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Vanceburg Mural Damaged

Christy Hoots, The Ledger Independent

A mural, which depicts Vanceburg in the 1950s, is in danger of being damaged.

Earlier this week, Vanceburg City Council heard from mural creator Danny McCane, who said the mural was never placed on the side of the J.C. Video building as originally planned.

Instead, it was erected as a billboard and placed where it could be seen as visitors enter Vanceburg.

"About two weeks before the mural was supposed to be placed on the side of the building, plans fell through," McCane said. "We had about a week to find an option."

According to McCane, the panels beneath the billboard have been pulled loose, causing the billboard to lean backwards.

"It needs to be supported from behind," McCane said. "This isn't something that is going to straighten itself out. The mural is in danger of being damaged worse and I don't want to see that happen."

The mural was created in 2013 by McCane, who wanted to honor his late brother, Joe, who was killed in a fire that destroyed Joe's store, McCane's Collectibles.

It depicts businesses that were a part of Vanceburg in the 1950s, but no longer exist.

Mandy Hart and Joni Pugh, who work with the Center for Appalachian Philanthropy, said the mural can be taken down until another option can be found.

"We could take it down and store it for now," Hart told council members. "That would, at least, help to prevent further damage."

During the meeting, Mayor Matt Ginn also discussed several items of concern with council members that included rent negotiations with the local daycare, the lack of an ethics board, delinquent taxes and insurance paid on fire equipment no longer being used by the city.

According to Ginn, Lewis County Childcare Daycare, which is located on River Road in Vanceburg, currently pays the city $100 a month to rent the location.

Ginn said this concerned him because the city pays to have the building insured and while the daycare is profitable, the costs are hurting the city budget.

"We're paying more in insurance for this building than we're getting back," Ginn said. "I want to go and talk with the daycare about negotiating the rent. I don't need approval on this, but I wanted to see if any of you have any objections."

No objections were made and Ginn said he would set up a time to discuss the rent with the tenants.

Ginn told council members he was also concerned with the lack of an ethics board in the city and told council members he had appointed three people to sit on the new board.

"It came to my attention that we did not have an ethics board," he said. "That was a concern to me because it's something we need. If an ethical dilemma should surface, having a board will come in handy."

The tax delinquency in Vanceburg also totals $27,000, which Ginn said he is making plans to collect.

Ginn told council members he will have written notices sent out to those behind on their taxes, which will allow 30 days to pay those taxes. If the taxes are still not paid, names will be posted in the newspaper.

"This is what other cities and counties do and I think we should do it, too," Ginn said. "We're working to see what options a city can take in order to get the taxes owed. Everyone else pays their taxes -- these people need to pay theirs."

Finally, Ginn told council members that while looking through insurance policies, he found the several pieces of fire equipment from the old Vanceburg Fire Post Two was still insured, but no longer being used.

"I'm continuing to try to find out what all is still insured, what we have and what we don't have," he said. "It will probably take me the rest of the month, but this needs to be straightened out. This will save us about $3,000 a year."

The Ledger Independent is online at: http://www.maysville-online.com