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New Martinsville City Council Discusses Changing Insurance Coverage

By Rick Loy - Staff Writer | Jun 16, 2021

Councilman Joel Potts delivered the opening invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance on June 7, 2021 at the City Municipal Building for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Mayor Sandy Hunt called the meeting to order. Councilman Pallisco was absent.

Council gave unanimous approval to the May 2021 meeting minutes (waived reading).

Unanimously approved by Council was the regular city invoices and financial report (following the department head approval-budget reports available upon request).

Jodi Fluharty, Commercial Lines Insurance Representative of Wetzel Valley Agency, was present to voice her concerns about the city possibly going with WVCoRP for their insurance, replacing Wetzel Valley as the provider.

Councilman Jeff Gieseke commented that WVCoRP was much cheaper and would save the city $29,000 a year. WVCoRP has been used by 50 of 55 counties in WV since 2007 and is endorsed by the WV Municipalities. Councilman Gieseke tabled the matter for an open discussion between the two companies to hear both sides before council makes their final decision.

The Council unanimously approved the budget for 2021-2022 for the Water & Sewer and the Electric Department.

Approval was given by a unanimous vote of council to appoint Jeff Wright to the Water & Sanitary Board.

Councilman Joe Smith made a motion to have department heads provide information on unused vehicles and equipment to put out for bid. The motion was seconded and given unanimous approval by council.

Councilwoman Iris Isaacs made a motion to approve the final 2020-2021 budget revision which was unanimously approved by council. She also made a motion for city employees for one-time only due to Covid-19 and safety issues to be able to roll over unused vacation into the next fiscal year which was also given approval by council.

Bev Gibb, Parks & Recreation Director, made a request to council for funds for a grant to add a sidewalk from New Martinsville School up to Lewis Wetzel Park.

The grant total is $50,000 and the city would pay $10,000. Also, a $250,000 grant to extend the bike/walking trail that would cost the city $50,000. Councilwoman Isaacs made the motion to approve $60,000 total for the two projects.

Council voted unanimously to approve.

Councilman Ron Brill commented that the Clean-up days went well and the next days the City will hold Clean-up days at the north end of Hydro Drive is July 16-17.

Councilman Joel Potts made a motion to employ J. D. Sprowl as a part-time in-training dispatcher for the City Police Department. The motion was granted by unanimous approval by the Council.

Correction from May 2021 meeting: It was incorrectly reported by the Wetzel Chronicle that the motion for the city to donate $3000 to the Community Focus Group for advertising was unanimously approved. The article should have read that councilman Jeff Gieseke voted against the motion and was not in favor of the donation, which passed by a vote of 5-1 in favor.