Two new Elkins City Council members sworn in
ELKINS — Two newly elected Elkins City Council members were sworn into office after the most recent Elkins City Council meeting.
Clint Higgins was sworn in as the new Third Ward council representative, and Nanci Bross-Fregonara was sworn in to represent Fourth Ward.
In the March 2 election, in Third Ward, incumbent Councilman Carman Metheny was unseated by challenger Higgins, who received 52 votes, while Metheny tallied 38 votes.
In Fourth Ward, former Councilwoman Bross-Fregonara defeated Liz Marshall-MacVean, 143 votes to 98.
The Fourth Ward incumbent, Karen Wilmoth, had vacated the seat after her term in order to run for mayor.
During the March 31 Elkins City Council meeting:
• Elkins Police Chief Travis Bennett noted that in the month of March, the EPD responded to 558 calls for service, which generated 48 cases, 34 arrests, eight criminal citations and 34 traffic citations.
Bennett also provided an update on the department’s efforts to hire new officers.
“The three candidates that we have ready to be hired took their doctor’s physicals,” he said. “If they pass that we’ll be in line to hire all three of them. And we’re also moving forward on the hire of a provisional officer.”
• Operations Manager Bob Pingley said the city’s water meter replacement project “is going pretty well.
“We’ve got just over 1,500 meters replaced at this point,” he noted. “That’s approximately 35% of our total, so we’re pretty happy with our progress there.”
• A city press release stated one of the first priorities for the new GIS Department will involve mapping, “specifically to capture the huge amount of infrastructure information that is currently recorded only on old paper maps and in the heads of longtime city employees.”
“Right now, we have to rely more than we want to on human memory when it comes to locating key pieces of underground infrastructure,” Pingley said in the release. “It will be a big step forward to be able to start systematically mapping all of that so that all city departments can access the information.”
The GIS technician, Ben Martin, will also collect data on new infrastructure components, such as the replacement remote-read water meters currently being installed citywide, as they go into the ground.
“The value of having every one of these water meters in a GIS database is not just being able to see them on a map and locate them more easily in the field, it’s being able to easily access information about each one, like its installation date, maintenance history, and other details that can save our crews time troubleshooting problems or making maintenance decisions,” Pingley said in the release. “That’s just one of many examples of how GIS can help us by centralizing information in one easy-to-access place.”
“Other high-priority projects for the GIS Department include managing the public-facing dilapidated properties dashboard that will come online during 2021 and coordinating sharing city address information with county E911 and addressing officials. GIS solutions can also help improve interdepartmental data sharing, support timesaving use of mobile devices in the field and enable streamlined communication between citizens and government officials,” the release states.