Town of Elkins Seeks to Amend House Rules | News, Sports, Jobs

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ELKINS – A 30 day public review period is underway regarding the proposed changes to local city authorities.

The four proposed changes sought by the city include:

• Simplify the alienation of real estate owned by the City;

• Increase the costs of technology and maintenance of municipal yards;

• Increase in attributable municipal court fees;

• Increase in the maximum age of candidates for the civil service fire department.

The request will be available to the public for 30 days, until November 18, and for comment at a public hearing on November 18. Council will be voted on by council at city council meetings on November 18 and December 2.

Once approved, the final application and affidavits will be mailed to the W.Va. Municipal Home Rule Board 30 days prior to its January 19, 2022 meeting, where city staff will appear to present and answer questions regarding the application. . The board will then review and approve or deny each of the four separately requested authorizations by majority vote.

The app includes information on why officials seek city-owned real estate change.

“In 2020, the city acquired ownership of three plots of land”, the application indicates. “Each plot contained a dilapidated structure which the city demolished, at the expense of the owner or the taxpayer.

“In each situation, the city was left with a small cleared plot unsuitable for any municipal use. In two of the three situations, adjacent owners expressed interest in purchasing the property. However, the city was required by law and carried out, at taxpayer expense, the procedures necessary to advertise and auction the properties.

“Two of the three properties were successfully auctioned”, the application continues. “The third one was offered by an adjacent owner, but it was determined that it was not fair and adequate compensation and therefore was rejected. The city continues to own and maintain this property today.

The city wants to have the capacity to:

• Sell municipal property to an individual “For fair and adequate consideration on the board’s determination that the action promotes economic development or the public good, without the need to publish a Class II legal advertisement or hold a public auction; “

• Sell municipal property to a 501 (c) (3) registered organization for “A fair and adequate consideration without taking into account only the commercial or market value of the property, and without the obligation to publish a legal Class II advertisement or to hold a public auction; “ and

• Municipal property lease “To (a) the private tenant for less than fair and adequate consideration on the determination by the board that the lease promotes economic development or provides services for the public good.”

The original City of Elkins Municipal Self-Government Pilot Project application, submitted in 2015, included 11 separate permit applications, 10 of which were granted by council.

In 2017, the city presented an amendment to the approved written plan, requesting nine additional permits. The city withdrew two of the requests based on deliberations in the state legislature at the time, but the remaining seven were approved by the board.

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