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Pine Grove May Raise Rates

By Staff | May 14, 2014

The price to conduct business in the town of Pine Grove is expected to increase once Town Attorney Gary Rymer establishes a new and better rate table for the town.

At Monday night’s meeting council was supposed to hold a second reading that would have kept general business licenses for the town of Pine Grove at the current rates-some as low as $5. However, some concern was shown as to the cost that a business pays for a license. Councilman Randy Street stated he did not think the rate was enough. “I think they should start at $50,” he remarked. Councilman Brian Price added that the council does not want to “just hit the working man” in an effort to generate some more revenue for the town. “We need to do what’s helping the town of Pine Grove,” he added.

Council decided to contact the town’s attorney, Rymer, to construct a rate table to best figure out what rates businesses should be paying. They decided they would then make a list of every business in town. Bates remarked that licenses run from July 1 to June 30, while Mayor Roy Justice stated that if a business does not pay the license, then they would pay 20 to 30 percent more as a penalty.

Council also decided that those who wish to speak at council meetings now have to call to be placed on the agenda, prior to the meeting. “A lot of people think they can come in and just talk,” Justice stated. He added that if a person is out of order, council would adjourn the meeting until the person stays quiet.

Also, council noted that there are two water leaks in town to check into. Justice remarked that as for the sewage department, a new fill station pump is back into place and “all is working okay.” He stated that the back pump being worked on has not been returned yet but is close to being finished. The cost of this would be $10,000, which the town will pay through payments. Justice stated that an ice maker in the Byrd Center is broken and the parts are ordered for it. He stated it should be fixed by the weekend.

And as for street lights, Justice stated a couple of street lights are out and pole numbers are needed.

Scott Lowther of Dominion was present as the council voted to extend their sewer line to Dominion’s property in Pine Grove. Dominion is expected to pay for any expenses that are incurred during the project, with legal fees being invoiced.

In another matter, Street asked if the park’s restrooms were working. Mayor Justice said they were but there had been a problem with one of the toilets previously, as children at the park had “trashed the restrooms.” “In thirty minutes, they had the girls’ restroom trashed so bad,” Justice stated. Council discussed how kids were not being watched when they were in the park. “Kids are going to be kids,” Justice stated, adding that parents needed to better supervise their children.

Council also discussed a way to keep people from parking on the tennis court at the park. “They are going to put two metal pipes down there and attach the gates to the pipes,” Justice remarked. “People are going to use the parking lot.”

“We are trying to keep our town looking like other towns,” Price stated. “We can’t enforce our rules. If you go to New Martinsville and do that, you don’t get away with that.” Council then discussed the possibility of a police officer to patrol the town.

Justice stated that the town isn’t eligible for another grant for a police officer. “That’s what James Hoskins (former Wetzel County Sheriff) told me,” Justice remarked. The possibility of hiring another police officer to show up every other day for a few hours was also mentioned. However, Justice stated the costs would add up when considering the cost to transport people to the Northern Regional Jail, along with the cost of a police judge.

In another matter, council also agreed to allow the fire department to test fire hydrants, as testing has not been conducted in a while. Residents will be properly notified as to when the hydrant testing will occur.

Councilman Street also announced that he had received a $5,000 donation toward Pine Grove’s park from Williams company. All council members expressed their thanks in regards to the donation.

Also, the town has decided to hold its Fourth of July firework celebration on the evening of July 3. Councilwoman Eva Adams noted it is a community event for everyone.