Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston Commission approves Buckwheat Festival ATV request

KINGWOOD — Members of the Preston County commission approved a request to allow members of the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department to have all-terrain vehicles on W.Va. 7 during the Buckwheat Festival. The KVFD also requested the use of the courthouse lawn for its reviewing stand. That too was approved.

“It’s the same request we approve every year,” said County Administrator Kathy Mace. “They wanted your approval since they were going to be using the vehicles on a state road.”

Earlier this year, Kingwood City Council passed an ordinance approving the use of all-terrain vehicles on city streets if they met certain requirements. The all-terrain vehicle had to pass inspection and meet the same safety standards as a motorcycle regarding licensing, mirrors and the required turn signals and lights.

The Buckwheat Festival was not held in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In other business, Mace asked commissioners to bring any changes or additions they would like to make to the cleanup committee ordinance by the July 13 meeting.

She said she wanted the commissioners’ input prior to the first reading of the ordinance.

The ordinance addresses dilapidated buildings, property clean-up and open dumps. If passed, under the ordinance the commission will designate an enforcement agency that will consist of a county engineer or other technically qualified county employee or consultant; a county health officer or his or her designee; a fire chief from a Preston County fire company; a county litter control officer; two members-at-large selected by the commission to serve two-year terms; and the county sheriff, who will serve as an ex-officio member of the enforcement agency, and who will enforce the orders of the commission.

The county litter officer (currently Jay Sowers) will be authorized to issue citations for open dumps, unlawful disposal of litter and failure to provide proof of proper disposal of solid waste. In order to issue a citation, the property in question must pose a threat to health and/or public safety.

If a complaint is made, it will be brought before the county commission. Once the agency investigates and determines that a dwelling, building, accumulation of refuse or debris, overgrown vegetation, or toxic spillage or toxic seepage is unsafe, unsanitary, dangerous, or detrimental to the public safety or welfare and should be repaired, altered, improved, vacated, removed, closed, cleaned or demolished, the commission will have the owner served with a copy of the complaint that will comply with Rule 4 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.

According to the proposed ordinance, the property owner will have 10 days from the receipt of the complaint to request a hearing. The hearing will be set within 20 days, and be electronically recorded or recorded by a court reporter.

The next meeting of the Preston Commission is set for at 9 a.m. July 13.

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