A concerned citizen appeared before the Paden City Council May 7 with questions regarding the use of all-terrain vehicles in the city limits, prompting a brief discussion on the rules outlined in the ordinance.
"There are 4-wheelers being driven in the park by children under the age of 18," he commented. "Isn't there an age requirement for the use of these vehicles on city streets?"
Mayor Bill Fox replied, "Yes. Operators must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license."
The council went on to further clarify the ordinance, citing several specific points of reference.
"Any operator of an all-terrain vehicle shall abide by all local ordinances and state traffic laws applicable to operators of motor vehicles in the City of Paden City and the State of West Virginia."
According to the ordinance, any person operating an all-terrain vehicle is required to have insurance with a minimum liability coverage limit of $20,000 to cover bodily harm or death "of one person in any one accident, and subject to said limit for one person, in the amount of $40,000 because of bodily harm or death of two persons or more in any one accident; and in the amount of $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident." A newly approved and adopted ordinance outlines the registration requirements that apply to all-terrain vehicle, including golf carts, driven in the city. Councilman Richard Wright explained, "Any operator of an all-terrain vehicle is required to complete an application to the Paden City Police Department for a certificate of registration."
Additionally, they are required to provide a copy of the operator's current driver's license and proof of insurance. Upon the approval of the application, the operator will receive an all-terrain vehicle registration card and identification number. "This number must be prominently displayed and readily visible on the registered vehicle," Wright explained. "The letters must be at least three inches tall and must be displayed on the front and back of the vehicle." He suggested using white or black letters for this purpose.
While operating an all-terrain vehicle on city streets, the driver is required to have in his or her possession, at all times, the all-terrain vehicle registration card, driver's license, and proof of insurance.
"This needs to be enforced," Wright commented.
Due to the number of complaints received at the city building, Mayor Fox advised that officers from the Paden City Police Department will be checking to make sure all vehicles they observe meet the guidelines outlined in the ordinance. "We will be checking to make sure every operator is legal," he said.
Ginger Wilcox asked the council to consider paving some streets in the city. "I would like council to canvass the streets and see about paving a few of them," she said, adding it was time to stop hoarding the citizen's money.
Wilcox also commented on the office space occupied by the Paden City Development Authority in the Paden City Municipal Building. She noted that each department provided funds to pay menial expenses such as utilities, except for the PCDA. "I feel it's only fair for them to pay for their office space. We charged them before, why aren't we charging them now?"
The question arose after the city received a bill from the development authority in the amount of $988.12 for items stored at the Paden City Industrial Park, a property owned by the PCDA.
In light of numerous disagreements between the city and the PCDA, Councilman Matt Ferrebee suggested the mayor appoint a committee to serve as a liaison between the two entities. Mayor Fox appointed Ferrebee, as well as Councilman Tom Trader and Councilman Dan Probst to the committee charged with mediating. The three councilmen will report on their findings next month.
City Attorney Carolyn Flannery stated, "The PCDA is an arm of the city." It was noted that the entity was organized to spur economic growth.
Cork Bowen, a member of the PCDA and the Cornerstone Project, pointed out a positive for the city to ponder, "The Industrial Park in now 70 percent full."
The PCDA, now run by a group of volunteers, is doing well according to Bowen.
Rodney McWilliams made some remarks, stating the city should not underscore the success of those who organized the PCDA in the early stages. "The PCDA is healthy. It's gone through a cycle," he said. "But the PCDA has a long history of success in this town. No one rode in on a white horse in the past two years."
Under building and grounds, the council discussed an amendment to the ordinance relating to grass clippings. This issue was brought to light in an earlier meeting after it was discovered that clippings had clogged a storm drain, causing significant damage. Councilman Glenn "Bob" Casteel reiterated the importance of picking up the grass. "Please do not blow the clippings into the street," he stressed.
Property owners found in violation of this request may be subject to a fine and applicable court costs.
McWilliams spoke to council about the Paden City Foundation 5K Walk and Run slated for June 2 at 9 a.m. The event, now in its second year, was successful last year and brought 100 entrants to the streets of Paden City.
"The foundation is promoting healthy lifestyles and wants to make opportunities for our residents and visitors to partake in activities that will make us healthier individuals," McWilliams said.
The race also serves as a benefit for three projects of the Paden City Foundation: The Scholarship Fund (Hope and Owen McKay Fund), the Paden City Museum and Cultural Center, and the Cornerstone Project Committee.
"This is a competitive race for runners and walkers, but it is also for recreational running and walking," McWilliams said. "It's part of the Ohio River Racing Series, along with the Jim Quinet 5K Memorial Run scheduled for July in New Martinsville."
Plaques will be awards to the top three overall finishers in run and walk divisions, both male and female. Medals will be awarded to age group winners for both divisions, and male and female.
McWilliams noted the course is almost flat and was designed to avoid through traffic on state Route 2. "This will be good for all experience levels," he said.
In addition to runners and walkers, the foundation is also inviting wheelchair racers to the event.
The entry fee is $10 per person; registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of the race.
Before adjourning, Councilman Trader stated he believed "every meeting should be posted under the 'coming events' section of the local newspaper. Standard procedure dictates that meetings are to be posted on the bulletin board outside the Recorder's Office. However, the council agreed to submit the list for inclusion in the newspaper.
The public meetings for the City of Paden City include the following:
City Council meets on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m.; The Park and Pool committee meets on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m.; the Paden City Development Authority meets on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m.; the Sanitation Board meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m.; and there is a business meeting held at 10 a.m. on the last day of each month. All meetings are held in the council chambers at the Paden City Municipal Building.