The New Martinsville Street Department is working to replace 11 sewer catch basins that were stolen overnight, March 10-11.
Street Commissioner Gary Willey said at the April 7 council meeting that the grates were taken, presumably, to be recycled. Seven were taken from Fourth Street, Russell Avenue to Locust Street; two from near the Wetzel County Board of Education; and two from the Marina.
The cost just to replace the lid is $355. However, he found new ones, 28 inches square, for $175. "We shopped around and got the cheapest ones we could get," said Willey.
"We will tack weld them so if they jerk them up, they'll be tearing the whole thing up," noted Willey in their efforts to prevent future thefts of that nature. "They'll go through and tack weld as many as they can."
This is the second time such a theft has happened in New Martinsville. In fact, the 2010 incidents happened in the same area.
He noted that two days after the New Martinsville incidents, some thieves got every one of the catch basin grates along the four-lane section of St. Marys.
All the junk yards from Marietta, Ohio, to Wheeling, W.Va., were called and none were sold whole. "They know if they ever see any that come in whole, to give us a call," said Willey.
Also in regard to catch basins, the one on Orchard Drive that needs repaired belongs to the state. However, Willey said the city will have to fix it because the state doesn't have the money.
The street department is also working at changing out the towns stop signs so they all meet reflective requirements by the July 1 deadline. Willey said the crew has already changed out 68 and has to order 50 more to get everything reflective. They are also picking up cinders and patching holes-both remnants of the harsh winter.
They department is not picking up spring clean-up trash as once again the city is not conducting the previous tradition. Mayor Keith Nelsen made the announcement at the February meeting, saying spring clean-up simply costs the city too much and most items will be picked up by the garbage service. Also, recycling is available for many items at Bruce Park, by the tennis courts, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and free dumping is offered at the Wetzel County Landfill on the last Friday of every month.
In other matters, Parks Director Bev Gibb said the annual Easter egg hunt for ages 10 and under is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m., sharp, at Bruce Park. The event is sponsored by Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union. Dollar Dog and the Easter Bunny will be at the event to visit with children and pose for photographs.
Also at Bruce Park, Gibb said once the weather breaks for good they will be doing plantings at the new miniature golf course. They are talking about having some inmates from the St. Marys Correctional Center help with the work. She expects the new course to open Memorial Day weekend.
The park also received some help from members of the New Martinsville United Methodist Church. They held a big community clean-up day that included work at Brooklyn and Bruce parks. "They really did a nice job," said Gibb.
Assistance has also been evident at the softball field on Hydro Drive. "There has been a lot of work going on there," said Gibb. Litman Excavating has donated a lot of concrete and materials and various city departments have lent their expertise to the project. "We are really very fortunate with the other departments," noted Gibb.
Gibb said she has finished receiving applications for summer employment and lifeguard certifications are underway. The latter is taking place at Four Seasons Pool in Moundsville, W.Va. "That's a nice collaboration," noted Gibb.
Electric Department Head Dave White said he did not have much to report, except for pointing out that his department's revenues and bills have all been balancing out to the penny. "That's a real step forward," said White, who thanked Jessica Riggenbach for her work.
Delinquent collections are about the same at this point, however they are getting an ordinance with more strict requirements written up and sent to them. They are working with the water and sewer department, which is also writing new delinquency standards.
White said collections will proceed more quickly once those ordinances are in place.