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Council discusses damage

City of Elkins decides to cancel trick-or-treating

November 6, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

Elkins City Council discussed Superstorm Sandy and the havoc that it wreaked on the area during Monday night's council meeting.

The city is taking steps to help residents repair damage and clean up their property, officials said.

"We have talked about the possibility of waiving building permit requirements," Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott told council.

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Third Ward Councilman Carman Metheny said the city should consider waiving the fees for anyone who suffered damage from the storm.

'They will still have to get a permit and get the work inspected," Metheny said. "The building inspector will make the determination if it is storm-related."

Metheny made a motion to waive the fees and Councilman Van Broughton, 2nd Ward, seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Council also discussed the possibility of purchasing a generator to keep city hall running in case of future power outages.

"Our police department does not have a generator," Talbott said. "Nor does city hall."

Metheny said when city hall closes because of power outages or a severe storm there is no liason to the public to answer questions.

"I would love to have our own command post," he said. "That way we can answer questions. Let's look at buying a generator to deal with this."

Councilwoman Marilynn Cuonzo, 4th Ward, said she traveled to the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management to gather information.

"The one thing I felt was missing was a city hall presence," she said. "With climate change we are going to have more and more storms like this. We need to be prepared."

Talbott said the city's management team can begin looking to see what the city would require to provide city hall as a command post and possibly a shelter. Council decided to have the management team look at the possibilities and may form a committee to begin addressing concerns.

Council also discussed the possibility of rescheduling the Elkins trick-or-treating that was canceled because of the storm. Talbott allowed several administrative officers to weigh in on the topic before council made the decision to not have the trick-or-treating event this year.

"From the streets department we can not say that all the streets or sidewalks are safe for kids after dark," Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley said.

Elkins Police Department Lt. Richards said the streets were still too dangerous to let youth go out after dark.

"It is really dangerous out there at night," he said. "There are lines down."

Elkins Fire Department Chief Tom Meader agreed with the other administrative officers.

"We had two lines go down today," Meader said. "There are a lot of hazards. It is still very dangerous out there."

Councilman Tom Hensil, 2nd Ward, made a motion that the next trick-or-treating in Elkins will be held Oct. 31, 2013. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bob Woolwine, 1st Ward.

"It is just too dangerous for this right now," Councilman Mark Scott, 3rd Ward, said.

The motion passed unanimously.



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