New Martinsville council unanimously passed the second reading and adopted an increase of the business and occupation tax during their June 3 meeting. A public hearing and first reading were held at the city's special meeting on May 13.
The new rates that reflect a 25 percent increase will go into effect July 1. The city should see the results by the end of the third quarter. Councilwoman Kay Goddard said they'll have a better feel for the city's income once the new B&O tax rate goes into effect. "There ought to be money in this town," she said.
"This town looks like it's dying," said Councilwoman Iris "Deaner" Isaacs.
"Oh, it looks terrible," agreed Councilwoman Holly Grandstaff.
Mayor Keith Nelsen said, "I've gotten a lot of calls about dilapidated properties in this town."
It is an ongoing problem all over town. Nelsen said they need to look over the ordinance and see what their recourse could be. The city can't afford to tear them down. "So we have to find some kind of medium," said Nelsen.
"People come in and are complaining about how the town looks and that certainly isn't helping with that," said Nelsen. "Truly we need to step it up and get after these people." He believe once a few are made to comply, more will follow.
"If Joe (Hanna) is the code enforcement officer, he needs to step up and do it," said Nelsen.
The building committee will meet to look at updating property enforcement rules and regulations.
In another matter, an upgraded miniature golf course at Bruce Park is a step closer after council tentatively accepted a bid of $65,350 from Cost of Wisconsin, Inc., for 10 fabricated micro golf holes with various selected options. Not included in the bid are expenditures such as lighting, electrical, installation, and landscaping. Also, it will be six to seven weeks before the fabricated holes are ready to ship to New Martinsville.
"Yes, that's right about in line with what we were anticipating," Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Gibb told council of the cost and timeline. She anticipates closing the miniature golf course on July 31 to begin demolition. She is talking with Warden Pat Mirandi to see if perhaps some of the prisoners at the St. Marys facility can help with that task.
Council approved the matter subject to review by the engineer and the parks commission's approval.
Currently the miniature golf course is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1-9 p.m. They reserve the right to close for adverse weather or poor attendance.
In other park news, Gibb noted she has hired three more employees for weedeating 20-30 hours per week. "We've cleaned up a lot and have done a lot of painting," said Gibb. "We've been very busy to try to stay up on things."
She added, "We have some pretty cool things scheduled for throughout the summer."
Council also unanimously approved the lone bid received for a 2008 or newer dump truck. It came from Peter's Used Equipment, Inc. of Ohio for $33,500 for a 2008 Ford F650 dump truck with 51,500 miles. The new vehicle will replace a 1981 dump truck that will be scrapped. The equipment will be paid for out of street assessment allocations.
This summer the city will be doing as much street paving as they can with the $150,000 allocated for equipment and paving. The funding is from a $400,000 money market account that was previously inaccessible. The allotment for this year will be put into a more accessible account.
Street Commissioner Gary Willey will be in charge of the projects.
"We know we're behind on paving, but we're hoping to put a big dent in it this summer. Be patient with us," said Isaacs.