City Of Philippi – How It All Comes Together: Code Enforcement
by LANESSA MURPHY
When it comes to cracking codes in the City Of Philippi, Bill Annon knows all about that. After all, he is the City’s Code Enforcement Officer. Annon is a one-man show, working just three days a week helping residents and businesses all over Philippi. Though he is the only person in this department, he wears many hats, holding numerous responsibilities.
As the Code Enforcement Officer, Annon works directly with residents of Philippi. If there is a complaint, such as too much garbage in one’s yard, a yard is in need of tending, etc., Annon must check into the issue to determine if there is a true violation and to find out what options are available to settle the issue in a timely and civil manner. If the City of Philippi has the authority to settle the matter, Annon will address the landowner or present tenants to make them aware of the problem at hand through due process. The tenant or landowner is given a fair amount of time to take care of the matter. If it still isn’t fixed, Annon will hire someone to take on the task and the tenant or landowner is held responsible for the bill and other incurred charges.
Annon says some of seemingly simplest codes are often the ones the cause the most disruptions, they are as follows: 308.1 – Accumulation of rubbish or garbage (all exterior property, premises, and interior must be free from an accumulation of rubbish or garbage.) 308.2 Disposal of rubbish (must dispose of rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner), 308.2.1 – Rubbish storage facilities (supplying approved containers for rubbish and being responsible for the removal), 308.2.2 – Refrigerators (refrigerators and similar equipment must have doors removed before discarding), 308.3 – Disposal of Garbage (disposing of garbage in a clean, sanitary manner by placing trash in an approved garbage disposal facility or garbage containers), 302.4 – Weeds (Keeping property free of weeds or plant growth in excess of 8 inches), and 302.8 – Motor vehicles – (not having inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicles parked or stored on premises).
Annon also handles much of the legal work involved with abandoned or dilapidated houses in Philippi. He has the ability to condemn such houses. He takes the matter up with an attorney through due process and then on to circuit court to make the judgment of whether to condemn or repair the structures in question. Many times these houses have been neglected for so long that they can no longer safely hold occupants and must be demolished. In few cases can the houses actually be repaired, and if so, they must be upgraded to the 2012 International Building Code. The upgrades generally cost more than the houses’ actual worth and the houses are demolished.
Sadly, many of these properties are the result of the owners living outside of the city or even the state. For many, the property has been inherited and the owner either can’t or won’t take responsibility of the upkeep of the property.
“This is for the city, not only for their personal respect, “says Annon. “It’s for beautification, to make it a nice, clean place. That is what my objective is. All we want is for the town to be nice, the houses nicely painted so when people drive through they say, ‘It’s a nice town. That’s what our goal is.’”
While Annon is responsible for condemning structures in Philippi, he also grants local landowners in the residential zones the permit to build new ones. Prior to building any new improvement over the capital value of $100, a landowner must complete an application with Annon in City Hall. Annon must inspect the site and review property lines, proposed dimensions of the new structure, etc before the construction can be completed.
All contractors building new structures must be registered through the city and hold a city business license before they may begin any work within city limits.
Annon can also issue permits to demolish structures as well.
Annon must also inspect and approve any large structures built in Philippi. He most recently inspected the new residence halls at Alderson Broaddus University as well as the Hyden Green Apartments above town. While it is a requirement to hold a building permit, Annon must also have a copy of the construction plans on file. He is also responsible for inspecting plumbing, electrical wiring, the footer inspection prior to construction, etc, and a final inspection after the building is complete, Annon must issue a certificate of occupancy before new tenants can move in.
If companies or individuals would like to change zoning, they must file a petition with Annon for a variance. Annon gathers information such as radiuses and other important data. Once he has that information, it is forwarded to the Planning Commission and public hearings are held. It is then sent to City Council to be voted upon.
Along with Annon’s many duties, he also is the flood plain manager. He lets residents who may be building a new structure know how high their structure has to be above base elevation or if they can build in a specific location that may be prone to frequent flooding. He also works very closely with FEMA.
Annon completes several trainings a year and is a certified building inspector, which means he can approve or disapprove plumbing, electrical, or structural matters. Also, he completes six hours of flood training through the State of West Virginia.
Annon can be reached at the City Hall on Main Street or by calling 304-457-3700.
