Pine Grove Council Meets
Barbara King, John Hurst, and Julie Liggett attended their first Pine Grove Town Council meeting as council members Monday, July 13 at Pine Grove’s Byrd Center. Council members Travis Villers and Eva Adams were not present.
One of the first matters of business discussed was the town’s park. Weldon Williams, representing Randy Street of the park committee, provided an update to council regarding park improvements.
Williams stated two benches have been purchased and will be arriving within the next two to four weeks. One bench was donated by the Pine Grove Garden Club and the other was a Memorial bench donated in honor of Jay Dee Dallison.
Also, Williams said a grant was written and awarded in the amount of $5,000. The money was requested to finish the improvements to the park’s pavilion by enclosing the ends, reconnecting the electric, gutters, new outlets, possibly add lights and any other improvements the town can do with the grant. The funds will be sent directly to the Town of Pine Grove earmarked the for Park Fund.
Williams explained the park committee has applied for funds to resurface an area for the purpose of playing basketball. Also, Valley High School has expressed an interest in using the outdoor court for Summer League. Adults have expressed a desire to have somewhere to play ball for exercise. The committee is looking at either resurfacing the old court or maybe using half of the current tennis court. If funding comes through, the court might be lined to accommodate volleyball, tennis, or pickle-ball.
Furthermore, Williams explained the committee is planning on ordering there pieces of equipment. The equipment will arrive in six to eight weeks depending on production time. The pieces are designed for children ages five to 12 years of age.
They will be installed on the west side of the swing set.The pieces include: Twist Climber, for $784; Camelback Climber, for $2,066, and Space Pod Climber, for $2,582.
Mayor Roy Justice inquired as to whether any members of the park committee have discussed the park renovations and purchases with the town.
“This is the report I’m submitting,” Williams responded.
Justice asked the council members if they had anything to say, in which Council-member King complimented the plans, saying they looked nice. She questioned how much money was collected for the park, in which Williams said he did not know but the three pieces to be purchased would pretty much “wipe us out.”
Justice said he thought the plans looked okay; he added council would be looking at the committees and adding new people and new council members to the committee. Justice urged Williams to have Street touch base with council in regards to if he still wanted to be on the committee.
“I’d say (Street) is interested in serving again, so if you want to go ahead and put him on that, chairmen for that,” Williams replied.
“We will wait until we can talk to him and see what is going on there,” Justice responded.
Council member Liggett remarked that council should set park hours, as to when the park is open. “That way we can have a little bit of grounds for protection if there are any problems.”
“They are doing all these improvements to the park. We want to make sure it is safe,” she added. “If we could publish some hours, we would have leeway if we need to call law enforcement.”
Council member King remarked that in Clarksburg, the parks are advertised as being closed at dusk. She added that it was her understanding law enforcement could order individuals out if there is a time posted.
‘It’s my understanding they can’t enforce a small town ordinance,” Justice remarked.
“It’s not an ordinance. They can’t arrest anyone, but they can tell them it is closed and to get out of there. It’d help and maybe provide a little bit of safety,” King replied.
Council concluded to table the issue until the next meeting so they could contact the town’s insurance company on the issue.
In another matter, council signed additional paperwork regarding Phase Two of the town’s sanitary sewer improvement project. Council was alerted to the fact the design work is almost completed.
Also, Perry and Kitty Adams approached council regarding sewage backing up into a building they own, which is rented out to tenants.
Kitty stated sewage repeatedly backs up into the building. “It’s not my fault, and I have to go down there and clean. I have to throw things out all the time. No one seems to want to fix it,” she added, stating she has had trouble with the sewage for the past eight years.
It was stated that at one time, the issue subsided for a bit because of an employee of the town who knew how the system worked. “We went close to two years without a problem, but since he’s left, it is back to the way it was.”
Justice stated the employee Kitty spoke of has “quit and moved on,” and “no one has been trained and put in his place.”
Kitty noted she has had to clean the area repeatedly and has also had to throw out several items, including an entertainment center, four carpets, a recliner, a chair, a heating stove, love-seat, couch, mattress, and kitchen table. “It’s just nonstop. It’s ridiculous. I can’t rent it. I’ve had it rented out to construction workers, but it’s really shutting me down right now on two apartments.”
Perry inquired as to whether the town has a sewage board, and if so, who were the members of the board. Justice said council would have to start over again and get new members on the board. “We have myself and Rhonda (Town Recorder Spencer) and Kimmie (previous recorder, Bates) said she would be on it.
Former Mayor, Dave Barr, who was present at the meeting stated Bates would not be eligible, since she hasn’t been a town employee for at least a year. He further remarked Spencer would not be eligible to be a voting member.
Perry noted he used to be vice president of the sewage board but did not know of anyone who has been appointed. “I was just curious to see who was appointed after I left.”
Justice named two individuals who were appointed, but added one of the individuals was expected to resign. “I’d like to find two more people, so we will have to kick around and see if we can find two more people.”
Liggett inquired as to whether council is updated on the sewer board. Justice responded they could be if council asks to be updated.
Perry remarked he would not get involved with the sewage again, because “one time when the sewage was down like this and set dormant for three days in the basement” he ended up contracting a couple of illnesses and ended up in the hospital “off and on for about 60 days and near died from it.”
“I won’t go into it again,” he said.
“I’ve dealt with this long enough,” Kitty said. “it’s not my fault it does this, and I’m tired of being in the mess.”
Kitty said she has fought with the town’s insurance, adding she can get a lawyer if that is what the town wants. “I’ve asked to take the damages off the water bill,” she added.
The town did not make any decision in regards to giving the Adams’ restitution for damages to her furniture from the sewage, as she requested the amount in damages be subtracted from her water bill. It was determined Kitty would need to go to a sewer board meeting.
In another matter, Justice stated council members would be appointed to the town’s different committees at the council’s next meeting.