The New Martinsville City Council met Monday, March 6 and talked with Sam and Sherron Winer in regards to RegattaFest, which will be held on Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1. This will be the sixth year in a row for the event, and in the last five years, there have been 43 new records set. There has been an economic impact of an estimated $775,000. The Winers said the event offers a great environment, as well as activities for children of all ages. In fact, a driver took one of his boats to the elementary school for the children to admire.
Sam Winer said this year's planning will provide a different layout, in that Main Street will be open, but Sam Winer would like to close the streets, from North Street to Washington Street, to keep all of the events closer to the river. Sam Winer would like for the city to provide electricity for stages and other necessary setups. The Winers feel that they are trying to reduce the event footprint, keep it exciting, and to allow more access to already existing businesses.
Penny Morris and Dr. Dave Kappel spoke to council members about their attempts in bringing back a Vintage Regatta, which will be a completely separate event from RegattaFest. Their plan is to bring vintage boats, not so much for competition, but to give the community a nostalgic show through boats that have been around for decades. The plan is to hold the event at the old yacht club in the later part of June. Kappel stated, "It's an opportunity for these antique boats to show off on some of the best water in the east." They are projecting around 30 boats to join in the event, and all of the drivers must "pay to play".
There was a request for the mayor to sign the Loan Sales Agreement with Wesbanco, concerning the Thomas Drug Building. Upon signing the agreement, the city will obtain the property.
There were several recommendations that passed, such as the spreading of gravel on Ann Lane and Umstead Lane. A motion also passed establishing that there will be no parking on the east side of Mill Street and the south side of Sorenson.
During the department head meeting, Rick Myers of the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department reported that there were 18 total calls for the month of February: three for auto accidents, two for fire alarms, one structure fire, one brush fire, five service calls, one odor investigation, four EMS assists, and one car fire. Myers also stated that there were three training courses during the month. There was a low angle rope rescue/rigging course which had 19 attendees, a physical fitness course for 10 attendees, and a PPE/basic skills course that had 14 attendees.
There was much discussion over properties infringing upon city ordinances in regards to structures being within city utility right-of-ways. In fact, there was a request for variance on the appropriate distance between buildings. There was talk of one resident who had recently placed an Amish-built storage building on his property; however the building is too close to the nearby properties which could cause some potential problems. Also, the council members feel that if they allow the variance, then it could potentially open a can of worms in regards to other members of the community wanting variance requests. The matter will be discussed amongst council members, and a decision will be made at a later time.
There have also been several instances of fences, structures, trees and other plants growing in the right-of-ways causing blockages in the sewer and causing flooding in homes. If the city would need to get to these pipes to fix them, some of the trees and other structures will have to be removed, at the expense of the owner.
The Lincoln Theatre project has been bid out, and the bids are due by March 28. Also, EQT would like to help beautify the city by hanging flower baskets around the city.
The next scheduled city council meeting will be held on April 3, at the city building located in New Martinsville.