Philippi Main Street To Participate In Statewide Cleanup
Philippi Main Street needs volunteers to join in and help with the community’s annual spring cleanup day.
Main Street’s cleanup will take place on April 18. Volunteers for the event are asked to meet on the Courthouse Square at 9 a.m. for cleaning assignments. Volunteers will pick up trash throughout the downtown area, trail, and parks if possible. Refreshments and lunch will be provided for those who help with the event.
For additional information, call Tammy Stemple at 304-457-3700 ext. 226.
Congressman David McKinley Visits The Barbour Democrat
On Tuesday, March 31, Congressman David McKinley, U.S. Representative for West Virginia's 1st congressional district, stopped by The Barbour Democrat Offices to sit down with our staff to discuss important issues facing Barbour County, West Virginia, and the United States as a whole.
Congressman McKinley held a round table with senior citizens, visited Broaddus Hospital, and made several other stops while visiting Barbour County before dropping by The Barbour Democrat to chat with staff.
During the interview, Congressman McKinley expressed his desire for the American public to rise up and pay attention to the important issues rather than be distracted by the commonly publicized issues while others are swept into legislation under the rug.
“Often people in Washington will try to … divert your attention off of real issues,” says Congressman McKinley. “To me the real issue in America is the economy—getting our people working again. They will throw up these other issues to divert your attention away from [other issues].”
Congressman McKinley discussed his desire to see more jobs return to the state and for a workforce motivated to hold those positions. Concern was expressed to find new ways to bring back a motivated workforce and for ways to keep working families staying in the area.
As the interview continued, the Congressman expressed his opinion on proposed ammunition bans and gun control legislation, both of which he simply opposed.
“When they put that in the Constitution, there was a reason for that, and we should respect that,” states McKinley.
Moving forward on a global scale, Congressman McKinley still believes that the United States is a leading power, but also believes that the country has been led down some difficult and troublesome roads.
“We used to be the dominant force, but unfortunately, we’re not as forceful as we used to be,” says McKinley. “When we speak, people believe what we’re saying.”
The Congressman expressed concern over the current administration attempting to change the United State’s relationships with other ally nations, particularly Israel.
“I think terrorism is own of our biggest nightmares, one of the biggest threats facing America. We can’t get this administration to acknowledge terror organizations. It’s a serious threat to all of us. It diverts our attention from our economic recovery. We can put it to rest, but instead we just keep playing political games with it, not calling the evil for what it is. We can’t get the administration to get [terrorist threats] forcefully resolved,” says Congressman McKinley.
At the close of the interview, however, the Congressman voiced hopeful thoughts about the future of Congress and our nation.
“We’re in good shape,” says McKinley. “I expect good things before the end of the year.”
Board Of Education Approves School Calendar Allowing “Fair Day”
On Monday, the Barbour County Board of Education approved a draft of
the 2015-2016 School Calendar to be sent out for approval at the state
level. During the regular session meeting, the board members voted
unanimously 4:0 (board member Reggie Trefethen was not present) to
approve a calendar option that provides students one day off during the
annual Barbour County Fair. The “fair day” is intended to keep students
from having to take educational leave to take care of animals during the
In the approved draft, a day off is scheduled for Friday,
September 4, 2015, during the Barbour County Fair, in order to give
students participating in livestock shows and events one day off from
school to take care of their animals and prepare for showings.
prior meeting, the board members heard from representatives of the
Barbour County Livestock Association, Barbour County 4-H members and
leaders, and members of the Barbour County Fair Board, all of whom
expressed their desire for students to be given educational leave during
the week of the Barbour County Fair. The organizations expressed their
desire to see students have the Thursday and Friday of fair week off
from school. The Fair Board agreed to work with the schedule in order to
better accommodate students’ educational needs.
school calendars start much earlier than previous years, students are
now in school during the week of the fair, which puts a strain on the
students and parents who participate in livestock events.
70-100 students participate in livestock events at the fair, which
requires each participant to spend long days and longer nights at the
fairgrounds showing and taking care of their animals, in addition to the
cost of animals and feed for their livestock projects. For those
students that receive educational leave of absence or are simply counted
absent during the fair, make-up work from the missed instructional time
is also time-consuming and difficult, putting more strain on students
The board members voted unanimously to approve the
calendar option that best fit both the school system and the community’s
needs. If approved at the state level, the compromise between the board
and the Livestock Association will greatly benefit students involved in
livestock activities at the fair.
