Downtown Seasonal Decoration Committee Chair Pam Bucklew at last week's Consolidated Public Works Board meeting. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

City board recommends ‘no parking’ policy on East Lincoln Street during parades; plus, Buckhannon’s about to get a spring makeover!

BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Consolidated Public Works Board has voted to restrict street parking on East Lincoln Street during parades.

Mayor Robbie Skinner proposed not allowing street parking on East Lincoln Street during parades after learning fire trucks are incapable of traveling down the street when it’s full of vehicles on either side of the roadway.

“With everything going on downtown during Strawberry Festival and with the Jawbone area being much more occupied than it ever has been before, East Lincoln Street fills up pretty quickly with parking on both sides of the street,” Skinner said. “No one is parking illegally – it’s just a couple of places on East Lincoln where you can park on each side.”

Skinner said East Lincoln Street is one of the only ways for firefighters to get out of the Public Safety Complex when a series of streets are closed during the festival.

“During the last Strawberry Festival, they needed to get out, and that was the one way that they could get out because it was on Saturday evening, and we had activities on Main Street, so they couldn’t go westbound on Main Street,” Skinner said.

As a result, Skinner said the Buckhannon Fire Department had, at the time, needed to utilize East Lincoln Street to get to Route 20.

“They couldn’t do it because they can’t get a fire engine down that street – it’s too narrow when people are parked through there,” the mayor said.

Skinner said city officials would not be taking parking spaces away from the residents because they could still park in their driveways.

“We would just be asking people who are going to the festival to park on Smithfield Street, park on Central [Avenue] or Arnold [Avenue] or park over on West Lincoln,” Skinner said. “I would like to ask the Board to consider recommending to city council that we have no parking on East Lincoln Street just during the parades and when Main Street is closed for the Party Gras and concerts down there.”

The board unanimously voted to recommend closing the street to Buckhannon City Council.

In other news, the Consolidated Board also agreed to recommend a $10,000 allocation to the Downtown Seasonal Decoration Committee to help set up spring and winter decorations.

“We have picked out two designs for flags that we’d like to get for the spring for the downtown area,” Consolidated Board member and Seasonal Decoration Committee Chair Pam Bucklew said. “We’ve picked out flags that have colorful flowers on them, and then the other flags that we’d like to put at Jawbone (Park) have kites on them, so we’re expecting that to be $5,000 for what we need,” board member Pam Bucklew said. “Since this is in the budget for next year, we’d like to get approval from the Department of Highways so we can put Christmas decorations across Main Street.”

Bucklew said the requested $10,000 allocation would enable the committee to begin its work.

“We can get started with this amount of money, and then I’m going to come back next fall,” Bucklew said.

The board voted to recommend the allocation, but the designs of the decorations still need to be approved by city council.

“Since we don’t have pictures today, I think what would be best is to approve the concept as a recommendation to city council, and we would recommend spending $10,000 on improved seasonal decorative decorations downtown,” Skinner said. “We would include the caveat that city council, upon receiving the photos, would make the final recommendation.”

The city formed the committee after lamenting the lack of decorations on Main Street when it’s not the holiday season during an October meeting. More information about the Downtown Seasonal Decoration Committee and when they meet may be found in a previous My Buckhannon article.

Before adjourning, the Consolidated Public Works Board took the following additional actions:

  • Voted to approve an event request from Recover Out Loud/Community Care of W.Va. in Jawbone Park on June 22, 2024, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Voted to approve an event request from Create Buckhannon to hold Festival Fridays weekly from June 7, 2024, to Aug. 23, 2024, at Jawbone Park.
  • Voted to approve an event request for this year’s Almost Heaven BBQ Bash, set to take place June 13-15, 2024, regarding specific street closures and the use of Jawbone Park, the Public Safety Complex, and the Madison Street (old bank) parking lots.

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