Armory project cited in award recognitions

The National Guard armory and convention center project in Buckhannon has gained recognition from Thrasher Engineering and the West Virginia Municipal League.

The project was cited when Mayor Kenneth Davidson announced the awards Thursday at a Buckhannon City Council meeting, giving credit for the awards to the community as a whole.

One of those recognitions was awarded for the first time. Buckhannon is the first recipient of the Vision for Tomorrow award from Thrasher Engineering. The award may become annual through the WVML, Davidson said. Buckhannon also is a recipient of the West Virginia Municipal League 2012-2013 All Star Community Award.

“This is not my award. This is your award. It belongs to all of you,” Davidson said.

Davidson said the National Guard armory and convention center project could not have been accomplished without the community working together.

“I think it’s very symbolic of what this community, when it works together, is able to accomplish,” Davidson said, adding that he wanted to give a special recognition to the Upshur County Commission, the Upshur County Development Authority, the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Create Buckhannon for doing the work for the city of Buckhannon.

Davidson also presented other awards. City Engineer Jay Hollen accepted an award on behalf of his daughter, Cailey Hollen, who was unable to make it to the meeting. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth J. Poundstone Scholarship. Julie Stoner, an AmeriCorps volunteer, was presented with the City of Buckhannon Appreciation Award. Stoner worked on a 200-page book documenting historic structures in downtown Buckhannon. The book includes photographs as well as some deed information.

City Attorney David McCauley presented a second draft of an ordinance adopting electrical codes in Buckhannon. The ordinance will require new construction or renovation to residential or commercial structures to be inspected for electrical safety. The ordinance does not require electrical inspections to existing buildings.

It did not appear before the council for a first reading. If the council moves forward with the ordinance, it will require a public hearing before its adoption on the second reading.

Davidson also announced that the cost estimates for playground equipment to replace what was removed from the Buckhannon City Park have arrived. He said he would not announce the figures, because the project would go out for bid soon. He said that he didn’t want the estimates to influence the bids.

Council members voted to proceed with the application process for the Home Rule Pilot Program. Only 16 cities in West Virginia will be granted home rule. Cities can apply for home rule around January, council members said.

Police Chief Matt Gregory said National Night Out at the pool near Buckhannon-Upshur High School was a success this year. He said 300-350 people participated. He also said the middle school and high school police academy that the Buckhannon Police Department hosted for the first time this year was a success. Gregory said he hopes to make the academy an annual event. He said that 11 high school students and 20 middle school students participated.

After an executive session, the Buckhannon City Council voted to give its city administrative assistant a 50-cent raise. Councilman Ron Pugh voted against the raise. He said his only reason for doing so was that the request came after the budget was done.