BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon Consolidated Public Works Board last week approved hiring two more Buckhannon Streets and Parks Department employees.
Mayor David McCauley said the topic has come up recently with the sales tax ordinance kicking in Jan. 1.
“This is one of the things I had advocated for, especially with the sales tax ordinance kicked in January 1,” McCauley said at the board’s Jan. 23 meeting. “In April or May we’re going to receive some money from the state and as we started to think about our 2020-2021 budget, [we realized] Jerry could really use some more help with guys. [New hires] can be trained to pour sidewalks and we never have less facilities, we always have more.”
He said the new employees wouldn’t start until at least July 1, but city officials want to get the process started.
“I’m advocating for the hire of two new full-time streets and parks workers, and we’d like to start that process sooner than later, so by July 1, we don’t start the process, but we’re ready to bring a couple of folks aboard,” McCauley said.
McCauley said they would still use seasonal workers for tasks such as cemetery mowing. Board member CJ Rylands said he was in favor of adding the new employees as soon as possible.
“We know we’re going to be receiving funds, and the Streets Department is the one that does all the things that are visible to the community,” Rylands said. “A lot of times you don’t see sewer lines or storm lines, but streets and sidewalks and streetscapes and parks – those are the things that I really want to invest in and having a crew of skilled tradesmen to execute that is what differentiates us from all the other communities that don’t do it that way.”
Currently, the Buckhannon Streets and Parks Department has eight employees.
Rylands made the motion to work on hiring two additional employees and board member Pamela Bucklew seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.