Elkins continues search for new police chief

ELKINS – Elkins City Council is continuing its search to find a new police chief, giving the city’s search committee new criteria to find its top law enforcement officer.

Third Ward Councilman Mark Scott made a motion to enter executive session on an agenda item listed as a personnel item in the police department and Councilman Bob Woolwine, 1st Ward, seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously by council and the meeting moved behind closed doors at 7:50 p.m. Upon returning at 8:27 p.m., Mayor Van Broughton announced no decisions were made.

Following the session, Councilman Mitch Marstiller, 2nd Ward, made a motion to allow the search committee to continue their search specifying the applicants for the job have West Virginia police certification and that the applicant is living in the city of Elkins or would move within corporate limits. The motion was seconded by Councilman Joe Sabatino, 5th Ward, and passed unanimously.

Elkins City Code stipulates a police chief must live with in the city’s boundaries.

In other council action:

The city passed the second and final reading on an ordinance that will require property owners to pay for the removal of grass, weeds and rubbish from their property if not properly dealt with. It states there is a need for the city to remove the materials if not done so by the owner.

The ordinance amends city code and establishes a fee for the cost of cutting and removing weeds and grass if done by the city. It states that the mayor, chief of police of a “duty-appointed representative” can issue a citation against a property owner who is not caring for their assets.

The city also can have the materials removed by city employees. If city employees remove the grass, weeds or rubbish, the work and cost will be reported to the city treasures by the code enforcement officer. The treasurer will then mail a “bill, voucher or statement” to the owner that must be paid within 10 days or a lien can be placed against the property.

“If agents or employees of the city are required to cut and remove the dirt, rubbish, debris, weeds, brush, trees, plant growth, filth, grass or other deleterious material from such lot, land or property, the city shall charge a fee of $50 per hour for every hour or portion of an hour that agents or employees of the city were utilized to compete the cutting and removal of said materials.”

Council approved the second and final reading of Ordinance 176, which changes the law regarding the placement of trash receptacles for garbage pickup.

“All receptacles and/or garbage or refuse to be hauled in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be placed in a spot accessible to the sanitation department not more than 24 hours previous to 6 a.m. on the day of collection,” it states in the ordinance. “No receptacles and/or garbage or refuse shall be allowed to stand or remain on any of the sidewalks, streets or alleys of the city for more than 24 hours after such collection has been made.”

According to the ordinance, the city determined “that the proper placement of receptacles and/or garbage, trash and refuse is essential to the elimination of health and safety hazards.