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Buckhannon closing parks

BUCKHANNON — The City of Buckhannon has closed almost all city parks and their parking lots, with the exception of Jawbone Park and the Elizabeth J. “Binky” Poundstone Memorial River Walk Trail, and limited employees from traveling further than a 30-mile radius of Buckhannon.

During an emergency meeting Thursday held prior to the regular council meeting, Mayor David McCauley said additional and “admittingly more stringent measures” were needed to further minimize the spread of COVID-19. There has been one confirmed diagnosis in the county as of Thursday evening.

“City playgrounds and parks shall now be closed to the public immediately until further notice,” he said. “Science indicates that the virus survives for as long as three days on steel and plastic surfaces, both of which materials primarily comprise our playground equipment. We simply cannot guarantee that our residents cannot be infected as a result of visiting our playgrounds. These steps are being taken for the safety of our residents.”

The parks to be closed include Buckhannon City Park, North Buckhannon Riverfront Park, Fred Brooks Park, Harley Brown Rotary Park, the Buckhannon Dog Park and Stockert Youth and Community Center.

The river walk trail and Jawbone Park will remain open — although picnic tables are being removed from Jawbone Park — as long as social distancing of a minimum of six feet is maintained.

“If we continue to receive complaints of people violating the social distancing directive, we will have to close our river trail,” McCauley said.

Second, garbage not placed in a toter or bin and not bagged and tightly sealed will not be picked up per the PSC’s General Order 262.2 entered March 27, 2020.

Next, McCauley said all grocery and convenience stores in city limits will be directed to display signs no later than Monday, April 6 urging patrons to shop alone and discouraging as much as possible entry by anyone under 16. Stores needing verbiage for sign requirements should contact the city’s information coordinator Callie Cronin-Sams at 304-472-1651.

Fourth, McCauley said everyone in corporate limits should practice appropriate social distancing of six feet from one another in any public place.

“Those intentionally violating the social distancing requirement shall be subject to citation by the Buckhannon Police Department,” McCauley said.

The mayor said this includes public sidewalks, the river walk trail, Jawbone Park and while retrieving pick-up orders in any restaurant.

Assemblage of groups of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited in city limits and visitors are strongly discouraged from coming to Buckhannon at this time.

“Simply stated, strong measures need to be taken by all of us to avoid transporting the virus to our community,” he said. “We need to consider this as a lockdown moment to minimize the spread of the virus.”

The city strongly recommends continued, self-quarantine measures by all citizens to the maximum extent possible until the health threat has passed.

“The more we isolate ourselves from others, the less likely we are to contract and spread the virus,” he said.

City recorder Randy Sanders moved, seconded by councilman Robbie Skinner to adapt the measures.

In the regular meeting which followed the emergency meeting, council adopted a resolution to limit City of Buckhannon employees from traveling beyond a 30-mile radius of Buckhannon unless conducting official business.

Sanders moved, seconded by councilman C.J. Rylands to approve the resolution.

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