Elkins Now Offering Free Bulk Pickups

Elkins residents can now dispose of furniture, appliances, and other bulk trash items monthly at no extra charge, thanks to the city’s new bulk pickup service. This service is only available to residential customers. Only one item will be accepted per month through this service.

The bulk pickup service, which relies on a new Sanitation Department grapple truck, is scheduled in connection with when household trash is collected in various parts of the city. During the first week of each month, bulk pickups will be available to households that put regular trash out on Mondays; during the second week, households that put trash out on Tuesdays and households that put trash out on Fridays; during the third week, households that put trash out on Wednesdays; and during the fourth week, households that put trash out on Thursdays.

This service starts in June and will proceed as follows during that month: where household trash is collected Mondays, bulk pickups will occur during the week of June 5; Tuesdays and Fridays, week of June 12; Wednesdays, week of June 19; Thursdays, week of June 26.  View the complete 2022 schedule here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/bulk-pickups.

On the week a given area is scheduled for bulk pickups, customers should place items curbside—even if their regular household trash is collected in an alley—no later than 6 a.m. Monday morning. The grapple truck will visit sometime that week, but not necessarily on the same day that household trash is being collected.

Acceptable materials for bulk pickups include furniture, appliances, and other large household items. We cannot accept yard waste, chemicals and hazardous materials, or building materials and demolition waste.

This service replaces the annual Spring Cleanup. Bulk pickups are a separate program from special pickups, which are scheduled at customer request, may be used to dispose of multiple items, and incur fees.

For more information about this program: www.cityofelkinswv.com/bulk-pickups.

Contact the Operations Department with any questions: 304-636-1414, ext. 1437 | spoe@cityofelkinswv.com.

5/5 Paving Plans: First, Fifth, & YMCA Alley

Last modified on May 5th, 2022 at 07:59 pm

On Thursday(5/5), Southern West Virginia Paving plans to pave First Street (Davis to Kerens), Fifth Street (Davis to Railroad), and the alley behind the YMCA (Fourth to Fifth).

The map below indicates all planned paving work in Elkins for spring 2022.

Tree Trimming Starts Monday

Street Department personnel will be trimming trees overhanging the public right-of-way on multiple city streets starting Monday at 7 a.m., weather permitting.

These streets are scheduled for paving work in April. The purpose of the tree trimming is to remove branches that might otherwise become caught on heavy paving equipment and be snapped or torn loose from the tree, causing damage.

We will release additional information about this April’s paving work soon.

Spring Cleanup To Be Offered April 4-15

Last modified on March 15th, 2022 at 01:10 pm

Note: The Elkins City Hall March newsletter printed incorrect dates for Spring Cleanup 2022. The dates in this blog post are correct.

The City of Elkins Operations Department will be offering Spring Cleanup April 5-15. Street Department crews will visit each ward to collect certain categories of bulk refuse items at no charge. This service is for residences only, not businesses. No more than one level pickup-truck load will be accepted from each household, and loose trash will not be collected.

The ward schedule is as follows:

  • First Ward: April 4-5
  • Second Ward: April 6-7
  • Third Ward: April 8 & 11
  • Fourth Ward: April 12-13
  • Fifth Ward: April 14-15

Not sure what ward you’re in? Use our online Spring Cleanup tool to enter your address and find out what dates we’ll be in your area.

To take advantage of this service, please have all items at the curb in front of your house or building no later than 5:30 a.m. on the first assigned day for your ward. Crews will not return to the part of the ward they visited on the first day, so placing your items out on the second day may result in your items being left behind.

Crews will only accept one level pickup truck load from each residence. The following items will not be accepted: appliances, tires, free flowing liquids, batteries, and yard waste. Please make all items as easy to collect as possible, such as by bagging or boxing smaller items. Crews will not collect loose trash.

Elkins Appoints New Operations Manager

Sanson brings experience with process and operational excellence

The City of Elkins has a new operations manager who says that “a position like this has been a dream of mine for some time.” The Elkins council appointed Joshua Sanson to lead the city’s Operations Department last night in a unanimous vote. Sanson has lived in Elkins and worked at Davis Medical Center since 2007.

Sanson’s appointment as the new operations manager was recommended by council’s ad hoc Special Hiring Committee, which was formed in the wake of the sudden resignation of the former operations manager last August.

Before advertising this position, the committee first recommended restructuring the Operations Department to improve customer service, increase efficiency, and strengthen compliance with relevant laws, rules, and regulations. Among other changes, these recommendations—which council approved in December—included shifting supervision of the city’s water and wastewater utilities from the Operations Department to their respective boards and chief operators. The committee also spent time revising and improving the position’s job description in consultation with AlignHR, the city’s human resources contractor.

The newly appointed Sanson will supervise the city departments responsible for trash collection; street paving and repairs; code enforcement; building permits and inspections; and the maintenance and upkeep of city hall and other city buildings, facilities, and grounds.

