Paden City Tables PA Purchase For Second Time
Monday evening, Paden City Mayor Bill Fox pushed for the passage of a motion allowing for the purchase and installation of a $3,892 PA system for the council chambers. Open public disdain and disagreements among the council members, however, caused the measure to be tabled for the second time in as many months.
Before the vote, Councilman Larry Potts asked, “Did anyone look into this?”
Fox answered, “Yes.”
According to the mayor, the money to pay for the new system would come from the coal severance fund. Councilman Richard Wright inquired as to how the funds could be used. Fox said, “We may be able to use some of the money for recreational projects.”
Jana Turner, a resident, interjected, “Why do you need a PA system? Is there nothing else that needs to be done?”
Rodney McWilliams commented, “Is there nothing essential those funds can be used for?”
Mayor Fox informed those gathered that the money had already been allocated toward the project, a measure the residents believed should have been voted upon in an open meeting. Carolyn Flannery, the city attorney, stated the council must vote to approve the allocation of funds before a revision can be made.
Wright said he was not in favor of the revision or the installation of a PA system if it was going to cost the city more than $3,000. The residents argued the purchase was unnecessary, noting they could hear every word said in the 18×36 room.
Fox said he had trouble hearing when everyone was talking at the same time. To which Turner remarked, “A gavel is a whole lot cheaper than a new PA system.”
Once again, the matter was tabled.
In other business, Librarian Joanna Casto attended the meeting to thank the city for supporting the Paden City Public Library and implore the council to continue their support in the upcoming budget year. “We have a busy library,” Casto commented, noting they serve 50 to 70 patrons per day.
In the past year, the library has also provided several special programs for the community, including summer reading, book reviews, story hour, various classes, and events.
Casto also informed the council that the library serves the community in uncertain economic times by providing free Internet. She told the council she is working toward creating “an environment of life-long learning” at the library.
Mayor Fox thanked Joanna for her efforts at the library and vowed to continue supporting their endeavors.
One resident questioned the time lapse between the resignation of Councilman Jarrell Bailey from the First Ward effective Jan. 3 and appointing a replacement. Mayor Fox attributed the vacancy to a lack of volunteers. “We may have the seat filled by the end of this meeting, though.” Fox remarked.
His prediction rang true when the council unanimously voted to approve the appointment of Matt Ferrebee to the open seat. The residents gathered in the chambers clapped in approval of the appointment.
Rodney McWilliams asked the council to appoint a member to represent them at the meetings of the Paden City Foundation. McWilliams adamantly remarked, “We need this seat filled!”
According to the foundation’s bylaws, a member of council must be appointed by the mayor to serve on the committee. Fox informed McWilliams that someone would be appointed as soon as possible.
Council voted to approve a request for handicapped parking at 219 S. 1st Avenue. Councilman Glen Casteel said he investigated the request and it was warranted.
Council also moved to hire part-time police officers to offset the hours of the current full-time patrolmen. The part-time pool will consists of three certified law enforcement officers from the area.
Fox clarified the motion, “We are not hiring anyone. We are simply creating a pool of part-time officers to save the city money.”
In the same vein, council moved to approve the second reading of an ordinance that would increase the part-time police salary from $9.88 per hour to $11 an hour.
Council approved the amendment.
Maintenance Director Clifford Duke petitioned the council to approve the purchase of a used street sweeper for the city. Wright asked if one could be rented. Duke said “none could be found in this area.”
The measure was approved. Money will be transferred from various funds to account for the money needed to cover the cost of the purchase.
The council entertained the first reading of an ordinance entitled “An ordinance establishing salary and wage rates fro the City of Paden City.” This ordinance will increase the salary of the mayor and city council members, but will not become effective until July 1, 2012. The matter was discussed and passed with no opposition.
They also heard the first reading of an ordinance calling for an increase in the salary of the recorder to $14.50 per hour to be made effective on July 1, 2011. The council agreed to the increase.
Mayor Fox reported that water from a storm drain had damaged a furnace in one resident’s home. Assuming responsibility for the damage, the city agreed to pay the sum of approximately $200 to replace a circuit board on the heating system.
Additionally, the council members moved to approve Melissa Thorn and Kim Frum as ballot commissioners for the upcoming city election.
Mayor Fox asked the council to consider a request made by the Church of the Nazarene to host an Easter egg hunt for the community. The event will be held at the City Park on April 16. Wright made a motion to approve the event, which was seconded by Casteel.
Before adjournment, the members voted to set burning season in Paden City for March 15 through April 30, as suggested by the fire chief.
The next meeting of the Paden City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on April 4 in the council chambers.