were on the minds of the Ronceverte City Council during their Monday, Nov. 1, meeting in City Hall.

Though the meeting wrapped up a little quicker than normal, this was not due to lack of items on the agenda and the minds of the councilmembers. The discussion included:

– Mayor Deena Pack celebrated a successful Halloween, estimating the crowd to be around 400, despite a heavy downpour of rain. “As a patron of Halloween this past week, I was very pleased. There was good turnout, lots of decorated homes, really inventive ideas on how to get candy to the kids [so you] didn’t have to be too close … in terms of COVID.” Councilmember Tanya Hazelwood also noted “I really have a vision of Ronceverte becoming the go-to place for Halloween. … This is the second year that we’ve kind of tried to do something and just keep getting bigger and bigger because we’ve had the other organizations. I do feel like there needs to be more communication between each organization and do it as a whole, rather than individually, because it gets really messed up. … But we killed it down there. The rain did hinder a little bit, it was a downpour there for a minute.”

– The Parks and Recreation Committee has two new members – Councilmember Ashley Guet and the new representative from Ronceverte Development Corporation, Mark Trent. Council approved both new members.

– “We tentatively got some more information on our bridge,” announced City Administrator Pam Mentz. “It looks like we’re going to get $100,000 for the engineering – we haven’t been told yes, but it’s a [good chance]. …Thrasher was the one that was on that project and he’s been told that, unless something changes, we will get that.” The money would go toward a study to see “if the structure is sound,” Councilmember Kathy King explained. “We’ve had this done before,” but this study is expected to allow the city to apply for money for projects.

– A new zoning officer in the city will examine properties in violation of city ordinances, such as for grass height, trash, tagless vehicles, and similar instances. While the officer doesn’t have the power to issue tickets, their recommendations will be forwarded to Police Chief Jerry Hopkins for possible ticketing. Previously, these offenses were handled by the Ronceverte Police Department, but due to enforcement of higher profile crimes, the responsibilities will now be conducted by an internal city employee.

– Hazelwood also noted a new project that hopes to give downtown business more unity. “I am creating, or maybe reopening, a downtown Ronceverte Merchants Associations. If there are any concerns with the businesses, we [can] have one voice to come to [speak on the issue], rather than a bunch of [individuals].”

– After recently receiving a $15,000 grant and ample donations, the dog park has reached $20,380.12 worth of funding towards its initial $30,000 goal.

– The newly formed Special Events and Entertainment Committee has held their first meeting with ample “energy and excitement,” Councilmember Leah Smith noted. One possible idea, reviving the Skyline Bluegrass Festival, has gained some traction with members of the committee. Smith called for public input for events.

– Bob Hazelwood, an engineer with E.L. Robinson noted that the subcontractors responsible for the demolition of a water tank were previously delayed, but arrived last week. The older water tank is expected to come down this week, then the new tank will be installed. In addition, Hazelwood explained that “as of October 15, we’re showing about 62 percent complete but the water mains themselves are close to about 90 percent complete [for Phase II]. There’s a lot of paving once the water mains are completed.”

– Mentz also noted that the city has “some problems over at [Island Park with] some vandalism there. I’m just asking the citizens and everybody who patrons the park to look out for things. People will see more than [Chief Hopkins] do because [officers with RPD] are only one person. They don’t see it all.”


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