KEYSER - The Keyser City Council has approved having Mill Meadow Park surveyed in preparation for possibly selling the Alkire Mansion and all of the park except for the “Red” Kitzmiller Ballfield.


By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser City Council has approved having Mill Meadow Park surveyed in preparation for possibly selling the Alkire Mansion and all of the park except for the “Red” Kitzmiller Ballfield.
Mayor Damon Tillman announced during the last council meeting that the Potomac Valley Transit Authority had expressed interest in purchasing the Alkire Mansion for purposes of placing a satellite office there.
After meeting with Tillman and city administrator Buck Eagle and looking “quite extensively” at the mansion, however, Tillman said they decided against the purchase.
“They are not interested in purchasing it, but they are interested in purchasing the land where the pavilion sits,” he said.
Tillman called the possibility of bringing PVTA to Keyser “a good thing.
“They’re wanting to build buildings to store buses in,” he said, adding that not only is the transit authority working on bringing additional services to Keyser in addition to their current bus runs, but doing so would also mean additional jobs for the Keyser area.
Of Mill Meadow, Tillman said, “That land is doing nothing for us except costing us money.
“My thought is, maybe we can offer them the whole area, including the mansion.”
Although the Mineral County Historical Foundation had, under the leadership of Leon Ravenscroft, been working with a previous city administration to renovate the building for possible use as a meeting or event venue, Tillman said the building has no historical value.
“It’s not a historical property,” he said. “The building really needs to be knocked down.
“I know they’ve put money into it, but for what? We’re not getting anything out of it,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity and it’s the only land we have for PVTA to come here.”
Both council members Terry Liller and Eric Murphy commented that the building’s age in itself makes it “historic,” and Liller went on to say, “It’s a mansion; it’s not just a house.”
He continued, however, “I don’t object to trying to figure out a way to dispense with the building.”
Someone in the audience asked what repairs had been done to the mansion, and if the city officials felt it amounted to the $18,000 which the city contributed to the work, and it was noted that some new windows and a heating system were installed.
“I appreciate everything he’s (Ravenscroft) done out there, but I also think it’s not in the best interest of Keyser to keep it,” Tillman said.
Liller brought up the fact that, if the city were to offer the property up for sale, they would have to make public notification.
He suggested a special meeting to discuss the issue, but Tillman said, “We need to move on this tonight. Somebody make a motion to do something.”
Liller then made a motion to have the property surveyed and to schedule a work session to discuss whether they can legally sell the property directly to the PVTA.”
Jennifer Junkins seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.