Water Superintendent Pat Durant reported to New Martinsville Council on June 3 that his department was almost finished flushing fire hydrants in Steelton. He was particularly concerned about a hydrant on Neubauer Drive that had been tampered with. "He (a city worker) got it stopped in time, but it probably would have killed him," said Durant.
The last time they flushed that hydrant, six months ago, it worked fine. Now that hydrant is out of service until it can be replaced.
He said that the North Street project is all done except for the blacktop. The Water Department is going to buy the blacktop, and the city is going to pave the entire street.
Fire Chief Larry Couch said the water project has done a great service to the downtown; it has increased the water flow and insurance ratings.
The water department is now working on Foundry Street, a project that has elicited some citizen complaints. In fact, Durant said he has heard more from that project than all of North Street.
Foundry Street resident John Leasure brought his varied concerns to the council meeting.
He questioned the signage on state Route 2, northbound, that tells people state Route 7 is their next right. Vehicles often errantly come up Foundry Street. Leasure said there is one speed limit sign that says "25 mph", but nothing else. When the lost traffic gets to the new blacktop for the commerce park, they hit the gas, thinking they can now really head out state Route 7. He suggested a "Dead End" sign be erected at the beginning of the new pavement and suggested a three-way stop be instituted at Foundry's intersection with Anderson Lane.
Leasure also questioned the drainage around the industrial park. He said some culverts need to be installed, noting there are mosquitoes breeding in the ditch and he has seen a rat come out of that area too.
Finally, he complained about the dust being created by the current project. "It looks like something is on fire, there's so much dust from it," said Leasure. He said the street sweeper used to come over there, but he hasn't seen it since the industrial park is used. Further, he said since the activity has started, he and his wife have dry eye syndrome. If over-the-counter eye drops don't take care of it, they'll each need a $400 per month prescription.
Mayor Keith Nelsen said the street department and committee would make decisions on street signs, the state highway department would have to deal with signage on state Route 2, and any other matters would be discussed in committee meetings.
In another matter, Fire Chief Couch reported his department has purchased a pontoon boat for rescue purposes. It will have a fire pump on it, which would be useful in the event of a fire during a flood. Those expenditures are from department funds. Also, he noted the new three-inch supply hose is on the trucks.
The department has been working with Dominion. Also, PPG wants to have a training session with them; they want to go over the fire that occurred there last fall.
Fireman Cris Jenkins attended training in Colorado, paid for by CSX. The railroad company was very pleased with how the NMVFD responded to an incident that involved them. Couch said the CSX training center is huge and offers various simulations.
Also, he said the department has been talking about getting their people trained to become certified industrial fire fighters; they already have most of the needed training.
Council offered their congratulations to the Magnolia High School baseball team for their state runner-up Class A accomplishment. "We certainly appreciate their abilities," said Nelsen "I thought for sure they were going to come back in that last game. We're proud of them nonetheless."
The city approved the 2013-14 budgets for both the water/sewer and electric departments. Water Superintendent Pat Durant said, "It's the same as what it was last year." The only changes were some moves within line items, but the total is the same. It is a balanced budget that has been approved by the water/sewer board.
The electric department's budget decreased from $3.664 million last year to $3.606 million this year.
"It is a balanced budget," noted Goddard.
Finally, Rick Suter represents the Muscular Dystrophy Association to New Martinsville. He would like to see if the community would help put the fund raiser back in New Martinsville. He has until Aug. 15 to get everything in order. The money stays in the upper Ohio Valley. No one has contacted him yet to help do that. The city has his information to get in touch with him, if desired.
Suter wants to try to have a one-day telethon and Bill Forbes has reportedly given permission for a one-day call center at his A-1 Auto on Aug. 4 between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Suter needs people to volunteer to help man the telephones. He said no school groups have come forward to help with it.