During Beckley Common Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, members approved budget revisions, opened bids for a paving project and discussed updates to city ordinances dealing with building and fire prevention codes.
Council members also approved a resolution honorarily naming Raleigh Avenue as “Jerry Rose Lane.”
For almost 60 years, Jerry Rose has instructed young boys and girls in the art of dance through the Beckley Dance Theatre located on Raleigh Avenue.
He has also been invited to teach and perform throughout the United States and abroad.
Council member Sherrie Hunter said Rose was “very deserving” of the recognition.
Those sentiments were echoed by Council member Tom Sopher, who said ,“Jerry Rose has brought culture to the community beyond words.”
With an honorary naming, addresses along Raleigh Avenue will not change.
Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold said the city of Charleston recently made a similar action that he would like to mirror for the honorary street naming.
“Charleston had a sign, about the same size as the signs we produce, but it had a black background … to distinguish it from the regular street (sign) to show that it was honorary,” he said.
In other business, council approved a general fund budget revision which City Treasurer Billie Trump said is required by the state auditor at the start of a new fiscal year.
The current fiscal year began July 1, 2022, and runs until June 30, 2023.
Trump pointed to two significant changes for the new fiscal year.
He said the city is expected to see an increase in revenue in its rent and royalties line item of roughly a quarter of a million dollars. Trump said this increase is mainly due to the acquisition of the Pinecrest building.
During a March meeting, council voted to accept 142.27 acres from Pinecrest Development Corporation and to pay off an outstanding debt of $325,645.72 and to assume payment of New River Gorge Regional Development Authority’s lease of $1,500 monthly to Forward Southern West Virginia. As part of this agreement the city also received all leases from Pinecrest Plaza South, which exceeds the outgoing lease payment.
Trump said that expected funds have been distributed among the budgets for various city departments.
On the expense side, Trump said they are decreasing the line item for general government from $1.04 million to $840,000 after paying off an energy savings contract early.
Council also approved a revision to its coal severance. Trump said they are anticipating a $15,000 increase and those funds have been allocated to the parks and recreation budget. For these funds, Trump said the city is limited on where it can spend its coal severance dollars.
In other business, council heard the first reading of two ordinances which update the city’s codes for building and fire prevention.
Rappold said these updates are necessary to keep in line with updates made to the correlating state codes.
These two ordinances were late additions to council’s agenda which was emailed to members of the media Monday morning.
Rappold said these two ordinances were added to the agenda “mid-afternoon Monday.”
“We normally don’t do that,” he said. “We normally observe the 72-hour workday notice when we post those … but something this routine and the fact that we need to pass it on the second reading at the next July meeting, we felt like we needed to do it.”
The second reading and public hearing for the ordinances updating the city’s building and fire prevention codes will take place at the next council meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 26 in council chambers at city hall.
The bids for a milling and paving project on Dyer Avenue (from 12th Street to Gadd Avenue), 12th Street, Scott Avenue (from Prince Street to 12th Street) and 11th Street were also opened Tuesday.
Rappold said only one bid was received. That bid was received from AAA Paving and Sealing out of Princeton, which priced the project at $168,500.
Before being submitted back to council for a vote, the bid will be reviewed by at-large council members and city department heads.
During his remarks at the end of the meeting, Rappold said paving in the city started this week after being held up due to the state’s paving project on the West Virginia Turnpike in Beckley.