Council Discusses Flood Act, Honors Residents
At its April 3 regular meeting, the New Martinsville City Council discussed several matters, the first being flood insurance. Mayor Steve Bohrer remarked that Jerry Pallisco was present to discuss the issue.
Pallisco said work has been ongoing to update files at the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, as well as beautifying Main Street. Pallisco said she would let Sharon Thomas, of the chamber, elaborate on the issue of flood insurance.
Thomas said the chamber has been working with senators and delegates, “to get groups on board to review the 2012 Biggert Flood Act.”
Thomas said the Chamber has sent out informational sheets to people in the floodplain, which has been extended.
“We are working with our representatives and the City to collate information and be able to present to our representatives just how important this issue is to all cities along the Ohio River.”
Thomas said the chamber has received information from a few, and she explained the chamber is also contacting other cities to join in the efforts, “so maybe FEMA will take notice of our problems.”
“People will not be able to afford the flood insurance, and this will result in ghost areas within our cities,” Thomas said.
Bohrer said that efforts have been made to get “other cities involved,” but there has not been a lot of response other than from Wheeling and Marietta.
“We will continue to work with this,” he said.
In another matter, the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the bids for the Lincoln Theater roof project, and recommended that the bid be awarded to Mansuetto in the amount of $69,450, pending clarification of a couple of items.
Parks Director Bev Gibb said the project will be under budget, as the project was budgeted $94,000, half of which was grant funds, and half from hotel/motel funds.
The city also approved the hiring of Bobby Dennis, effective April 3. Dennis will be employed at a full-time position in the Parks Department.
In another matter, Ed Knowlton and Doug Stewart were honored by the city as New Martinsville Police Department Chief Tim Cecil presented the duo with plaques. Cecil noted that Knowlton and Stewart stopped and assisted Officer Jason Utt during an arrest.
“We appreciate you gentleman helping our officer in a bad situation,” Mayor Bohrer remarked, thanking the two.
In another matter, resident Jeff Gieseki inquired as to the demolition of buildings in the Brooklyn area of New Martinsville. He also asked about the North Street, New Martinsville railroad crossing, as well as the possible hiring of police officers.
The city’s building inspector, Joe Hanna, said one building has been torn down, but he said he was unsure as to the status of the other building.
Bohrer said the city has been working with CSX on several crossings. He said another resident has been working with CSX and the Department of Highways.
“As we get more information, we will report,” he said. “We have been talking to Senator Clements and Delegate Pethtel about several of these issues.”
Bohrer said that the Civil Service Commission was working on getting an eligibility list together so that a patrolman could be hired. Council member Joel Potts said the Civil Service Commission has tested and submitted a list to Chief Cecil.
“We will schedule a meeting when background checks are completed,” Potts said.
Councilman Steve Pallisco reported that everything was going well with the electric department and that the budget was “in line.”
“David White has brought it up about making an RV Park on Hydro several times. I think we need to schedule a meeting to put a plan together.”
“I would like to discuss the water and sewer plan, electric, and get this project moving,” White said.
“We have been talking about this for several years,” Bohrer responded. “It is time to move forward.”
In another matter, council approved a city clean-up schedule. However, it was noted that the schedule would not be published until the city received permission to put the roll-offs on certain properties.
Also, Councilwoman Holly Grandstaff reported that her committee was organizing items to request bids for a ladder truck. She expressed gratitude to New Martinsville Fire Chief Rick Myers and the department “for all their good work.”