Buckhannon making key improvements

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon City Council heard a proposal Thursday evening to move forward with exterior improvements to the city’s Public Safety Complex Thursday.

Director of Public Works Jerry Arnold outlined phase one of the project, which would cost about $40,000 to kick off.

One of the things proposed was the addition of green space.

“This ties the area into a more walkable, friendly environment,” Arnold said.

Officials intend to remove the retaining walls, and add a walkway with steps. They also wish to add period-style lighting and water and electrical conduits to accommodate for future development.

The largest cost is the lighting, which is about $22,000. The lights will match those already installed in the city, have a lifespan of about 10 years and use less electricity.

Approval was granted by Council to begin this leg of improvements, with the motion made by Councilman Robbie Skinner and seconded by Councilwoman Mary Albaugh.

Council also heard a recommendation by Mayor David McCauley to increase the pay of all 90 full-time city employees by 50 cents per hour. Later employee reviews may lead to merit-based and supervisor raises in the future.

The recommendation was accepted by Council, with the motion made by Albaugh and seconded by Councilwoman Pam Cuppari.

Council passed two ordinances on third and final reading, one pertaining to a cable franchise agreement with Suddenlink and another about downtown parking.

A third ordinance passed on its first reading, regarding the transfer of property from the city to the Upshur County Development Authority. All three ordinance votes passed unanimously.

The next regular meeting of Buckhannon City Council will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at Buckhannon City Hall.