Council Accepts Crossing Guard’s Retirement And Hires Patrolman
New Martinsville School crossing guard George Antonik will be retiring, New Martinsville Police Detective Donnie Harris reported to city council Monday evening.
Councilman Steve Pallisco suggested the city get some sort of plaque to thank him for his services as crossing guard. He has dutifully been at that position for approximately 15 years.
Mayor Lucille Blum received council’s blessing to talk with the Wetzel County Board of Education and see if the board will take responsibility for that position and expense. “It is very necessary,” added Blum.
“It is a state road, a county school, and the city takes care of it. It just doesn’t seem right,” added Councilwoman Casey Corliss.
In another personnel matter, council unanimously approved the hiring of Sistersville Police Chief David Howell as a new NMPD patrolman. He will begin Jan. 17, after working out a two-week notice at his current position.
Also, Patrolman Tony Thomas is working with the West Virginia Highway Safety Program to implement a $10,562.82 grant that will put laptop computers, Honeywell scanners, and barcode scanners, in each of the department’s six cruisers. The equipment must be maintained by the NMPD.
The reimbursable grant will be paid after the program receives purchase order, check copy, and serial numbers. Recorder Bonnie Shannon said she has concerns over a quick turnaround for the expenditure, but Pallisco said he was sure Thomas would stay “on top” of the matter. The city’s only cost, which council unanimously approved, will be $250-400 each for mounting the equipment in the cruisers.
“This is a huge, huge opportunity for us,” said Pallisco, who added that the state is beginning to mandate such equipment. Harris said driver’s licenses currently have bar codes on them and vehicle registration either does now or will soon.
Parks Director Beverly Gibb said her department began taking picnic shelter reservations Monday. Prices vary, with the highest being $50 per day for the large shelter at Bruce Park or the shelter at Lewis Wetzel Park.
Also, the Daddy Daughter Dance is set for Feb. 12, 7:30-10 p.m., at the Lewis Wetzel Family Center. There will be lots of great prizes, refreshments, decorations, and entertainment with disc jockey Dean Connors.
Gibb wants to encourage everyone to sign up now, “because I’m sure it will sell out again very quickly,” said Gibb. The cost of admission, when signed up by Jan. 24, is $23 per daddy/daughter couple and $7 more for each additional daughter. The cost includes a 5×7 photo, memento, and refreshments. To sign up for the dance, stop by the New Martinsville City Building or call 304-455-9130.
The nuisance of unwanted water fowl was again a topic of discussion. In larger numbers than usual the ducks are venturing into the East Thistle area from Lewis Wetzel Park where feeding the fowl has been banned for the past four months.
Councilman Joel Potts III said people from out of the neighborhood are coming into the East Thistle area and feeding the ducks. There have been several injured or killed ducks on that area’s street. “All I can say is, we don’t own the ducks,” said Gibb in understandable frustration.
She said still people don’t understand the reason for the ban and feed the ducks. Fall is the time for Canada geese and mallard ducks to migrate south for the winter. But in recent years, an abundance of food from the public has motivated the waterfowl to stay at the park all year. This disrupts the natural cycles that nature intended.
In addition, bread, cereal, and crackers are deficient in protein, calcium, and other nutrients. A steady diet of these foods is very harmful to the birds and causes damage to their bones.
Gibb said they have found bags of corn dumped right under the “Do Not Feed The Ducks” sign. “They’re being very disrespectful,” said Gibb.
Also, Street Commissioner Gary Willey said his department had 12 call outs during December. Eight of those were for snow, requiring 16 hours per department worker. However, Willey said most of that time was during regular working hours, lessening budget concerns.
Two of the call outs were for sink holes on Neubauer Drive. As soon as the weather allows, Willey said the department will begin digging on Neubauer and putting new sewer pipe in place. They don’t want to do it during extremely cold weather as exposed water lines would likely freeze.
He also reported that the city’s street sweeper is on its way from the dealer. Also, all parties are fine with holding payment until the city gets the sweeper, checks it out, and is satisfied with it.
Finally, the street department brush hogged the new road in Brooklyn on Tuesday and will begin laying the foundation soon.
Finally, Rick Suter offered a tentative plan he and Bill Forbes formulated for having a local telephone bank for the Upper Ohio Valley Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day telethon. It has been approximately 10 years since the telethon had a New Martinsville contact. He wants to make it possible for local residents to call a local number to pledge support.
He hopes to enlist the help of Carman Harman, Quinet’s Court Restaurant, and numerous volunteers, both students and adults, to man the phone bank.
If anyone would like to volunteer for the endeavor or ask any questions, Suter said he is always available.