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Pine Grove Council Votes For Trunk-or-Treat

By Staff | Oct 18, 2017

Pine Grove is breaking tradition this year in favor of – what the majority of council sees as – a safer Halloween. The town will hold a trunk-or-treat event on Oct. 28 at the Byrd Center. Set-up will be held from 3-4 p.m., with the event being held from 4-5:30 p.m.

The measure was voted on at the town’s regular monthly meeting, held Oct. 10.

Resident Tina Rush said fellow resident, Laci Streets, came up with the idea because of “conditions of certain areas of town.”

Rush and Streets cited the ongoing sewage project work, along with drugs in the community, as conditions that might interfere with a safe trick-or-treating event.

Rush said rather than being at home, treaters will set-up at the Byrd Center and distribute candy from their vehicles.

“People are encouraged to decorate their vehicles, and adults can decorate themselves,” Rush explained, adding that organizers might add some fun and family-friendly music and games.

It was noted that the town’s liability insurance would cover the event, as long as the trunk-or-treat is in town limits. At first, council discussed the possibility of holding the event in the center of town, and closing off the three streets that connect to the center of town. However, Councilman Brent Vanderhoff remarked that this specific area is exactly what Rush and Streets cited as wanting to avoid, as sewage system construction had been occurring in the area. Therefore Rush, Streets, and council members then discussed the Byrd Center as a location.

Councilwoman Stacy Judge was opposed to the idea of a trunk-or-treat, explaining that many people do not want to have to leave their homes to treat children. “Older people like to be closer to their houses,” Judge argued.

“It really is too dangerous to have trick-or-treat in town,” Mayor Barbara King remarked. However, King said it was council’s decision.

“People should have an option if they want to trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treat,” Judge said.

“I like the idea of trunk-or-treat,” Councilman Richard Price said. “With having a two-year-old that likes to run, it would be nice to block off an area and the kids could run.”

It was noted that the town could not have a trunk-or-treat at the football field, or at Valley High School’s parking lot, due to not owning the property. Therefore, the town’s liability insurance would not cover the event.

Council voted on the matter of trunk-or-treat at the Bryd Center, with Council members Brent Vanderhoff and Stacy Judge voting in opposition of the measure.

In another matter, council voted to purchase flood insurance on the town’s vacuum sewage system plant, and its contents. The insurance will cover $300,000 worth on the building, and $150,000 on the building’s contents.

Also, council decided to explore further options on upgrades to the town’s water tanks. Mayor King said the water tank on Simpson Hill was recently cleaned and “helped quite a bit.” She said the town had received an estimate from Sistersville Tank Works to create a door to the town’s tank located at Alley Addition. King said the estimate was $31,000 for the door, and labor to install the door. Councilman Vanderhoff said Ryan Environmental would inspect the tank and give a quote on a possible cleaning. Therefore, council decided to table the matter.

In another matter, Tim Flint, water plant manager, said he had spoken with a representative from Swiss Valley Associates, regarding radios that transmit pertinent information from the water plant. Flint noted that it had been more than a decade since the town had any upgrades on its current radio system. The current radio system is no longer sold, plus there are no longer any parts manufactured to make repairs to the system. Flint explained that a new, non-radio system could be installed that utilizes cell phone signals. This option would allow the transmission of constant readings on water tank levels, and more. Flint explained that any council member, with a smart phone, would be able to look at the levels.

Flint said the cost of the cell phone system could even decrease in the future, due to more municipalities utilizing this method.

Council decided to table the matter while they investigate as to whether all three of the town’s tanks could be observed using the cell phone method.

At the Oct. 10 meeting, council also passed a resolution that allows Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department to be its own entity. Representative from the department noted that the department was not completely breaking away from the town; however, the department has been supporting itself, and paying its own bills, for years.

“We appreciate all the department does,” Mayor King noted. “We want to be a good neighbor.”

Also, at the Oct. 10 meeting, resident Chuck Roberts noted that he – along with several other residents – have formed a community improvement team.

Roberts said the team has decided to research the purchase of security cameras for the town. Roberts inquired as to whether town officials had a preference as to what kind of cameras they would like.

Council members and residents discussed the purchase, determining that a few hundred dollars could purchase a satisfactory system that would allow council to monitor the town’s property on their cellular phones.

In another matter, council decided to flush hydrants Oct. 20-22. A couple of hydrants might also be replaced in the second week of November.