Elk Garden council member resigns

Ronda Wertman
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ELK GARDEN – Councilman Charles Welch has resigned from the Elk Garden City Council.

The mayor and council unanimously accepted his resignation this week. Welch had tendered his resignation on March 16, with no reason given, only a note saying, “I Charles Welch am resigning from the town council of Elk Garden as of today.”

His name however, will still be on the ballot for the June 8 election, as the ballot was certified this week and includes mayor Marian Droppleman, clerk Brandi Paugh and for council Kevin Broadwater, Michael Droppleman, Jody Paugh, Donald “Louie” Stewart, Dave Tichnell, Charles Welch and Gary Wildman.

Welch’s resignation comes after Droppleman addressed the council at the March 7 meeting, calling for cooperation among the town officials.

“Watch what you say; it will come back to bite you and what you reap is what you sow,” cautioned the mayor.

“I hate to be the one who has to sit up here and preach,” she continued. “Try to work together for the betterment of the town. Think before you say something about somebody. Let’s have respect for one another, respect for the town too. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, I’m proud of this town,” she said.

On a positive note, Droppleman announced that the town is receiving a $90,000 Homeland Security Grant as part of the coronavirus American Rescue Act.

Droppleman said that Senator Joe Manchin’s office advised that the town would receive the first half in 60 days, with the remainder next year.

She said that representatives told her that information would be forthcoming on what the funds can be used for.

A memo from the State Auditor’s Office addressed record keeping for the federal funds, which must be deposited into a special account and an online accounting system must be utilized until all the funds have been expended.  

The council is also waiting on additional information on a $17,000 grant from US Windforce toward the construction of an equipment building.

On a final note, the town recently purchased a new police cruiser. The 2013 police interceptor comes to the town from Fairfax County, Virginia, through High Performance Motors. The $8,900 price included lights and sirens for the Ford Escape with 77,000 miles.

The council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. April 20 to lay the levy for the upcoming budget year.