KEYSER - Keyser mayor Damon Tillman said Monday it is his intention to recommend to the city council Wednesday that they not include Mill Meadow Park in the sale when the Alkire Mansion property goes on the auction block.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Keyser mayor Damon Tillman said Monday it is his intention to recommend to the city council Wednesday that they not include Mill Meadow Park in the sale when the Alkire Mansion property goes on the auction block.
“I will not be present for Wednesday’s meeting, but I will leave my recommendation with Amanda (city administrator Amanda Brafford),” Tillman told the News Tribune.
The council voted Aug. 14, following an executive session to discuss the property, to put both the Alkire Mansion and the remainder of Mill Meadow Park up for auction.
The vote came on the heels of Tillman’s announcement in July that a local agency was interested in purchasing the mansion.
The officials noted Aug. 14, however, that the council cannot sell city property outright, but instead must place it up for auction to the highest bidder.
Tillman told the News Tribune after that vote to auction the property that it was the council’s decision to sell both the mansion and the park. The Red Kitzmiller Ballfield and adjacent parking lot would be excluded.
It was also noted that the sale agreement would include the stipulation that the mansion not be torn down and that the buyer maintain the facade of the Civil War-era building.
Announcement of the decision to sell caused a flurry of comments on social media, with area resident Melanie Minshall launching a petition drive to implore the city to keep the section of the park that includes the gazebo and walking trail behind it.
Monday, Tillman said he was aware of the sentiments expressed on Facebook and elsewhere.
“I hear the people; I do listen to the people,” he said. “And it is my recommendation that we keep the park.”
The final decision is up to the five-member council, however, as Keyser’s city government is set up so that the mayor has no vote in the decision-making process. He does have veto power, but the council can come back and vote to override the veto.
The mansion is not on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, but Minshall is planning to be present to speak to the officials and present the petitions.
The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall.