Council Approves Six Percent Raise
New Martinsville City Council unanimously voted Aug. 3 to give full-time city employees a six percent raise effective Aug. 10.
“This would have been the seventh budget year without a raise, so it comes out to one percent a year,” pointed out Councilman Joel Potts.
Further, council approved the hiring of two employees during their meeting Monday: Tom Tharp as the new lab technician for the water and sewer department and Carla Kernan as a billing clerk. Tharp was formerly a part-time police dispatcher and part-time employee of the street department.
Building Inspector Joe Hanna reported the city council, during a special meeting July 27, unanimously awarded the municipal building roofing bid to Kalkreuth Roofing. Their bid was for $95,961 plus 75 cents per square foot for one-inch underlayment.
The company from Wheeling provided three references. “They all look favorable don’t they?” asked Councilperson Holly Grandstaff. “Very favorable,” replied Councilman Keith Nelsen.
Monday council approved the financing of $120,000 from Peoples Bank for a five year loan at three percent interest.
Also under the auspices of Hanna, council approved the first reading of a flood plain ordinance as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“They aren’t any more restrictive, they’re more defined,” explained Hanna of the regulations contained in the ordinance. “We were not required to go with the most restrictive rules. There are just a few changes to what we already have.”
The ordinance has been reviewed by City Attorney Carolyn Flannery and it is being sent to Bob Perry of the West Virginia Hazard Mitigation Program to review. A second reading is being planned for the September meeting that will be held on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m., moved because the first Monday of September is Labor Day.
Electric Department Head Dave White commented that the city has experienced a few small outages in the past four to six weeks.
“Our utility doesn’t generate its own utility,” noted White. The power for New Martinsville comes through other lines and when that transmission line is down, the whole town is without power. He also noted that the department recently obtained some more phone numbers of key people they can contact when the power feed is down. Hopefully, White said, that will speed up restoring power.
“We have no link to they hydroelectric plant,” elaborated White, debunking a common thought.
He further explained that the Drennen Circuit in New Martinsville was damaged by a lightning strike, causing some small outages. “We do feel that we’ve found that problem and resolved it,” noted White.
Also, the electric department is busy painting poles on Main Street and then on North Street in a spirited blue and gold.
Finally, Rick Suter informed council that he is planning a Bowling Against Dystrophy event in the near future to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, also known as Jerry’s Kids. Local donations will be made in memory of former Mayor Richard Snyder and former Councilman Thomas E. Blum Sr.
Organizers are still working at bringing the telethon to a local location by having a phone bank at A1 Automotive Services located on the corner of W.Va. 2 and Virginia Street. Volunteers are needed to man the phones.