White Explains Electric Outages
New Martinsville Electric Department Manager David White addressed the power outages in December at the city council meeting held Jan. 5.
Of the big one on Dec. 21 he said, “Unfortunately our feed coming into town was dropped by our provider.” There was nothing the city could do but wait for a repairman to come from Parkersburg to fix the incoming line.
On a positive note, White said he thinks his department’s tree trimming program is paying off as the outages and problems were few during recent times of very high winds.
Mayor Lucille Blum noted that the city is keeping an eye on the traffic situation on Foundry Street and Anderson Lane as activity is now taking place at the industrial park. The city asked the state to put up a three-way stop on Anderson Lane, but they said they will not take that action.
“We have not had any citizen complaints,” noted Blum, but said they are trying to be proactive in the area. Also, she said a landlord of properties in that area is working with the city on cleaning up its appearance.
Chuck Stora reported that the hydroelectric plant produced 201,000 megawatts in 2008, under the 209,000 megawatt budget. For December the production was 18 percent below budget. “Let’s hope we have a better year,” Stora told council of 2009.
Teresa Shepard, CRI’s Community Service Block Grant Program Director, spoke briefly to council about the services the group offers to the community, particularly at its office in New Martinsville. The thrift store there on Main Street offers good items at a low cost.
They also give free items for emergencies. They are also making plans to extend the hours of the thrift store.
She also touched on such services of free income tax preparation and weatherization services for low to medium income households.
Rick Suter announced through a letter from the Muscular Dystrophy Association that a local bank of telephones for the Labor Day weekend telethon will be hosted in New Martinsville by A1 Automotive Services at the corner of W.Va. 2 and Virginia Street. “This brings it right back to New Martinsville,” declared Blum.
With the local phone bank, donors will not need to make a long distance call to pledge their support to the MDA and local high school and college students can earn needed public service credits. The local effort spearheaded by Suter is in memory of former Mayor Richard Snyder and Councilman Thomas E. Blum Sr. The telethon will be held Sept. 6-7. Anyone interested in helping the local effort is encouraged to contact Suter or Blum.
Reporting for the Riverfront Development group, Councilman Steve Pallisco said the group has received the reconnaissance study from the Corp of Engineers. The next step is to continue to work with Congressman Alan Mollohan’s office and hope for an appropriation of $150,000.
“I feel that 2009 is going to be a brighter year for this project,” said Pallisco.
Mayor Blum said after reading the study, “I was enthused all over again.”
Also, Pallisco said the New Year’s Eve dance sponsored by Riverfront Development went well and thanked Parks and Recreation Director Bev Gibb for the use of the Lewis Wetzel Family Center.
Finally, Blum said that the Department Head Meeting usually held at 6:30 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. regular council meeting doesn’t usually last the full hour so she was open to suggestions on how to change the meeting times. After some discussion with support for moving the department head meeting or the council meeting to 7 p.m., it was decided to move the department head meeting to 7 p.m. as sometimes Councilman Chris Bachman works a later shift and cannot be at the city building until 7:30 p.m.
So for the regular council meeting on Feb. 2, the department head meeting will be held at 7 p.m. and the regular council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings are held in the large council chambers and open to the public.