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NM Council Votes To Buy Three Vehicles

By Staff | Mar 9, 2011

New Martinsville’s City Council approved three vehicle purchases during Monday evening’s regular council meeting.

Council unanimously approved the purchase of a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser from Stephens Auto Center in Danville, W.Va., with a total not to exceed $27,000. The state bid program has the vehicle at $22,873 and a new light bar will cost $4,003.

Councilman Joel Potts III explained that while the city would rather purchase the vehicle locally, going outside of the state bid process could cost thousands of dollars more. “The small town dealers can no longer afford to handle state bid; it’s sad,” said Potts.

He further said that while it would have been nice to have gone some time without a loan payment (the city just paid off their last police vehicle purchase), the mileage on the current vehicles was high, necessitating the purchase of a new vehicle.

“We’ve got to keep the officers and the public safe,” noted Potts.

Police Chief Tim Cecil said he originally wanted a Chevy Tahoe, the other choice in the state bid for a police cruiser. He said it was more desirable because there was more room for two officers and the now required computer equipment. However, he changed his mind when considering the gasoline cost for that sport utility vehicle. Also, the Crown Victoria consoles will be compatible with the current equipment. “We’re going to have to make it work,” said Cecil.

In another police matter, Cecil said meetings are being held for a committee to go over the Prevention Resource Officer program at Magnolia High School. Cecil said he was told all grant paperwork was turned in on time and perfect; everything looks good for a renewal of the $26,000 grant. The city picked up the cost for a class and some other things for the officer, meeting the city’s required in-kind contribution.

Relatedly, Mayor Lucille Blum noted that MHS PRO Steve Kastigar attended the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse meeting March 3. “That’s the best meeting we’ve had since the committee formed,” said Blum.

Kastigar said he is willing to start a new program, Drug Free Clubs of America, at MHS. Wheeling Park High School has already started that program where, after completing a voluntary, confidential drug test, drug free students will receive a photo ID “Club Card” recognizing them as members. Members can use their club cards at school and businesses in their community to receive special offers created exclusively to reward teens for making drug free decisions. Retesting occurs periodically during the school year and members remain eligible for rewards as long as they test drug free at any given time. A brochure and parent consent form would be sent home with every student and results are released to the parents or guardian and the doctor, never to the school or authorities.

Street Commissioner Gary Willey was met with applause as he gave his department’s report. It was his first meeting since suffering a stroke. He said the department has been picking up cinders and patching holes, generally doing routine maintenance.

He also reported it was found the city’s new street sweeper needed a minor repair that should cost less than $300 to fix. The city can probably pick up the working sweeper on Friday.

Council unanimously approved a motion to go out for bids for a dump truck for the street department. Per the legal advertisement, the truck should be a 2007 model or newer with 35,000 or less miles. The street department has worked short-handed in order to pay for this. Last year they were short a position the whole year and short two other positions since July 1. The bids will be opened at a special council meeting on March 23 at 5 p.m.

Building Inspector Joe Hanna said the city received two bids with a $5,000 difference to put in the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in the old city hall. “There was a minor discrepancy on one of the bids,” he explained. The city’s grant for the project is for $15,100 and one of the bids is under that amount.

“It’s an interpretation of how it was written up,” explained Recorder Bonnie Shannon. City Attorney Carolyn Flannery doesn’t think it needs to be rebid. She has suggested a meeting be held with the building department to create a list of findings and work on correcting the problem.

Council also unanimously approved the purchase of a Ford F-150 truck through Stephens Auto Center for the building inspector’s use. The purchase price is coming out of his reserve budget. “We won’t be getting a loan for this vehicle — not the whole amount,” noted Shannon.

Hanna’s old vehicle will be passed on to the city’s animal control officer.