CARPENDALE - In a standing room only crowd of family and friends, Dwight (Casey) Lambert returned to the helm as mayor in Carpendale Tuesday.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspndent
CARPENDALE - In a standing room only crowd of family and friends, Dwight (Casey) Lambert returned to the helm as mayor in Carpendale Tuesday.
“We have a wonderful town here, but we’ve got work to do. We’ve had it in the past and we will have it in the future,” said Lambert as he welcomed family from Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Fairmont, West Virginia, to the town meeting.
“I’m a big supporter of getting the bridge done,” he said of the proposed bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green, which would provide alternative access to the town, remove truck traffic from the residential streets and open economic opportunities.
“If we expect to grow as a town, we have to have business. You can’t operate on just the tax money you get from the county,” said Lambert adding that the next step toward that is changing the zoning on the CSX property to commercial.
“It is essential that we get this done to get businesses,” he added, noting that the bridge will be a benefit to the town and with businesses wanting to move in it can help drive efforts for funding the bridge.
“The governor’s office is interested in working on it,” said Del. Gary Howell of the bridge. “I think we are moving in the right direction.”
Lambert said that commissioner Butch Armentrout, who recently fulfilled his term as  mayor and returned to the council, will continue to work on projects such as the bridge.
“He’s already done a lot of the legwork,” said Lambert.
Armentrout explained that the CSX property was not originally zoned as commercial when the zoning was implemented in town because the railroad was still operating there at the time.
The council plans to hold its first reading of the ordinance to change the zoning at its August meeting.
Other topics high on the council’s agenda are the condition of the streets and blighted properties.
Commissioner Virgil O’Neal suggested that the town either needs to get someone to patch all the holes or to repair one street.
“The longer they are left go, the harder they are to repair,” said commissioner Clarence Murray.
Despite the needed repairs, Armentrout noted that Carpendale’s streets are in good shape compared to many other areas.
Howell noted that Carpendale is a “point of pride for Mineral County.”
In recent years, the town has been paving one street at a time and Lambert noted that council will evaluate the streets along with resident concerns to determine priories for what needs done.
Fines have been levied for blighted properties and Lambert urged residents to “Give us a little time and we will get into it.”
“It all goes back to how do we want our town to look,” he added noting that the council “can only do what the town ordinances allow.”