CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A delegation from Charleston's sister city in Slovakia spent its final evening in the United States at the Charleston City Council meeting Monday evening, where the members were recognized by Mayor Danny Jones and council members.
The delegation, which consisted of eight people from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, was in Charleston for the past week, visiting various sites around the city and taking part in FestivALL. The group returns home today.
"We had a wonderful visit and were happy they could join us," City Manager David Molgaard said.
Charleston and Banska Bystrica have been in a sister city relationship since 2009. The delegation that visited this year included Mayor Peter Gogola and his wife, Katarina Gogolova, Dr. Juraj Svac, Jozef Mak, Andrea Makova, Veronika Bodnarikova, Zuzana Kucerova and Professor Igor Kosir of Matej Bel University.
"It was very interesting for us," Gogola said of the visit.
Gogola said that the sister city relationship is beneficial to both communities, particularly in regard to relationships between hospitals in Charleston and Banska Bystrica and the University of Charleston and Matej Bel University. Like Charleston, Banska Bystrica is surrounded by hills and forests, and is dealing with similar economic issues, Gogola said.
Council members also:
n Unanimously approved an ordinance allowing up to three honeybee colonies and up to six hens on residential properties in the city, among other agriculture-related provisions.
n Approved $700,000 to repair and strengthen the bank of the Kanawha River from the 35th Street Bridge to Greenbrier Street. The funding provided by the city is a match for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grant that will provide up to $1.5 million for the project.
The work will ensure that the riverbank will continue to be stable and support Kanawha Boulevard and the sidewalk that runs next to that thoroughfare.
"If we don't do this, the issue is slippage and the loss of the street," Molgaard said. "The Corps has recognized this is a priority given the erosion."
Future projects will involve rehabilitating the rest of the riverbank from Greenbrier Street to the Elk River, but those areas aren't as high of a priority as the section for which funding was approved.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.
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