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NMVFD Receives Praise

By Staff | Jan 5, 2011

The New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department received praise at Monday’s city council meeting in particular for their response to the Dec. 23 fire on Maple Avenue.

Councilman Steve Pallisco said it was pretty impressive what they did and how quickly they got there. According to dispatch reports, the department was on scene six minutes after receiving the call.

“It could have really gotten out of control if they hadn’t gotten there so quickly,” commented Fire Chief Larry Couch.

Pallisco also thanked the support fire departments from other areas who responded to the call.

“It was amazing to watch our fire department at work,” said Mayor Lucille Blum, who lives near the scene of that Ross/Highley fire. She said it wasn’t a good thing to watch, but rather an emotional event that was handled extremely well.

“These folks are just amazing,” added Councilman Joel Potts III. “They work with such precision and cooperation.”

Council also addressed the quick demolition and removal of the fire-ravaged structure. The house posed a danger of collapse, he said. “If we would have left that house there, there was a really good chance that someone would have gone in and meddled around and the second floor could have collapsed on them,” he explained. “It’s a rare occurrence, but sometimes necessary.”

A similar quick demolition was executed two years ago after the Riggenbach rental home on state Route 2 was destroyed by fire.

In another matter, Couch announced that up to $100,000 is available to the Army Corps of Engineers for a feasibility study and archeological study on the bank stabilization project behind the Ohio Street fire station.

“I do not anticipate it being anywhere close to that,” said Couch of the cost.

Also, during the construction phase the city has a 65 percent federal match available. They may be able to count in-kind work already conducted by the street department and water department in closing the old water well toward the city’s portion. “We may already have our match,” offered Couch.

Councilman Pallisco, also a member of the Riverfront Development Committee, said he is excited about this new phase for the committee.

“This is going to help us big time,” said Pallisco. “I just feel confident with this project.” He noted it is not as large as the last one they pursued. It will provide a boat launch for the public and the VFD.

“This could be a first in a long line of riverfront projects utilizing the riverbank,” added Committee Member Earl Yost.

Blum said she sees Riverfront Development evolving and perhaps becoming more effective.

In another matter, Recorder Bonnie Shannon reported the Federal Emergency Management Agency is coming this week or next to look at the feasibility of putting the stone from the former Nazarene church on Maple Avenue into the foundation when it is demolished. She said such a move could save about $30,000.

In another flood-plain related matter, City Building Inspector Joe Hanna is in the process of responding to a resident’s inquiry about the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Program. He said the city’s maps designating the flood-plain have not changed, but the new map and information is available to everyone.