Where History and Rivers Meet

City of Point Pleasant, WV

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Council Minutes

 

REGULAR MEETING
CITY COUNCIL
CITY OF POINT PLEASANT

 December 9, 2002

The Common Council of the City of Point Pleasant, a municipal corporation in Mason County, West Virginia, met in Regular Session at the City Building, 400 Viand Street at 7:00 P.M. on Monday, December 9, 2002.

The following were found present:

C. Edward Woomer – Mayor

Marilyn L. McDaniel – Certified Municipal Clerk

Harriett O. Nibert – Administrative Assistant

and the following members of City Council:

William H. Wallace       
M. Leota Sang      
James H. Wilson     
Robert C. Doeffinger     
Ronald R. Kapp     
Carol L. Jones

Absent were: 

City Attorney James M. Casey, 

Council Members 

Kevin R. Nott
James E. Fetty
Robert A. Messick
Elaine G. Hunt.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor C. Edward Woomer who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.  City Clerk Marilyn L. McDaniel led Council in prayer.

Mayor Woomer invited all persons present to come along and take a tour of Point Pleasant and Mason County in honor of Senator Oshel B. Craigo.  The journey began with John Sang at the Tourism Welcome Center.  He especially thanked him for having the foresight to help the City acquire that building for the purpose of sending people to all the other attractions in the county and help strengthen our weak economy.  Mr. Sang has had the pleasure of working on other projects with Senator Craigo and stressed that he appreciated him most of all for his non-partisanship and the ability to see the good in a person/project.

Mayor Woomer said, “While we are on our way over to the River Museum, I am going to stop by our new water office and pay my bill.  We have this new water office which has a drive-thru window, plenty of parking, which we do not have at our present office, and beautiful landscaping.  When we come off the Bartow Jones Bridge you will be able to see a new computerized sign that will tell our daily, weekly and monthly activities.”

Jack Fowler, President of the Point Pleasant River Museum Foundation, Inc., said, “We have been calling you Senator for so long that I can’t even remember who preceded you; but most of all we have been calling you friend, because I consider you a great friend, as all of us in Mason County and Point Pleasant; and those of us associated with the River Museum really know what a friend you are.  So we’d like to remind you of where the museum started.  You have been involved from the beginning that was thirteen or fourteen years ago and you remember that old building that you first walked into, but now we have one that looks like this (displayed a picture of the new renovated river museum as it is today).  And like John said this has all happened because of the ideas to try to create tourism to bring dollars into the county.  Sometimes we have stumbled over those fourteen years and every time there was a need for money or trouble with the regulatory agency, the first words you heard were, “let’s call Senator Craigo”, which we did, and not once did you ever fail to find funds needed to continue.  I am so thankful that when we had a problem with the regulatory agency that they reconsidered their decision and took another look at it and went along with our plan so that we could continue the building of the museum.  I’m sorry you were not able to be with us on November 11th when we had our open house just to preview it and give people a thumbnail sketch of what it is going to be like in the future, but I think when you do get a chance to stop by you will be proud of it and think that you were such a major player in the completion of that museum which has been a dream   for so long.  So we are hoping that you will stop by not just right now, but anytime you want to because we have made you a fulltime member of the Point Pleasant River Museum Foundation which entitles you to free entry anytime you want to come by and also as a member to consider in the future serving on the Board of Directors.  So we sincerely thank you for all that you have done and we appreciate it so much because when you see the people walking through those doors, we can say Senator Oshel Craigo, our friend, had a great deal to do with that.  We wish you well in whatever you do!”

Mayor Woomer moved right up on Main Street behind the Floodwall where the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Project has been going on for thirteen or fourteen years and that takes patience and persistence.  He said, “I do not have either one and if I was in charge of that project it would have been in the Gulf of Mexico.”  He introduced Darlene Haer and Sandy Dunn who have been working on this project and making it a wonderful asset for our City.  Ms. Haer remembered Senators Craigo and Dittmar coming to Point Pleasant in November, 1993, and reviewing the plans for the riverfront park for two and one-half hours and you granted funds for the feasibility study and architectural engineering.  You have been involved with the project thereafter, continued to provide funds, and this project would never have been a reality without your help and support.  Sandy Dunn said, “Senator Craigo it’s hard to put in a few words what you have meant to the people of Point Pleasant and Mason County.  Without you there would not be a riverfront park under construction and we would not have had the funds to start the tourism program or continue the work of the Main Street Foundation.  You have always been there for us with your guidance, your friendship, and a little gentle push every now and then if we were not going in the right direction, and we appreciate that.  I do not know how we could have accomplished any of this without you and I can’t understand how we are going to go forward without you always being there.  Thanks for your friendship!”

