KEYSER - The impending auction of the Alkire Mansion and the Mineral County Historical Foundation's request for repayment of funds used to renovate the mansion are on the agenda for the next Keyser City Council meeting.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The impending auction of the Alkire Mansion and the Mineral County Historical Foundation’s request for repayment of funds used to renovate the mansion are on the agenda for the next Keyser City Council meeting.
After the council announced Aug. 14 that the Alkire Mansion and the adjacent Mill Meadow Park would be put on the auction block, Frank Roleff, vice president of the Historical Foundation, appeared before them on Aug. 28 and asked for repayment of the $10,944 which he said had been donated to the foundation and used to repair the first floor of the pre-Civil War era building.
“We are seeking restitution,” he said, noting that the $10,000+ figure represented the donations that were given by businesses, organizations and individuals to be used toward what they thought would eventually become a community center.
The money was given in good faith, he said, that the mansion, once finished, would be kept by the city for use by the community.
City council member Jennifer Junkins said, however, that she did not recall that promise ever being made by the previous administration, on which she, Terry Liller and Eric Murphy served.“
“Whenever they first came in here, they said, ‘We want to restore this, we have volunteers, and we want to see it put to good use,’” she said.
“They said, ‘We don’t want anything out of it.’ So I don’t understand what changed,” she said.
Because the request was not on the agenda for the Aug. 28 meeting, the council could not take action on Roleff’s request.
With the Alkire Mansion also on the agenda, it is expected the officials will take action Wednesday to approve or deny Roleff’s request, and also to set the date for the auction.
In the meantime, resident Melanie Minshall also addressed the officials on Aug. 28 to ask them to reconsider selling Mill Meadow Park with the mansion. She is in the process of circulating a petition to keep the park for use by the community.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.