Council Decides Against Municipal Increase
New Martinsville Mayor Steve Bohrer called council’s regular monthly meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5. This regular meeting followed a meeting of the city’s department heads.
Council unanimously approved the January 2018 council meeting minutes and also gave unanimous approval of regular city invoices following the approval by the department heads.
There were no guests speakers on the agenda for the meeting. Council moved onto a motion by the finance committee chairwoman, Kay Goddard, to revoke the first reading of the revision to New Martinsville City Code, “Business License and Taxes, Article V1-Municipal Fee Service Fee.” The reading to increase rates was held at a previous meeting of council; however, council decided it no longer wish to pursue the issue. Iris Isaacs seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
Recorder Bonnie Shannon noted that the she was recently told by the state governor’s office that home rule will pass this year and city’s will be able to add a sales tax.
In the absence of the New Martinsville Electric Department’s David White, Councilman Steve Pallisco reported the electric department is in good shape and is working well within it’s budget.
Councilwoman Isaacs reported the city had replaced 70 feet of sewer pipe on Thistle Drive and another 60 foot project would soon be started. It had been reported in the department head meeting that the old sewer line was clay tile and a tree planted on the city right of way and grown into the line, clogging it.
Council, on a motion from Committee Four Chairman, Joel Potts, unanimously approved a revision to Chapter 13, Article V11, Section 13-100, of the City of New Martinsville Code Entitled, “Use and Parking of Recreation Vehicles as Dwelling Units Prohibited.” The revision approved will remove item F from the ordinance and move item G to item F.
Potts noted that this was nothing new being added; the revision just clarifies and cleans up some contradictory language in the city ordinance. The arose as the result of a camper and a box trailer sitting on city property (street), which has become a hazard. Chief Cecil said it causes difficulty in getting emergency vehicles and other traffic through the area. He said he had spoken to the owner who is getting ready to move the vehicles.
Jeff Wright, chairman of Committee Five, had nothing new to report, but he expressed his appreciation to Gary Willey for his work on sewage issues and also for giving an update on the city streets. He also thanked Joe Hanna for his update on some new businesses that may be coming to town, including a possible new motel and apartment complex. Wright also thanked Bev Gibb, parks and recreation director, for her hard work.
Gibb had earlier spoke during the department head meeting about the upcoming Daddy/Daughter dance, to be held on Feb. 10. She said it will be the 24th annual dance and it is sold out, with over 300 people attending. She also spoke about a $2,500 grant she received for a women’s self defense program, which would include school-aged kids as well.
The city will be getting a new fire truck, which should arrive sometime in April. An older truck has been sold, and a 10 percent down payment has already been received. The fire department reported it has about $230,000 for the new truck with the rest to be financed. It was noted that the county commission made a significant contribution toward the truck.
Council thanked Gibb for following procedure with the removal of the new docks. During the recent bad weather, and ice clogging on the river, there is a good possibility the docks could have been lost. Gibb said it was a team effort by the city, and without the street and water department, she couldn’t have gotten it done.
Police Chief Cecil thanked Detective Donnie Harris for his work on a sexual abuse case. Cecil said Harris never gave up on the case, and through a recent polygraph test got a confession, which resulted in a guilty plea. The man was recently sentenced.
Council and Mayor Bohrer commended Harris for his tireless work. Harris was not present at the meeting.
There was no new or old business discussed, and the council meeting was adjourned.