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Paden City Council Fills Seat

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Feb 11, 2021

Paden City Common Council met in regular session on Monday, Feb. 2, 2021 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the municipal building.

Following the Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance the meeting began. Members in attendance were Mayor Rick Casteel, City Recorder Shelia Ervin, Jim Richmond, Auna Brady, Scott Dalrymple, Steve Kastigar, Bob Kendall, and City Attorney, Carolyn Flannery.

The meeting began with an update from Dan Ferrell, Utilities Manager of the Thrasher Group, Bridgeport, WV. Ferrell explained to the council a grant the city is eligible to apply for to make upgrades at the sewer plant. The amount of the grant is $2 million with a 75 – 25 percent match. The money will be used for upgrades to the air supply filtration and drying beds. It was pointed out that Paden City is one of the few communities left still using sludge drying beds. The drying beds installation date back before 1984 and are in need of replacements. Beth Fletcher, Chief Operator of the sewer plant, reported that she has looked into replacing the drying beds with a belt press system which is known to be resistant to fouling and corrosion. Currently the drying beds are subject to working properly depending on the weather and at the moment the drying beds are frozen and unable to perform. The belt press system would be housed in a building and allow for operation 24 hours a day seven days a week. Regarding the 25% match that the city would be responsible for paying, roughly $500,000, Mr. Ferrell reported that the city is eligible to apply for a $500,000 grant through the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. This grant money is awarded in July but a Planning Document needs to be sent to the Infrastructure Counsel as soon as possible so that they can be added to the list of applicants for the award money. If awarded the grant money would satisfy the 25% match that the city is responsible for providing. Council voted unanimously to move forward filing the grant application documents for the total amount of $2 million dollars.

In addition Mr. Ferrell informed the board the water project bids for replacement of the tanks will be opening on March 4, 2021. In preparation, on February 11 a pre-bid Zoom meeting will be held. Dan also reported that the air stripper project was complete; however, there was a remaining $15,356 from the project, and this left over funds need to be used or lost. This money was initially intended for dampening the noise from the exhaust pipes, but Josh Billiter recommended that instead of trying to reduce the motor noise, it would be more important to purchase six additional trays. The new trays would allow for switching out the tray components allowing the system to be cleaned in half the time.

The election proclamation was next on the agenda. There are four open council seats: one in Ward 1, two in Ward 2, one in Ward 3. Mayor Casteel declared June 3, 2021 the date selected for the election of open seats. All persons interested in running for a council seat must pay the filing fee prior to March 19, 2021.

With the resignation being excepted of JP Springer, Council approved the appointment of Tonya Schuler to replace Mr. Springer in the second Ward. Ms. Schuler was sworn in and took her seat at the council table.

Josh Billiter reported to counsel that interviews to hire a maintenance worker were conducted in January, and it was recommended the council hire Devon Price to the maintenance department. Council approved the recommendation.

Also under new business Council approved new Prestech contracts for insect extermination. The pricing for this contract remains the same at $240 a year payable in increments of $40 a visit.

City Recorder Shelia Ervin asked council for permission to open a construction bank account for the water project funds. The account will be named the Paden City Water Improvement Project account. The request was approved by counsel.

Regarding the proposed AT&T tower to be constructed at the city park, Mayor Casteel was given permission to proceed with negotiations for the construction of the tower. Mayor Casteel reported that the tower would mean revenue for the city in the amount of $10,000 to $12,000 a year.

Scott Dalrymple reported he approached the Tyler County Commissioners requesting $26,500 for needed repairs to the pool. The county commissioners responded by tabling the issue until they could gather more information regarding the other municipalities and their needs.

The new cell phones for Paden City Police Officers have arrived, and the phone number for each officer was shared with council members.

Finally, Council went into executive Session to discuss a request from Josh Billiter. Following the Executive Session, Josh was given a pay raise from $18.68 to $20.00 per hour. Following the Executive Session, the meeting was adjourned. The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be held on March 1, 2021.