Demolition begins

Three buildings were demolished recently on Mercer Street as part of the revitalization program for downtown. A farmers market will take the place of the buildings that once sat on 538, 604, and 606 Mercer St.

PRINCETON — The next step in getting the Mercer County Farmers Market established was done at Monday night’s Princeton City Council meting as Council unanimously voted to approve establishing a supervisory committee after a public hearing

Before the motion by Vice Mayor Tim Ealy with a second by Councilman Jim Harvey was passed, City Manager Mike Webb said the committee would consist of representatives of the city, the Mercer County Farmer’s Market, the WVU Extension Service and other affected agencies and set procedures for the market to operate.

The market will be built on the north side of Mercer Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.

Princeton Railroad Museum Director Pat Smith said that the first meeting with WVDOH engineers on the replacement of the Torn Street Bridge was recently held at the museum with 22 people present.

According to Smith, December also saw the museum welcome 335 visitors to bring the 2019 total to a record 4,416 people. Smith also said the museum was doing continued reaching out to neighboring West Virginia county boards of education to invite teachers and students to the museum.

Assistant Director of Public Works Eric Gatchell said efforts to replace the sidewalk at the corner of Bee Street and Stafford Drive would be done pending several consecutive days of warm weather.

Assistant Code Enforcement Director Ty Smith reported the department handled 130 new complaints in December, with 18 demolitions in process; 20 animal complaints; 20 building permits, 44 inspections; 20 flood plain determinations; four Certificate of Occupancy applications; and five units registered under rental compliance

On motion of Ealy with a second by Councilman Dewey Russell, Kurt Rice was named an alternative member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Fire Chief Chad Bailey reported that 2019 had no human fatalities as the result of fires, but five animals died in a fire on Ritchie Street.

Lt. Jeremy Halsey of the Princeton Police Department reported that the department had responded to 404 calls, made 30 arrests and issued 117 citations.

Ealy commended the PPD for their handling of the Thorn Street shooting incident which saw an arrest made within a week. He also asked that people not rely on social media for their news of such incidents, due to inaccuracies of such accounts.

On motion of Councilman Marshall Lytton with a second by Councilwoman Jacqueline Rucker, Council approved the December financial report.

On motion of Lytton and second by Councilman James Hill, Council approved the fifth budget revision of the FY 2020 city budget.

On motion of Lytton with a second by Harvey, Council approved a $500 donation to the PikeView High School “Project Graduation”.

The Print Studio at 514 Rogers Street was approved for a B & O Tax Incentive on motion of Lytton and second by Rucker.

On motion of Lytton with a second by Rucker, the city agreed to sponsor a grant resolution for the A-Palm Project, which is a building of a community center on High Street by resident Arnold Palmer. City Attorney Paul Cassell aid state law required that a municipality for a development grant by the state in such cases.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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