Electric customers in New Martinsville, particularly businesses, are preparing for a planned outage on Oct. 25.
Electric Department Manager David White told New Martinsville City Council at their Oct. 7 meeting that Mon Power has scheduled an outage to the New Martinsville electric utility on Oct. 25. That means all customers of the municipal service, from Williams Run (Bob Evans) to the south end of New Martinsville will be without power that day.
While the specific timing is up to Mon Power, White said the earliest it would be out would be 8 a.m. "I have no control over when their crews get here," noted White. They have scheduled it for the entire work day, but White said it could be finished by early afternoon.
This outage is to properly repair the temporary fix after the big outage New Martinsville experienced on June 11, which totaled about five hours. In addition to repairing the transformers that feed the city's reclosers at the Locust Street station, a second Mon Power crew will be changing out a utility pole on Hydro Drive.
White said the date was selected as it could have the least effect on Magnolia High School. If there is inclement weather on Oct. 25, the rescheduled day for the repairs and outage will be Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
In other outage news, White said the two short outages in September were raccoon related. Two days in a row they had a fuse disconnect blown because of raccoons getting into it, then they had another hit on it with a bird.
"So they made some adjustments on that pole to hopefully alleviate animals that may rest on that particular transformer," noted White.
White noted that Oct. 6-12 was Public Power Week. As usual, the local utility celebrated with an informational table in the lobby of the city building that included some freebies and refreshments. Also, coloring pages by local elementary students were displayed in the lobby and judged for prizes.
As previously discussed by the council, White has looked into adopting some ordinance changes that would give the city more and better opportunities to prevent and collect on delinquent utility bills.
White said he was unsure as to whether the city should adopt West Virginia Public Service Commission regulations in their entirety or perhaps just take the sections on deposits, turnoffs, and the like that particularly address the issues at hand.
He will speak to the city attorney, Carolyn Flannery, to get some direction on the matter.
In other city news, Street Commissioner Gary Willey said they are continuing to work on paving streets. The street department has been working on East Thistle.
Councilman Chris Bachman discussed a camper parked on Duerr Street that causes a safety and traffic hazard. Mayor Keith Nelsen said Building Inspector Joe Hanna has put an ordinance together, as requested by council at last month's regular council meeting. At this point it is still a committee issue.
City Judge Larry Couch believes there is already an ordinance on the city's books dealing with trailers-requiring them to be off the street with some short exceptions. Street Commissioner Gary Willey said New Martinsville Police Department Sergeant Don Larsen recently made someone move a trailer based on that ordinance.
It was said a neighbor in that area wouldn't complain about having a camper out for a few days to get ready for a trip, but this one essentially never leaves the street.
New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Gibb reported that the miniature golf project is coming along. "Klug Excavating and the city employees have been great to work with," said Gibb.
Further, next month the department will join forces with Rebekah Lodge for Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Caregivers Month in November. The annual Alzheimer's Awareness Walk will be held again on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 26.
Finally, Gibb reported that her department has received $20,000 from the land and conservation fund for the new shelter erected in Bruce Park last December. Now they are looking at ideas for another $20,000 grant request. The next park commission meeting will be held Oct. 23, 1 p.m.