In addition to the “fair day,”
two CE (Continuing Education) days are scheduled in the calendar for the
beginning of the school year to allow faculty and staff time to prepare
for the start of the school year. The calendar designates that the
first semester will end prior to Christmas break once again, which has
worked well for both students and faculty.
In other news, the board
recognized Meng Chen for her work this year as the Chinese Language
teacher at Philip Barbour High School. Elaine Benson presented Chen with
a certificate and commended her work with students. Chen expressed her
appreciation of the opportunity to teach in Barbour County and described
it as one of her best memories.
“It will be one of my best memories my whole life,” expressed Chen at the meeting.
Board of Education will meet again in regular session on Monday, April
27, at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education Office in Philippi.
Super Presents Address At Annual ABU Honors Convocation
On Saturday, April 11, Alderson Broaddus University hosted the 62nd annual Honors Convocation in Wilcox Chapel. The special convocation ceremony honors outstanding student academic achievement and leadership. For this year’s ceremony, ABU welcomed Barbour County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Super as the convocation speaker.
In his address, Dr. Super urged students to continue on a path of excellence, achievement, and leadership throughout their lives. He expressed that the students honored must take their achievements and continue them by becoming servant leaders.
“You are our future,” Dr. Super expressed. “Do not let the honors you receive today end just by being an honor. Let it be a part of who you will become by what you do in life. Much is going to be asked of you. Let how you answer define you.”
Dr. Super’s address was full of encouragement, humility, and good humor. Super even invited students to take a “selfie” with their cell phones and urged each student to remember the honors received on Saturday as they continue on honorable paths in life.
University president Dr. Richard Creehan introduced Dr. Super as his friend and colleague, and commended Dr. Super’s career-long dedication to student education. Dr. Super also commended the university for its commitment to academic integrity and dedication to students.
The convocation opening prayer was given by Ashley Mace, who majors in Christian Studies, Psychology, and Family Studies. The Alderson Broaddus Men’s Quartet performed in the absence of the Women’s Quartet, who could not attend because of illness. Awards were presented to students by President Creehan, Provost Joan Propst, and Registrar Sandra Hoxie. The benediction was given by Madison Riffle, a senior Christian Studies major.
Philippi Contemplates City Hall Move
Philippi City Council met in regular session in on Tuesday, April 7. During the meeting, City Manager Karen Weaver explained to the council and those in attendance that the city is currently looking in to move City Hall offices to another building in Philippi, possibly the Hu C. Myers Building. Weaver asked the council to allow the city to conduct a feasibility study to determine if the move would be feasible.
“We’re running out of room at this City Hall,” said Mayor Mouser. “We feel it would be in our best interest to move.”
In other news, the council held the second reading for revisions to the B&O tax ordinance and the first reading of an ordinance revision to a procurement and competitive biding ordinance, which will adjust bid pricing to current market rates. Both ordinance readings were passed unanimously. The council also motioned to purchase a dump truck which will be used by all city departments as needed.
Furthermore, Mayor Mouser proclaimed April Fair Housing Month, following a proclamation from Governor Tomblin, and also proclaimed this week, April 12-18, National Library Week at the request of Judy Larry and the Philippi Public Library.
City Of Belington Seeks Volunteers For City Clean-Up Day
The City of Belington City Cleanup, scheduled for Saturday April 25, 2015, is quickly approaching. Mayor Matt Ryan and members of City Council welcome any interested volunteers to take part in the Cleanup. Volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the city garage on Crim Avenue and assigned to a group. Shovels, brooms, hand tools, mops, cleaning supplies, and buckets are welcome. During the event, volunteers will have an opportunity to give back to the community by picking up trash, sweeping streets, cleaning flowerbeds, cutting brush, etc.
In appreciation of those who volunteer, the Junior Lions Club plan to serve hot dogs and hamburgers mid-afternoon to those who lend a hand in cleaning and take pride in their city. Anyone who would like to volunteer but is not physically able to do so can volunteer a covered dish, baked goods, or drinks. Let’s Keep Our City Clean.