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Buckhannon City Hall, parks slated to open June 1

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon City Council approved a number of measures aimed at slowly opening up city facilities in the coming weeks after their closure in March due to COVID-19.

Buckhannon City Hall will reopen to the public June 1 with additional preventive safety measures including the installation of plexiglass and limiting the number of people having interior access at one time. There will be extra daily sanitation measures and the wearing of masks is encouraged.

Buckhannon City Parks will reopen to the public June 1 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to permit city crews to daily sanitize playground equipment, picnic tables, restrooms, etc.

“This sanitizing is not a fail-safe guarantee that surfaces will be entirely clean throughout the next day,” Mayor David McCauley said. “We do not have the staffing to dedicate employees to each park all day long, so park attendees need to be prudent during their visits to our public parks. Wash your hands, social distance, wear masks, etc.”

Stockert Youth and Community Center will begin opening to the public June 1 in steps.

Director Debora Brockleman said, “On the first, we are wanting to bring back kickboxing and karate with all the social distancing and requirements that go with that. In July, we will have an abbreviation of our summer camp which will be for about a month.”

Brockleman said she had received a lot of calls from parents who need the summer camp as they go back to work.

“We will have smaller groups and we will be taking temperatures of staff and children,” she said. “We will be meeting them at the front doors and we will have a touchless scan-in.”

The Upshur County Swimming Pool is closed and there will be no other field trips.

“We will be doing everything on site but maybe some walking tours,” she said. “For the most part we will be on the playground and in the building with reduced activities.”

The Charles Gibson Memorial Library will reopen for some services beginning June 1 by appointment only. Beginning Tuesday, May 26 there will be book curbside pick-up. Call the library at 304-472-2339.

The Colonial Theatre will reopen Friday, June 5 for purposes of dedicating the new gallery and welcoming the youth art exhibition postponed from March 16.

The exhibition will continue on weekends through June with attendant oversight from B-U art teachers and attendees will be limited to roughly 12 at a time.

The annual Memorial Day commemoration in Heavener Cemetery will happen at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 25 under the auspices of VFW and American Legion posts with social distancing and minimizing contact.

A tentative Fourth of July fireworks celebration on Sunday, July 5 at 9:45 p.m. with fireworks viewing only is being planned. Attendees would remain within or beside their cars for the viewing. There will be no activities in Jawbone Park.

Finally, easing of travel restrictions previously imposed upon city employees effective Friday, May 22. However, employees will still report their out of state travel to supervisors.

McCauley said, “Our city will continue to take its cues from Governor Justice and state officials. We are aware that our community trusts us with their health and safety to make the best decisions for our community with the information we now have, and we don’t take that duty lightly. If circumstances give rise to easing back even more on previously imposed restrictions, we will respond accordingly. However, if circumstances dictate reimposing restrictions, those actions are possible, too, during the weeks and months ahead.”

City recorder Randy Sanders moved and councilwoman Mary Albaugh seconded to approve the measures, which passed.

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