The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

November 14, 2012

Search on for group to take over operation of Heritage Festival

FAYETTEVILLE — The Town of Fayetteville is searching for a civic group to take over organization of the community’s Heritage Festival, held each year in July.

“If someone doesn’t take it over, the town won’t have it next year,” says Town Recorder Zenda Vance.

The American Legion used to hold the festival, which began in 1951, but gave it up in 1989. At that time, a group of citizens took over and ran it for several years. It eventually came under the town’s jurisdiction, but they are now looking to get out of the festival business.

“We really have too many critical issues to address as a town that it really needs to go to an organization that can dedicate the time,” says council member Sharon Cruikshank.

Though the event does bring in revenue and helps support local businesses, it does not turn a profit.

Any group that takes over can ask the town for financial support, and there may be leftover funds in the Fairs and Festivals Board account for that purpose. The board was recently dissolved.

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Also during last Thursday’s meeting the council discussed at length the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation to rezone the 190-acre Gaines Estate from residential to planned development.

Cascade Properties is seeking to develop a resort on the property, with a conference center and “high-end” vacation rentals.

Council decided to accept the board’s recommendation for the four parcels of land in the estate, on the condition that one of the parcels be resubmitted to the Planning and Zoning Board with a timeline for its use.

The parcel in question contains a caretaker’s house for the Gaines Mansion that Cascade Properties initially proposed using as an office with light retail.

Some neighbors believe that a commercial enterprise at the location could damage property values.

At a recent board meeting, Bill Wells of Cascade agreed to locate the office there only temporarily, eventually moving it to the renovated mansion. He will clarify and resubmit his plans for the parcel at a future Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

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