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PC Council Swears in New Members

By Staff | Jul 11, 2018

Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser sits in on his first meeting as mayor, on July 2. Photo by Monica Mays

Paden City council met in regular session on Monday, July 2, in what may have been the shortest council meeting on record. The council meeting started out with the swearing in of the newly elected Paden City Mayor, Clyde Hochstrasser, and new council member, Steve Kastigar, third ward.

With very few council members in attendance, Mayor Hochstrasser’s first order of business was to schedule another meeting for Thursday, July 5 at 7 p.m., to swear in the other new council members – Mark Casteel, first ward, and John Springer, second ward. The Thursday council meeting would continue where Tuesday’s meeting left off.

At Thursday night’s council meeting concerns from a resident over natural water run-off, causing flooding, were raised. The citizen stated that repairs to the drainage system near her house have been going on for four months, starting March 19. She raised concerns over the job lasting so long, stating crews are only working three to four hours a day, yet the flooding is still occurring with heavy rainfall.

Josh Billiter, Paden City Public Works director, was on hand to address her concerns, stating the extra rain the area has received is complicating matters and making it harder for his crew.

“The natural run-off has no where to go, as the system is older and not designed to hold that much rain water,” stated Billiter. He also noted a lot of the old piping was installed by property owners back in the 50s and 60s and needs replaced. Funding is needed to upgrade the current sewer system, as well as the need to find funding to re-pay the current two loans the city owes.

Billiter mentioned the telemeter system is due for its 10-year inspection, and possibly needs repainted, and to replace any bad tanks. Billiter also believes the city will need a second sewage treatment plant in the next 10 to 15 years to keep up with EPA standards.

In other matters related to water and sewage, the council addressed the problem with residents not paying their city bills in a timely manner. Of the 1295 households the city provides water and and sewage services to, roughly 80 to 120 customers each month get disconnected for non-payment. The council noted most customers pay their bills and the reconnect fee of $30 the same day of losing service. This adds in a new problem – the issue of wasted man-hours, going back and forth in the same day to multiple residences to reconnect the service.

The council is considering raising the reconnect fee, and implementing a 24-hour waiting period before service is restored, in hopes stiffer penalties for non-payment may create an incentive for customers to pay on time. The council will continue this discussion at the next council meeting.

In other matters of finance, council voted to approve the Labor Day 2018/2019 budget, for the sum of $3,500.00. The council also approved the Paden City Park and Pool their 2018/2019 budget of $9,000.

The motion to appoint Ken Stead to the Paden City Development Authority was approved.

The council also approved closing the Paden City water department office on July 17 and 18, so the office personnel can attend class in Charleston, W.Va. on those days. This is an educational class meant to help the office staff with productivity and efficiency.