POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — 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. That location was not specified at the meeting. 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.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.