POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant City Council has voted to auction off the building on First Street which housed the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center for nearly two decades.
The council members in attendance were Charles Towner, Janet Hartley, Gabe Roush, Jerrie Howard, Pat Sallaz, Elaine Hunt, and Brad Deal along with Mayor Brian Billings, City Clerk Amber Tatterson, City Inspector Randy Hall, and City Attorney Michael Shaw.
Shaw shared with council that Jack Fowler, executive director of the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center, approached Shaw with interest in building a new river museum at a different location. Shaw then asked the council to go into executive session to discuss the possibility of publicly auctioning off the old river museum on the grounds of their discussion would be concerning the city selling a property. All of the council approved to go into executive session.
After returning into regular session, the council unanimously decided to approve the public auction as set forth for the old river museum building, which is also sometimes referred to as the Mitchell-Nease-Hartley Building by local historians. The public auction is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m., at the old river museum location on First Street. Shaw stated a legal class II notification will be published and the council will have to set a minimum bid amount that will have to be met.
Shaw also reported prior to this decision, Kyle McCausland, Mason County Historical and Preservation Society (MCHPS) director, had made a notice of intent to appeal the decision of the court case filed by McCausland against the city in regards to the demolition of the old river museum. Shaw explained there is nothing for the city to do until it receives orders from the State Supreme Court. McCausland will have time to develop his petition and then the city can file a response to that.
The council also approved the second reading of an amendment to the city ordinance which currently states the council must consult the Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) when dealing with buildings and properties within the historic district. With the amendment the city will not have to consult the Historic Landmark Commission for these dealings as the HLC is an appointed extension of the city council itself. The reading passed with yes votes from Towner, Hartley, Roush, Sallaz and Deal, one no vote from Howard, and an abstain from Hunt.
In other council business, City Accountant Shannon Pearson gave an update on the Point Pleasant Splash Pad and Yak Shack. For the month of July, the splash pad has made $336 in admissions and $538 in concessions. The Yak Shack has made $1,475 in rentals and $86 in concessions. The profits made for parties in June were $900; July, $1,200; and August, $1,700. The splash pad will be closed during the week of Aug. 20 and then will only be open on Saturday’s until Sept. 14 as many of the workers at the splash pad and Yak Shack have to return to school. Also, Hall and his men will be working on the finishing touches of the splash pad such as installing the commemorative bricks, plaques, and benches and working on some more landscaping. The Yak Shack hours have changed to Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. Pearson asked Hall if a rail could be installed to make entering the pedal boats easier for next season.
Representatives of the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers were in attendance to present the city with Honor and Remember flags to fly in the city. More on the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers visit will appear in an upcoming edition of the Point Pleasant Register.
Delyssa Edwards gave a report on the Miss Liberty Pageant and Liberty Fest Pretty Baby Contest. The income for this year was $2,800 with expenses being slightly over $1,400 and with rollover being slightly over $1,400 for next year’s Miss Liberty Pageant and the Liberty Fest Pretty Baby Contest. She commented she was very proud of this year’s turnout for both of these events.
The council approved to appoint James Stearns and Rick Northup to the Point Pleasant Housing Authority Board of Commissions, both will be serving five-year terms.
Tatterson reported the settlement agreement for the city’s 2007 Durango is $6,347.64. The city has to submit the title and other information. Point Pleasant Chief of Police Joe Veith and his staff are in the process of looking for a suitable replacement vehicle.
The council approved to do parking at Krodel Park for the 2019 Mothman Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21. The cost will be $5 per car and they will begin parking cars at 8 a.m.
The annual Point Pleasant Tribute to the River will be returning this month, Aug. 29-31. The city will be covering the cost of the performer Karen Allen on Friday evening as she will be performing for Mayor’s Night Out at the Riverfront Park amphitheater. A full schedule of events will be released in an upcoming edition of the Point Pleasant Register.
It was reported a couple of individuals have given complaints about there being a food truck set up on Main Street. The council will be reviewing their ordinances regarding food trucks and will be making necessary amendments should it be necessary. The majority of council members noted they felt the food truck in town has brought in a lot of foot traffic and business to the merchants on Main Street.
Hall reported he had a survey done on the city’s sidewalks and spots were evaluated on severe of condition they were in. Should someone get injured on these sidewalks, the city could be legally accountable. The sidewalks were ranked from least severe, severe, to most severe. There are 18 least severe, 24 severe, and 21 most severe spots. The cost for everything to be fixed is $7,200. The council approved to let Hall proceed in getting these 63 spots fixed.
Hartley shared a representative from the Travel Channel approached her about doing a segment on the Mothman and they are in the search for a 1960’s era style house to shoot their segment from. Also, on Aug. 22, 2 p.m., at the Lowe Hotel a meeting regarding tax credits and grants for historic properties will be held.
Turning back to the topic of the river museum and supporting the history of the city, Billings stated, “this administration is in favor of anything historic, when I begin my speaking I always tell folks ‘welcome to historic Point Pleasant.’”
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.