Shifting into drive: City council advances WVWC parking ordinance

BUCKHANNON – A law intended to reserve parking spaces on streets surrounding West Virginia Wesleyan College for residents who live on them finally got the green light at Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting.

After months of discussion amongst themselves and with college officials, council members OK’ed a compromise between the two entities. That compromise came in the form of Ordinance 430, which establishes residential-only parking zones on certain streets in the vicinity of the college and calls for the implementation of a two-hour parking policy for nonresidents.

“This provides for two-hour parking only on four particular streets that are adjacent to the West Virginia Wesleyan campus,” O’Neill said, adding the ordinance hadn’t been changed since it was presented as a draft at the Oct. 4 city council meeting.

The two-hour parking policy for nonresidents will only apply to the sections of the following streets between South Florida Street and Meade Street: College Avenue, Barbour Street, Fayette Street and Pocahontas Street.

The law calls for the demarcation of those sections of the above-listed streets as residential-parking only. According to a copy of the ordinance, anyone who is not a resident of those streets is barred from parking for more than two consecutive hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The city Street Department will install signage marking the zones as residential-parking only, and the city will distribute residential parking permits on the dashboards of their vehicles.

Exceptions to the two-hour parking rule are state holidays, federal holidays and any other dates council designates by motion and a majority vote, O’Neill explained.

The penalty for violating the ordinance is a $25 fine.

City recorder Colin Reger made a motion to pass the ordinance on first reading, which was seconded by city councilman Robbie Skinner prior to passing unanimously.

Mayor David McCauley, who also serves as the college’s legal counsel, said administrators there seemed satisfied with the final product.

“I have to tell you that I had a … chat with Scott McKinney, our vice president for finance at the college, and he applauded the council’s changing the language from the previous drafts – he thought it [had previously been] overly onerous towards college students … but I think we all agree that this is something to try for a semester,” McCauley remarked. “We’ll see where it goes, and it’s not like we can’t revisit it next summer or come May, if we say, ‘oh my gosh, that’s the worst thing we ever did.’”

Council will consider the ordinance on second reading for passage and adoption at its Nov. 1 meeting.

Before adjourning, council also:

-Recognized Buckhannon police officers Cpl. Marshall O’Connor and Cpl. Joshua Wilson for passing the written exam that enabled them to advance to the rank of corporal. Chief Matt Gregory explained both officers commenced their careers with the BPD in 2013, marking five years of service in 2018. O’Connor’s wife, Tiffany, and Wilson’s wife, Paris, participated in a pinning ceremony to celebrate the officers’ accomplishments.

Pictured, from left, are BPD chief Matt Gregory, Kaylee O’Connor, Tiffany O’Connor, Tristin O’Connor, Cpl. Marshall O’Connor, Cpl. Joshua Wilson and Paris Wilson. O’Connor and Wilson were recognized at Thursday’s meeting for advancing to the rank of corporal.

-Honored Record Delta senior staff writer Amanda Hayes as the inaugural recipient of the Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial award for her many years of volunteer service with a number of organizations and projects, including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Upshur Community Alcohol Reduction Effort and Create Buckhannon/Festival Fridays, the Upshur County School system, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church and more. Hayes’ name will be the first etched onto a permanent placard installed on the city’s new BEST bench that will soon be erected in Jawbone Park, McCauley said.

Mayor David McCauley presents Amanda Hayes with the inaugural Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial award at Thursday’s city council meeting.

-Approved the City of Buckhannon’s 2019 application for membership in the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce.

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