Sanson began his career in the healthcare field as a radiology technician at Davis Medical Center. During his time there, he became interested in a set of management concepts known as process and operational excellence, which are used to improve an organization’s effectiveness and efficiency.

“While at DMC, I was invited to join a multidisciplinary team that was redesigning the emergency department’s space and practices,” says Sanson. “That was my first exposure to the concepts of process and operational excellence.”

That initial experience opened the door to a new field.

“After returning to my department, I was chosen to be trained in Lean tools and concepts and selected to help implement a new daily management system called The Davis Way,” says Sanson. “I had the opportunity to teach and coach operational excellence within this new system, all while getting to see the results in concrete improvements to our operations and processes.”

These experiences taught Sanson the value of increased internal communication, including daily “huddles”; problem identification with root-cause analysis; the standardization of processes; and a team approach across departments.

“Coming out of those experiences, I knew I had found my new career,” says Sanson. “I finished my bachelor’s degree and am currently working on a master’s degree in operations and project management.”

Sanson says he can’t wait to put his skills to work as operations manager for the City of Elkins.

“The City of Elkins is one of the most gorgeous towns on the east coast, and it has always held a special place in my heart,” says Sanson, a Webster County native whose family frequently visited Elkins when he was a child. “I’m looking forward to listening and learning from the frontline folks who keep things rolling every day and seeing how I can help the city be the best place it can be.”

Changes to Organizational Structure

Last modified on February 17th, 2022 at 07:13 am

As a result of recent actions by council, the city’s water and sanitary boards are now providing administrative oversight of the city’s water and sewer system operations. See below for more information about this new organizational structure:

  • Water Board: Oversees the city’s water treatment and distribution system. Click here for more information.
  • Sanitary Board: Oversees the city’s wastewater collection and treatment system. Click here for more information.
  • Operations Department: Oversees trash collection, street repair, code enforcement, building permits and inspections, and maintenance and upkeep of city hall and other non-water/non-sewer buildings, facilities, and grounds. Click here for more information.

The city is also actively accepting applications for a new operations manager. Learn more and apply on this page.

Street Paving Wednesday and Thursday

The 2021 street paving season has begun.

Today, contractors are already milling joints at the ends of the following alleys and streets. Parking and traffic will not be significantly disrupted.

  • Coca Cola Alley between 11th Street and 10th Street
  • 7th Street between Harrison Avenue and Gorman Avenue
  • George Street between Maryland Avenue and Heavner Avenue
  • Moose Alley between Davis Avenue and Kerens Avenue
  • Intermountain Alley between 5th Street and 6th Street

Thursday, contractors will mill the following streets. Streets will be closed with no parking while milling proceeds.

  • Main Street between Glendale Avenue and Worth Avenue
  • Pleasant Avenue between State Street and Orchard Street
  • 3rd Street from Kerens Avenue to Henry Avenue
  • Henry Avenue from Randolph Avenue to Second Street
  • Railroad Avenue from Sweco Furniture to Wilson Street
  • S. Henry Avenue from 10th Street to the dead end at the pedestrian bridge

Learn more about paving and patching in Elkins by clicking here.

Some Elkins Water Customers May See Higher Bills

Accounts with past estimated usage are most likely to see increases

Elkins, W. Va., May 21, 2021: Water meters are being replaced throughout Elkins, and some customers may see higher bills as a result. This is not because of a rate increase or inaccurate meters but because certain customers’ bills were being estimated, and their actual water usage has increased in the meantime.

City of Elkins uses remote-read water meters. Instead of needing to be read manually by city personnel, these meters transmit reading data (i.e., how much water has been used) to be collected by a roving vehicle as it passes each of the city’s approximately 4,400 water-customer locations.

Water meters are being replaced for all 4,400 City of Elkins water customers because they are out of warranty, and their data transmitters were beginning to fail. Approximately half have been replaced already.

When meters stop transmitting, City of Elkins water bills are based on estimated readings. Estimated readings are the average of the most recent 12 months’ bills.

Customers who were receiving estimated bills might see increases once their meter has been replaced and their actual usage is once again being received by the city’s Utility Billing department.

When water bills increase after meter replacement, the usual reason is that water usage was previously being estimated, and it rose during the period of estimation. Such increases could result from the household adding new members or appliances. It could also result from undetected leaks that developed during the period of estimation.

These increased charges do not result from recapturing the entire under-billed amount, which the city does not do. Instead, with the new meters in place, accounts that were being estimated are now being billed based on actual usage data each period. Accounts whose usage increased during the period of estimation will therefore see higher bills going forward.

Paper bills for accounts being estimated indicate this by showing an “e” next to the usage amount. Electronic bills do not indicate whether an account’s charges are being estimated, but customers can call Utility Billing to find out. The W. Va. Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates water and other utilities in this state, does not specify how long utilities may use estimated readings.

City of Elkins water customers with questions about their bills or who wish to inquire about setting up a payment plan are encouraged to contact Utility Billing.

Additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about the water meter replacement project may be found here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsWaterMeters

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Elkins Announces New GIS Department

Elkins, W. Va., March 31, 2021: The establishment of a new department within the Elkins city government will enable City of Elkins to take even better advantage of modern digital tools and techniques for analyzing and presenting important data. Ben Martin, formerly an AmeriCorps member working with Elkins Main Street, has been hired as the city’s first Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technician and the sole member of the city’s new GIS Department.

The term GIS refers to specialized hardware, software, and personnel organized for the purpose of gathering, managing, and analyzing data with geospatial components. Most associated with the field of geography, GIS combines non-spatial data, such as demographics, records, or other details, with a spatial component, such as an address, coordinate, or boundary. Adding a spatial component to data allows GIS technicians to perform a range of analyses to better understand how data is related, where those relationships exist in the world around us, and what insights can be obtained from these relationships.

“While GIS tools help collect and discover new insights into data, GIS is most well-known for the ability to produce maps, and for good reason,” said Martin. “Without accurate, easily understood maps, the most profound insights from data won’t be visible to the end user. A lot of the efficiencies from GIS in local government come from being able to share information effectively with the public, elected officials, and city employees, and maps are a great tool for doing so.”

Indeed, one of the first priorities for the new department will involve mapping, specifically to capture the huge amount of infrastructure information that is currently recorded only on old paper maps and in the heads of longtime city employees.

“Right now, we have to rely more than we want to on human memory when it comes to locating key pieces of underground infrastructure,” says Bob Pingley, the city’s operations manager. “It will be a big step forward to be able to start systematically mapping all of that so that all city departments can access the information.”

The GIS technician will also collect data on new infrastructure components, such as the replacement remote-read water meters currently being installed citywide, as they go into the ground.

“The value of having every one of these water meters in a GIS database is not just being able to see them on a map and locate them more easily in the field, it’s being able to easily access information about each one, like its installation date, maintenance history, and other details that can save our crews time troubleshooting problems or making maintenance decisions,” Pingley says. “That’s just one of many examples of how GIS can help us by centralizing information in one easy-to-access place.”

Other high-priority projects for the GIS Department include managing the public-facing dilapidated properties dashboard that will come online during 2021 and coordinating sharing city address information with county E911 and addressing officials. GIS solutions can also help improve interdepartmental data sharing, support timesaving use of mobile devices in the field and enable streamlined communication between citizens and government officials.

Martin has already begun deploying GIS applications on the city’s GIS homepage (coewv.maps.arcgis.com).

“As quick demo projects, we’ve put up apps for exploring results from the 2019 and 2021 city elections, as well as a dashboard to help city residents figure out what ward they’re in for Spring Cleanup,” says Martin. “These are just simple first steps, but they give a taste of what GIS can do for Elkins. I’m really excited about building out these offerings and seeing what Elkins can accomplish with GIS tools.”

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City Hall Parking Lot Project Going to Bid

Elkins, W. Va., March 19, 2021: The City of Elkins will soon be accepting bids for construction services for a project to pave and make other improvements to the parking lot at Elkins City Hall. Parties interested in bidding must attend a mandatory pre-bid meeting on April 1 and submit bids by April 26. The pre-bid meeting and the bid opening will both be held at Elkins City Hall.

The project site includes both the police parking area adjacent to Davis Avenue and the large city/public parking area extending from behind city hall to Railroad Avenue. The lot, which is partially paved and partially gravel, or aggregate, is currently not ideal for year-round use.

“Right now, with that gravel surface, most of that parking lot is really not very useable during the winter months or during rainy weather,” says Bob Pingley, the city’s operations manager. “It’s also frankly not very attractive right now, and that’s unfortunate given the high utilization of Railroad Avenue by train customers and other visitors.”

Pingley says the project will correct these shortcomings and provide a parking alternative for anyone who needs to come downtown.

“Our goal with this project is to create a paved, well-lit, attractive parking lot with a large number of spaces for downtown business owners, customers, and other members of the public to use, free of charge,” he explained.

Project components include asphalt paving and striping; construction of concrete curbing and sidewalk; storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and electrical/communications modifications; landscaping, including planting green spaces with native species; and other items as time and budget allow.

“In the design process, we’re also going to be looking at implementing a standard look for signage and other elements to be used at all city properties,” said Pingley.

The firm of Pickering Associates is already under contract for project management, civil engineering, landscape design, and related services.

A pre-bid meeting will be held in council chambers at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue) on Thursday, April 1, at 9 a.m. This meeting is mandatory for any company planning to submit a bid. Bids will be accepted until 1 p.m. on April 26, 2021, at which time they will be opened in a public meeting. Both meetings are open to the public. This project is expected to be completed this year.

Parties interested in bidding must obtain a bid package from Pickering Associates. Electronic bid documents are available at www.pickeringplanroom.com at no cost.

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