Town Hall meeting set to sign letter

ELKINS — A special Town Hall meeting will be held Tuesday to present a letter for signing which will be sent to Elkins City Hall to demand action on the town’s dilapidated properties issue.

At last week’s Town Hall meeting, local attorney Ty Nestor volunteered to draft a “blanket letter to the city of Elkins” that would list what the city has not yet done in regard to properties designated as distressed, and request that action be taken or residents will file writs of mandamus in circuit court to compel the city to act.

The special meeting will be at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Caboose Room in the Elkins Depot Welcome Center. The meeting was called by Kathy Vance, the organizer of the Town Hall series of meetings. Vance said she has met with Nestor and they have drafted the letter.

Vance set out an email to people who have attended any of the Town Hall meetings describing the letter: “The last paragraph states ‘The undersigned respectfully requests that any and all properties within the city be assessed for their safety and sanitary conditions. It is further requested that those properties that will be, or have been identified as distressed, be dealt with in accordance with the city’s own laws designed for this purpose. If the undersigned come of the fact-based conclusion that nothing is being done, which the city is clearly obligated to do, those city property owners having legal standing will seek affirmative injunctive relief with a court of competent jurisdiction.’

“I am emailing an attachment to you to print off and I’m asking you to please get residents of the city to please sign it and bring it with you to the meeting on June 26,” Vance wrote. “Have them sign their name and put their address. If you get a petition signed and are unable to attend the meeting, please let me know and I will pick up the petition from you. It’s very important that we have a lot of people sign this to show that we want our town cleaned up. Please let your voice be heard!”

The series of Town Hall meetings over the past two years has brought the distressed properties issue to the forefront in Randolph County. Randolph County Commissioner Mark Scott and Fifth Ward Elkins City Councilwoman Linda Vest have helped run each of the meetings.

Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton and Elkins City Council member Marly Hazen have taken part in previous Town Hall meetings.