Boos & Applause

Applause to Elkins City Council for having a discussion Thursday about the proposed 1 percent sales tax on Elkins businesses, as opposed to simply having the first of three votes on the issue at that night’s meeting. The discussion showed that both residents and council members have differing opinions on the controversial tax plan. We appreciate the city officials taking time to openly talk about what the new tax would entail, and to ask for ideas about what uses the tax funds could be designated for if the proposal passes. Such discussions go a long way toward building transparency in local government, and creating good will between officials and residents.

Applause to an event that featured local elected officials visiting the White House in Washington, D.C., this week to become more acclimated with federal office holders. Local attendees included Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor and Commissioner Mark Scott. Taylor said earlier this week that

“commissioners from throughout West Virginia will be meeting with high-ranking federal officials that we, as county elected officials, deal with on a regular basis dealing with such issues as federal grants, (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds, (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funding and trying to expand broadband in our area.” The meeting was a great opportunity for our local leaders to meet with federal officials and open lines of communication that could result in significant gains for our communities.

Applause to the city of Elkins’ new $37 million water plant’s being near completion, with officials saying it will begin pumping water in December. The Inter-Mountain toured the new plant recently with city Operations Manager Bob Pinley, and it clearly is an impressive facility. It is also much needed, as it will replace an outdated plant built in 1921. We just hope residents don’t hit the ceiling when they see the increases in their water bills due in December. City officials say they’re asking customers to understand the increases are to pay for the new plant, which is necessary for the city’s future.

Applause to an event this week that featured local organizations teaming together to assist expectant mothers in Upshur County and surrounding areas. With the assistance of Thirty-One Gifts representatives and World Vision Appalachia, based out of Philippi, The Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care provided bags of supplies to 50 expectant mothers Thursday in Buckhannon. “We assist women who are pregnant, and have their children, with baby items, baby bags, Pack ‘N Play’s and car seats,” said Barbara Kincaid, director of the pregnancy care center. “These are all new items, then they can get diapers, onesies and lotions.”