Mayor Woomer complimented Senator Craigo on his two businesses:  Gino’s at 22nd Street and Tudor’s at 24th and Jackson Avenue with new sunrooms added to the front of each.  Also, Jack Fruth invested in the renovation his of pharmacy with a drive- thru window, beautiful landscaping, and nice signage on the building for community improvement. 

Mason County Superintendent Larry Parsons said, “We don’t know each other, do we Oshel?  I feel real comfortable to be able to say, and I have thought of it many times, and he has given me the coin/slogan, ask and yea shall receive, and unfortunately I have a list of things still in mind to go ahead and I’m not sure he is going to stay where I want him to stay.  I am a little sad that really this is the kind of recognition for a going away when really I wish it was a party for a renewed term.  There is a lot about content of character besides just being a politician and as an educator I always try to look deep inside somebody to see if they are more than just political.  So I’ve seen Senator Craigo with students that we have made some of these cash awards for some of these projects and students embrace him and make offers to him.  He still has an obligation to throw the first pitch out to the Point Pleasant Baseball Field behind the high school.”  Some of the stories that touched Dr. Parsons:  A couple of years ago Hannan High School had a winning basketball team of the magnificent seven players with citizens from all over Mason County attending the sectional and state tournaments.  Senator Craig recognized the school team and members of the school community by giving individual pizzas one afternoon to all the students present.  Dr. Parsons talked to one of the employees that day who had been laid off from the coal mines fourteen years ago and explained that of the three proposed interviews he took the job with Gino’s because of the man (Senator Craigo) who would offer him employment thinking he was a blind man.  That’s the same kind of guy that believes in children as he meted out money for these projects.  We have shell buildings for athletic facilities in all three communities sponsored through legislative digest monies.  We have a new library at Leon, two new kindergarten class rooms, $500,000 addition at Ashton, new school facility (Ordnance) @$5.2 million, new concession facility between the high school and career center, two baseball fields (Hannan and Point Pleasant High Schools), $150,000 to purchase property around North Point Elementary to expand parking lot and playground.                                

Traveling north on Route 62 to the State Farm Museum, Director Lloyd Akers thanked the Senator for being friends with the Farm Museum.  Without his support we wouldn’t be enjoying a lot of the facilities that we have up there today such as a new kitchen, a new sign out on Route 62, and every time we have needed something up there he has been there to help us.

Warden Dale Humphreys, Lakin Correctional Facility for Women (first prison of this type in the State of WV) reminisced with Senator Craigo back to 1989, as a State Trooper, he was stationed at the State Capitol Building during the legislative sessions for many years.  When he first went there he really did not know anyone and his first job was to maintain any problems that might pop up for the State Police and his superintendent asked him to get in there and prevent this.  He had one good friend, Senator Craigo, and if he had or anticipated a problem he could knock on his door because it was always open and he never failed to talk and lead him in the right way.  All the way through his state police career and as Police Chief of the City of Point Pleasant he still had that same friend and the Senator always had that open door policy at his Capitol Office.  To date Warden Humphreys has hired over a hundred people at the Correctional Facility and anticipates over 200 employees in Spring, 2003.  Every time he hires someone, he thinks in his mind, you owe Senator Craigo for your job.  Without Senator Craigo pushing/supporting that facility up there it would be $300,000 less per month to spend in this community and probably 75% of those jobs were hired within of this county.

Director Homer Preece, Marshall University/MOVC, 1 John Marshall Way on Sand Hill Road, said, “Senator, I don’t know what to say, you have been a true friend of Mason County and Marshall University; you’ve been around ever since I have been involved and you have always been there for us; and I know deep in my heart without you we would not be there.  We’ve got a great Board of Directors and we have Dr. Gilley, Dr. Grose, and Dr. Spears and all these people, but you were one of the key people that made this happen and we really do appreciate everything you have done for us and especially my students tonight appreciate because they got out of their final early.  Just to let you know, you are a true friend to us, we will always know you are a friend, and anytime you need anything we hope that you will come and let us know.  It is kind of like my Dad said, ‘Sometimes you really don’t know what you had until it is gone’.  We appreciate you!”

Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley thanked Mayor Woomer, City Clerk Marilyn McDaniel and City Council Members for the opportunity to be here this evening to take time, maybe time we should have spent on all these projects to thank the Senator for.  “On behalf of Commissioners Bob Baird and Phyllis Arthur, thank you Senator Craigo for all the things you have done for Mason County.  You have been the Santa Claus to Mason County, you have brought us many things, whether it’s education, arts and culture, history of our State, tourism part, jobs with the prison, the culture heritage of Mason County.  You can go around this room and see everybody you have touched and all the lives you have touched in the past and also the lives that you will touch in the future.  We wish you good wishes, wish you good luck in the future, and spend time with those grandchildren.  It has been a pleasure to work with you, I can’t say we have always gotten everything we have asked for, but we’ve gotten everything that we needed and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” 

Director Brian Stepp, Mason County Development Authority, said, “Hi, Senator.  We are glad to be here tonight.  You were helping the development authority long before I became involved with it and one of the first things the leaders of the development authority advised was that I needed to meet Senator Craigo.  He has been more than helpful to us in the many projects we have had; some of those being the development of our Industrial Park and with funds for stormwater needs and an access road.  He has helped us in many ways that aren’t even direct in dollars, some of those that we received a call a year ago that the legislation was going to be in place so that multiple counties could do projects together.  He called me and said, Brian, Mason County needs to be a part of this and take advantage of it and he made sure Mason County was in there and gave us that opportunity.  Today that is the Advantage Valley Partnership Project going on and also he helped in the funding of that project through being a part of the legislation for grant committee that we have just gone through that process.  So there are many things that are both direct and indirect that Senator Craigo has helped us through the development authority and all the other projects that we have talked about, all these things are helpful for Mason County.  I want to thank you for being there for me and all the help you have given us.”

Main Street Director Charles Humphreys advised that he had only known Senator Craigo for a couple of years, however, he had been a good friend of Main Street for many years and can’t think of a better person to have on your team.  We were becoming pretty good friends he was definitely a big support of me and I had big plans for him.  He expressed his appreciation for  everything the Senator had done for him.

Executive Director Michele Craig, Region II Planning and Development Council, Huntington, WV, said, “Senator, we are delighted to be here, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank you.  Obviously there are so many physical projects that serve as a testament to your very productive service in the Senate, but we want to thank you for something else.  There are two things: (1) Your very thorough knowledge of the development process and the importance that you placed on cooperation among all the entities involved in that process and the importance of the regionalism; and in that context we want to thank you so much for understanding the role of the Regional Planning and Development Council, Region II that serves Mason County, and always having us at the table.  We know that you never hesitated to dole out responsibilities to us to return to some place.  (2)  Thank you so much for always rolling up your sleeves.  When you sent us out to do a task and we would ask where should we return this for the follow up, it was always directly to you and we really appreciate the personal interest that you have taken in all the projects and undertakings that have unfolded in Mason County.  We thank you so much for all that, for your seriousness that you took on this job with and your twenty-two years of service that you have spent dedicated to the people of Mason County in your district.  We thank you so much for all of that and wish you the very best for your retirement; having been in the legislature for awhile, I do know that there is a little life after that and we wish you the best of it.  Thank you!”

Councilman Robert Doeffinger said, “I have known the Senator for probably fifteen or twenty years, and he has been a friend of business and labor alike, as well as being non-partisan.  He has been a champion for Mason County, but he has been a champion for the State of West Virginia and I think from the State level the people are going to really miss this guy.  He’s the primary individual that has straightened up corrections, he is responsible for our jail system, and we are going to miss him and they’re going to miss him for that whole process; and he dogged that through and he stayed with it and he has been persistent and that is one of his qualities, we hate to see him go and I know the State is going to miss him; he has been a successful legislator and I know whatever he chooses to do in the future, he is going to be successful.  The State of West Virginia is going to miss him and Mason County misses him.”

