Amidst budget cuts, the City of Beckley continues to renovate an - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Amidst budget cuts, the City of Beckley continues to renovate and improve Uptown

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Uptown renovations continue amidst Beckley's budget cuts Uptown renovations continue amidst Beckley's budget cuts
We're just a few weeks into the new fiscal year for the City of Beckley, and we're finding out how the City is planning on spending it's almost $17 million budget.

Back in January, council members voted to temporarily freeze the hiring of new city employees, and the City decided to take a 10 percent spending cut. Councilman-At-Large Tim Berry told 59News their goal is to prioritize the biggest concerns residents have, such as paving. Beckley completed the paving on Prince Street over the weekend.

"This past winter was a little harder than normal on our streets and the Street Department continues to do a great job with the little they have to work with this year," Berry said.

Berry said Mayor Bill O'Brien will be mailing letters to residents addressing the concerns of annexation. He told us the biggest hurdle is working with residents who want to be annexed but their neighbors don't and vice versa. This is where Beckley stands in taking away the eyesore left at "the hole" from a massive fire 2 1/2 years ago.

"Mr. Mize will be at the next planning commission meeting. I am told that he has submitted his plans to the fire department and the engineers have everything they need now," said Berry.

Progress will soon be underway for the city's Uptown renovations.

The Bickey family has certainly notified us that they want to proceed with the demolition of the buildings and the installation of the parking lot," he told us.

One lifelong resident told us he's so excited for Beckley's potential, he can't wait to open up a new business right in the heart of Uptown.

"There's wonderful businesses and tons of things to do in this area. We lived in Bluefield for a little while and we liked their bus transit system but Beckley is a more quieter, much nicer place to live, especially to raise children and to walk around in these neighborhoods," said Beckley resident Roger Wyatt.

Roger Wyatt will be opening up a children's toy store on Neville Street across from Mcbees Irish Pub. 

Meetings will be held in the near future for the public to voice their concerns on Beckley's annexation. The annexation would add almost 20,000 new residents to the City. Beckley would geographically increase from 13 to almost 15 square miles.

The Planning Commission Meeting will be held in Beckley on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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