Paden City Council heard the concerns of several citizens at its May 6 meeting.
The paving of Marshall Alley, which runs parallel to Route 2 from the high school to Ann Street, continued to be a topic of discussion. One woman in attendance stated that alleyways were not mentioned in the street levy ordinance and defined the difference between streets and alleys.
"According to Webster a street is a thoroughfare wider than an alley," she said. "An alley is a garden or a park narrower than a street just allowing access to some property."
She went on to say that, if the council wanted to pave an alley, they should make an amendment to the ordinance. The council made no motion to consider changing the ordinance.
"If you're going to do streets, do streets," said a man in attendance. "If you're going to do alleys, I'd like mine done too."
Ed Parsons, on behalf of Paden City Neighborhood Watch and Paden City Park Board, brought to the council's attention what he feels is a "serious health and safety problem" resulting from the work of contractors in a building on Mills Street.
"I have concerns about the condition of the building they're working in to start with," he said. "It's a dilapidated building and it's not secure and nobody should be allowed in there.
"Besides that, any material that's in there is airborne," he continued, referring to the building's previously broken-out windows. "It's going out on First Avenue and it's going into Paden City Park. I'm thinking of the kids in the park and the citizens on First Avenue."
Parsons stated that he reported the hazards to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He said that he would like the council to consider the safety concerns, and he turned in a signed form on behalf of the Neighborhood Watch.
"The route you're taking it is the best way to handle it in my opinion," said Mayor John Hopkins.
Another citizen brought to the council's attention the condition of blacktop on Van Buren Street, which he suggested could be potentially destructive to vehicles. He also mentioned a gas line which he feels is in a hazardous location.
Joanna Casto, director of the Paden City Public Library, reported that in the past year the library circulated 16,500 items, including books, magazines, and DVDS.
"That's a lot of items for a small town," she said. "We do service the other communities as well because the libraries work together. Library cards at Paden City are good at Sistersville and New Martinsville, and vice versa."
She attributed a large part of the library's continuing success to city support.
"I just want to thank you for your support in the past and ask that you continue that," she said.
In financial matters, the council determined to look into the possibility of changing their policy regarding landlords paying for tenants' water fees. According to Mayor Hopkins, those renting the properties are refusing to pay other municipal levies, racking up charges and then moving without paying them. Because the water bills are being paid, the city cannot shut off their water and thus has no leverage.
Regarding citizens leaving town for extended periods, the council determined that they must first report to the city if they would like to have their water shut off, otherwise they will be paying the bill for the time they are gone. The reason for this was listed as confusion created when citizens do not accurately report which dates they leave and return.
Councilman Tom Trader reported that compensation for the position of Certified Pool Operator has been raised to $240 per month. Also, the handicap chair for the park and pool has been ordered, paid for, and should arrive soon.
The council met in executive session to discuss high grass on certain properties. Upon resuming the regular meeting, they determined to address the issue firsthand with the owners of those properties.
Councilman Richard Wright reported feedback on the police department. "I've been hearing good things about them," he said. "They're doing a fine job."
In other news, the council made budget revisions for the fire and police departments, determined to purchase a "Slow Children Playing" sign for 701 North Sixth Avenue and decided to send city employee Josh Billiter to backflow prevention training July 8-12 in Ripley, W.Va.
They also issued a reminder to all ATV owners to re-register their vehicles with the Paden City Police Department beginning July 1. Proof of insurance is required.
Minutes were approved for the April 1 regular meeting and the April 16 and 19 special meetings. City bills were paid.