William Wallace said, “I would like to thank him wearing two hats tonight.  First as a City Councilman, when I came on board, I just want to thank you for being directly responsible for helping us through some financial hard times.  If it hadn’t been for your help and your assistance, I don’t know what we would have done; we would have had to make some terrible, terrible decisions, hard decisions that would have affected the employees of this City.  A lot of City employees owe you, the fact that you helped us that they did not get a lay-off notice a few years ago.  Now, I want to thank you also as Chairman of the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta.  When I took that over this year and I started going through how the funding worked, I see there was a person there who always provided seed money in two ways:  One is out of a personal checking account by Gino’s Pizza helping with the Regatta and the other by having the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta included on the Budget Digest.  This year I think you gave us a $2,000 raise when I looked it over and I appreciate that.  That means so much to an event like the Regatta and with the riverfront park coming on that is really going to be super for the Regatta and they are going to work together hand in hand.  The seed money helps, yes this is a poor community, a lot of parents don’t have the money and things, but when I get seed money of $5,000 from Budget Digest and donations from businesses and things like that, it allows us to put on things that are not at cost to an individual.  When I see a grandfather bringing a kid up the sidewalk and the kid can participate in something because it is free or very cheap it is because of that seed money.  I want to thank you for that on two fronts, one as a businessman which is civic oriented and two as a Senator that helped us and put us into that Budget Digest range where we will continue to reap that benefit year after year, after year.  Thank you so much!”

Councilwoman Carol Jones said, “Mr. Wallace said mostly what I wanted to say.  But there was one little funny thing that really comes to my mind and that is when we had our term started, we had you in on the river museum and you said you had put too much money in that museum and not going to put any more; and so we thought what are we going to do?  Finally, you said you were going to help us one more time and this is it, if it doesn’t work this time you’re not getting any more.  Of course, Jack Fowler worked with you and came in and has done a great job.  I remember that more than anything, we’re not going to put any more money in that if it doesn’t work, and it has worked and thank you very much.”  Senator Craigo said to thank Jack Fowler for that; and Ms. Jones did thank Mr. Fowler.

Councilman James Wilson said, “Again, I would like to say thanks, but like I told him outside, to me he is the best elected official that I have ever met in my life.  If your family is not proud of you, I don’t know how they couldn’t, because to me you did what the rest of us would like to do.  Maybe the opportunities were there where you got in the position to help, but you helped.  I never knew of a project that you didn’t try to help, there may have been some that you just couldn’t find ways to find that money, but you will be sadly missed and I hope you tell your family that they should be very, very proud of you for the job you did, because I am and I am going to miss you.”

Councilman Ronald Kapp said, “I worked with Senator Craigo on a project uptown and we had a get together with Jim Wilson, City Attorney James Casey, and in the conversation a constituent of mine had mentioned a piece of ground that the City owns in north Point Pleasant about coming up with a park.  After a discussion, I came up with the idea of maybe putting a memorial for the six medal of honor winners of Mason County and everybody was in agreement.  City Attorney Casey just mentioned it to Senator Craigo and right off the bat, Senator Craigo said well what are we going to do for funding and I said well I don’t know.  He said how much are you going to need and I said probably start out with maybe $5,000; and he said how about $10,000; and I said how about $15,000, and he said whoa.  Just in conservation over a good idea that some people come up with he has sent in seed money of $10,000 to get this park in operation and by next Spring it will be completed, we hope, open for the enjoyment of the City of Point Pleasant.  That is just how Senator Craigo is, he was there, and we are definitely going to miss you, but I do appreciate you.”

Councilwoman Leota Sang said, “I remember the meeting that Carol referred to on the river museum and we were telling him that we had the windows and all this stuff in storage and it was like, I can’t remember him saying that he wasn’t going to give us any more money, but what I remember he sort of told us to get whatever material we had, get those windows in, I mean it was like he jolted us to get started on the building.  Another thing I want to thank you for is when you told Mayor Roach to get that cooler off the back of the KFC Building.  Also, we are going to miss you, but I just told John (husband) here last week or so that maybe we could get him to run for Governor.”

Sandy Dunn advised Mayor Woomer that there was one big project that had been over looked and she thanked Senator Craigo for the beautiful new building of the Mason County Health Department.  She and Dr. Parsons served on the committee to select the site and were always coming up short of funds and Senator Craigo would always go back and find a little bit more and a little bit more.  Without his help that building would not have been built and that we would have still been walking up all those steps without an elevator, so thank you.

Robert Doeffinger said, “There is another project, Sandy, to bring this one up and Oshel sometimes had to try to force us to take the money and one was the consolidated school.  Mason County chose for whatever reason, that was a reason not to turn that down, but this man gave us the money, he had the money in our hands and that was our choice.  He probably had some bad press over it and all he did was provide the money; he did the right thing and we’re still dealing with it.”

