City Of Paden City Council Meets in Regular Session
The Paden City Council held it’s regular scheduled meeting on May 4, via conference call due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser called the meeting to order and asked the City Recorder to take a roll call; Councilmen Steve Kastigar and J. P. Springer were not present.
The Mayor then asked the Director of Public Works Superintendent Josh Billiter for an update on water and street items. Billiter said the Air Stripper has been installed and they have been working out a few minor details they discovered in the startup. Billiter said it should be completed next week. The city has received their permit from the Health Department, but will be waiting on other operating permits which could take up to a month to receive before they can start operation of the stripper plant.
It was stated that Billiter will be allowed to grandfather in to the Plant Operator Position without having to acquire any operator permits, while the other two employees will have to acquire their Class 2 Operator Permits. The plant will be a 24/7 operation. There will be a Webinar Training session from the Air Stripper company to help with training.
Billiter asked council for an automated analyzer at a cost of $4,471.00 so they will not have to man the plant around the clock, or they will need to hire more operators to man the plant. Council will discuss the matter before making a decision.
Billiter said the new dump truck which was approved at the last council meeting, has been ordered for the City Water, Sewer, and Maintenance Department.
In unfinished business the council passed a motion to accept credit or debit cards to pay municipal bills online or in the office with a $2.50 processing fee.
The council moved to table until next meeting the following items: the water line project on Union alley, the maintenance of the City Hall building, the park budget, and the repairs to the senior citizens building.
Council approved a two week vacation pay for employee Austin Lowe, which was owed to him. Due to COVID-19 and a Presidential mandate council approved moving the 2020 Municipal election to July 23.
Also given approval by council was the first reading of an ordinance to amend the part five general ordinance code (The Animal nuisance code), for owners to have cats and dogs in city limits only. The ordinance prohibits domestic animals such as chickens, horses, cows and other animals in city limits. (This does not include parrots or other birds people have in their homes.)
Mayor Hochstrasser met opposition from Councilman Casteel on the amendments of two separate ordinances which resulted in both items being tabled for further discussion at a later meeting.
The mayor said that there has been too much absenteeism with city workers and he wanted to implement an amendment to the ordinance with an absentee policy in place that would address the problem. The plan the mayor proposed was met with opposition from Casteel, who said if an employee gets on the program, the employee could never get off the program to clear his or her record. The proposed plan called for disciplinary action after missing so many days, a verbal warning for the first offense, followed by a written warning, and finally subjecting the offender to discharge.
The next item the Mayor proposed to amend was the amount of sick leave city officials could build up. The more years you have, the more vacation and sick pay you can acquire. Hochstrasser feels there should be a cap on the amount of sick days an employee can acquire no matter length of service.
This proposal also met opposition from members of council and was tabled for further discussion until a later date. Josh Billiter commented that the city employees had been promised these benefits in place of raises many years ago. The Attorney for Paden City, Carolyn Flannery was going to check to see what New Martinsville’s City workers policy is for further discussion on the matter.