City officials want your input Aug. 11 on the proposed multipurpose addition to SYCC

BUCKHANNON – City council members are urging Buckhannon and Upshur County residents to attend an upcoming town-hall-style meeting set for Aug. 11 about the proposed Stockert Youth & Community Center building.

At its most recent meeting July 21, several council members encouraged members of the Buckhannon-Upshur community to attend, saying the new multipurpose facility won’t just be for youth but for everyone of all ages.

Council member David McCauley pointed out that the addition will serve not just youth but a wider swath of the population.

“The Stockert town hall meeting is a very big deal,” McCauley said. “Several years ago, when we renamed the center from the Stockert Youth Center to the Stockert Youth & Community Center, that was very purposeful. This is a building that will be for everyone in the community. While we’re certainly looking after our youth, there’s plenty of opportunities for the adult [sports and recreation] leagues and old folks like myself that want to get their steps in of an evening – just all kinds of things – so please [come] because it’s an important point in our town history as we contemplate going forth with a three or $3.5 million-dollar building addition to Stockert, so come out and be heard.”

The town hall meeting is set for Thursday, Aug. 11 and begins at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 in the conference/training room of the city’s Public Safety Complex, located at 24 S. Florida St. in Buckhannon. As a city press release notes, the intention of the meeting is to one, provide an update on the SYCC Board of Directors’ recommendation to the City Council regarding the new SYCC building and two, to get a read on residents’ expectations for the structure.

City recorder Randy Sanders noted the town hall meeting will be moderated by councilwoman and SYCC board member Pam Bucklew, SYCC board member Don Nestor and councilman CJ Rylands.

“It’s a great opportunity for the citizenry to come forward and express their thoughts and views about the Stockert Youth & Community Center, what they would like, their expectations and so forth, so I hope it’s well-attended,” Sanders said.

Rylands, who proposed delaying a vote on the building design until after council got a read on what residents wanted, also added his two cents.

“I just think it’s an opportunity to ask the community what they would like in a recreation center because this is public money and we’re going to be paying it back for a long time and I want it to be as effective and efficient at offering recreational opportunities to everyone in the community [as possible],” Rylands said. “So, let’s find out what people want to do and when they want to do it or any other ideas around active lifestyles … I look forward to getting some feedback and then we can share that with the architect and other interested parties and then we can move forward.”

Mayor Robbie Skinner said the Aug. 11 meeting will include an informative video presentation.

“If you’re interested, please attend,” the mayor said.

In other city business, council took the following actions:

  • Agreed to table a decision on who to appoint to the city’s new Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. “I got some good feedback from the Planning Commission about the Parks and Recreation board, so with that being the critical piece that’s left of our board appointments [for the 2022-2023 fiscal year], I’d like to ask that we table that until next meeting,” Skinner said.
  • Learned the city earned about $507,000 for the second quarter of the 2022 calendar year.
  • Unanimously approved a citywide policy for organizations seeking monetary support from the city. Only registered 501 c entities with a Federal Tax ID number are eligible for funds and the event/service/programming must be open to the entire community. Call City Hall at 304-472-1651 for more information.
  • Learned the Buckhannon Police Department is prepping for its first annual Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies web assessment, which gets underway Aug. 5.
  • Approved an executed property sale agreement for 10 E. Lincoln Street (located near the former Chase Bank drive-thru) and approved a related ordinance, Ordinance 460, for acquiring the real estate, which is a 43-by-58-foot executed property sale agreement.
  • Approved rescheduling its regular Aug. 4 meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2 due to the annual West Virginia Municipal League Conference.

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