Elkins City Council to vote on strategic plan

ELKINS — Elkins City Council will vote on a proposed five-year strategic plan for the city tonight, capping months of preliminary work on the project.

City Clerk Jessica Sutton has said she will read out loud any comments sent to the city about the plan before tonight’s vote. Residents can also speak about the plan during the public comment section of tonight’s meeting.

The 18-page proposed strategic plan envisions Elkins in 2023 as a “dynamic and growing community of 10,500 people,” and lays the groundwork for ways in which the city can accomplish that goal. The 2010 U.S. census listed Elkins’ population as 7,094, and a 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau placed the town’s population at 7,187.

“This plan will be referred to (in order) to determine how to spend city revenues, how to direct employee work flow and how to measure job performance,” Sutton said at a public forum on the issue on Aug. 22.

The proposed plan offers a list of projects, action items and target dates for accomplishing goals by 2023.

Sutton, Second Ward Councilman Charles Friddle and Operations Manager Bob Pingley recently provided The Inter-Mountain with a list of accomplishments the city has achieved during the past 10 years, noting the idea of the strategic plan is to help the city to continue moving forward.

The list details the following accomplishments year by year:

2008 — Demolition of the Key Market, at a cost of $80,000; replacing the roof of City Hall, at a cost of $70,000; repairing the Davis Avenue Bridge, at a cost of $30,000; and replacing the Barron Avenue force main, at a cost of $60,000.

2009 — Renovating the Baxter Street Building, at a cost of $240,000; replacing downtown traffic signals at a cost of $450,000; Source Water Protection Grant work, at a cost of $61,000; downtown stormwater separation, at a cost of $1,100,000; and replacement of Life Station No. 11, at a cost of $900,000.

2010 — Replacing downtown sidewalks, at a cost of $130,375; replacing the city hall phone system; and replacing water and sewer lines on Davis Avenue, at a combined cost of $300,000.

2011 — Remodeling the city treasurer’s office, at a cost of $30,000; work at the Crystal Springs river crossing, $88,000; and replacement of water lines on Randolph Avenue, with Phase 2b costing $120,000.

2012 — Replacing water lines on Randolph Avenue, with Phase 2c costing $160,000; Wees District Streetscape renovations, at $200,000; and a City Hall Energy Efficiency Grant project, totaling $70,000.

2014 — Work on a consent decree yard waste building situation, totaling $80,000; and a water line extension to the Isaac Jackson Hotel, $25,000.

2015 — Work on the LTCP Phase 1 separation, at a cost of $2,793,855; the Phil Gainer Community Center lead abatement, at $13,551; putting in a sprinkler system at the Phil Gainer Community Center, $56,920; and levee certification, at $80,000.

2016 — Replacement of the fire hall roof, at $125,000.

2017 — A WWTP decant tank aeration upgrade, at a cost of $375,000.

2018 — Completion and conversion to the new water plant, at a total project cost of $37,000,073.

The 10-year list of projects adds up to an investment of $44,638,774 into the Elkins community, officials said.

Officials also pointed to the 2017 demolitions of structures at 1420 South Davis Ave. and at 363 Blaine Ave., for the disposal costs of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. Those disposal costs did not include the price of labor, equipment, fuel or legal fees.

City officials also mentioned the many improvements made to city parks in the past 10 years, including the development of Glendale Park. The Glendale playground opened in the summer of 2016, and the Glendale pavilion opened in September 2017.

In recent years, interpretive signs were installed at Glendale Park, and a sprinkler system, a warning track and upgrades to the drainage system were made at Robin Harvey Memorial Field at Bluegrass Park.

Elkins City Council will meet at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall.