Charles Town mayor asks for city planner

March 05, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town, W.Va., Mayor Randy Hilton said Monday night he believes the time has come for the city to hire a city planner.

There are many projects under way in Charles Town, as well as many issues facing the city, and a city planner could take on some of the work, said Hilton.

Charles Town City Council members said the position is needed because of increased residential growth occurring around town and city projects, including a plan to redevelop old commercial buildings around town.

Hilton said a city planner could assist in managing grant programs and attracting new business to town.

Council members said at their regular meeting Monday night that they believe a city planner is especially needed to help relieve the workload of City Manager Jane Arnett.


Council member Randy Breeden said he comes to City Hall on weekends and often finds Arnett there trying to get all the city's work done.

"I think we need to rectify that," said Breeden.

Council members agreed to send Hilton's proposal to the council's finance committee for consideration.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town City Council members approved a request to have a parade of horses downtown as part of the annual Founder's Day celebration, although some officials questioned whether there needs to be two parades in the future.

Another parade of horses is often held during the Christmas holidays.

Charles Town Police Chief Mike Aldridge questioned whether two parades should be held, especially in light of the fact that it costs the police department about $600 in overtime to oversee the parades.

Council member Randy Breeden agreed the issue should be studied.

Founder's Day representative Betsy Wells made the request to have the parade on May 5.

The council also approved a request from Wells to have a "street party" in front of Wright Denny Elementary School as part of Founder's Day, which celebrates the city's heritage.

The May 5 party will feature live music groups and food vendors, Wells said.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town City Council members approved three contracts Monday night for a proposed $1.3 million revitalization downtown.

Council members approved a $125,000 contract to Allegheny Power to relocate power lines downtown, another $53,880 contract to Allegheny Power for installation of new lamp posts downtown and a $34,000 contract to Chester Engineers for development of a historical interpretive area next to the Jefferson County Courthouse and other electrical design work.

The revitalization project, which could start as early as June, includes replacing sidewalks, planting new trees, installing seating benches and other improvements in the downtown business district. The plans were approved by the council last month.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The former Citizens Volunteer Fire Company building on East Washington Street was rezoned from a residential duplex building to a central business district building by the Charles Town City Council Monday night.

The zoning for the former fire hall was never changed after Citizens Volunteer Fire Company built a fire station there, a city official said.

The zoning change was requested as part of Mike Austin's plans to put a retail tire store and truck accessory shop in the building. Austin said his wife may also open a gift shop in part of the building.

The Citizens Volunteer Fire Company recently moved into a new building along the Charles Town Bypass.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Two people who have been involved with the Shepherdstown Farm Market suggested bringing back a fresh produce market in Charles Town.

A farmer's market was started in Charles Town in the early 1990s but it lasted only two years, Paul Elliott told Charles Town City Council members Monday night.

Elliott said he thinks the "dynamics" of Charles Town have changed since then and he suggested the council consider working with him on developing a produce market that would be open by spring of 2003.

Council members were supportive of the idea.

- Dave McMillion

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