Mayor Woomer said, “Senator I have put together something the way I see it and it’s just real short and I’d like to read it to you.  I have just known you for a short time, but I know what you have done for our county and our city.  I have been in business for a number of years and I know what it takes to develop business, it takes dollars.  Senator Craigo, when you were elected to represent the people of Mason County, you came to our county and helped us turn the soil in our gardens.  You left us seeds to plant and you brought us water to help our gardens grow.  Now it is up to us to cultivate the plants and harvest the crops and, Senator, from the looks of our gardens we should reap the benefits for many, many years to come.  I thank you!”

City Clerk Marilyn McDaniel read a RESOLUTION HONORING SENATOR OSHEL B. CRAIGO.  A copy is herewith attached to and made a part of these minutes.  Upon motion by James Wilson, second by William Wallace, Council unanimously moved to adopt a  RESOLUTION HONORING SENATOR OSHEL B. CRAIGO.

Senator Oshel Craigo commented, “This is kind of hard, I’ll be honest with you, and people have been amazed how I have taken this thing because quite frankly I had elevated to a situation where my life that has been controlled for the last five to six years, maybe seven years.  There was hardly a decision made on State level that I wasn’t involved with, basically about four or five people made all the decisions and I was one of them and as a result of that it has controlled my life.  I really wasn’t going to run again, and I made a mistake – I asked some of my supporters and told them I did not want to run again and they said you’ve got to do this because of the position you hold, you cannot not do this.  I also promised my wife I wouldn’t run again.  I think the good Lord may be punishing me because I went back on my word.  Let me just tell you, Mason County has been unbelievably good to me for twenty-two years and I want you to know that I love the people of Mason County and I love you folks in this room and I mean that with all my heart.  Let me also tell you that I am not going anywhere, I have a couple businesses in this town, I am going to build a another store in this town, (Charlie any of you guys have any money you want to loan me), and I am also going to build an office building across the street.  I love Mason County, I think it is a diamond in the rough and I’m going to do some work and try to expand my business and that is what I am going to devote my life to, working for myself.  I am going to do that and Mason County is going to be a very important part of that.”

“The tourism building is so wonderful and I am so pleased with what is going on there and what is going to happen and I am just happy to be a part of that.  But in that whole process, as I was talking to John, about the fact that people who come to pay their water bill; your facility here is okay but there is no place to park, it’s really a pain in the butt to pay your water bill.  The growth in the food business is in the drive-thru window, I would say the growth in the banking business is drive-thru window, and so I suggested to John (former Mayor) if we could get this building, you could have a tourism building and you could let folks drive-thru and pay their water bill without getting out of their car.  He thought it was a great idea and I think it’s a great idea and I think it will be a nice addition and I was just happy to be a part of that.”

“The river museum, we have had our ups and downs and we may have paid too much, but because of this man over here (Jack Fowler) it is going to become a reality.  I suggest to you without him it would not have happened, in spite of anything I could have done, anything any of the mayors could have done, it would not have happened if it hadn’t been, in most things that we do in life, somebody has to own the opportunity or own the problem, and I suggest to you that he owned the problem and the opportunity and as a result of that it is going to be a wonderful addition.  When I first ran for office I was blessed to have a good friend named Bill Leport.  He loved the river and gave me two or three pictures of boats on the Ohio River and I am going to bring those down and give to you to put in the museum; and I hope you will do that.  They are a nice addition and won’t take away anything, but they will live on in memory of Bill Leport, a great guy.”

“The riverfront park and what you are doing there and naming something (amphitheater) after me is wonderful, I really do appreciate that.  But let me tell you that would not have happened if it had not been for Darlene and Sandy, you can give me some credit and maybe I contributed something to it, but at the end of the day folks the people who own that opportunity are the two ladies sitting over there.  I suggest to you that if I hadn’t been able to help, maybe it would not have happened, but I guarantee you these people got stick-to-it-ness.  Anybody who can stay on a project for fourteen years is pretty much apt to see it thorough some way by hook or crook, I don’t know.  But I hope and think that I was able to contribute something to that process.”

“I also have been extremely blessed to be involved with two people that this county is going to miss more than they miss me, and I hope you miss me.  Jack Fruth and Charlie Lanham, this town is going to miss those two people, make no mistake about it.  Whatever the issue is you can talk to those two guys and they are there; they are there not for personal gain, not for selfish reasons, they are there for this county and Sandy Dunn is likewise.  Problem with Jack and Charlie, they are like me, they are getting older and somebody has got to fill their shoes.  I am looking around and there’s some good people, Rick Handley you are one of them and Brian you are another one.  Those shoes are going to be hard to fill, but it’s got to happen.”

“Dr. Parsons has done a yeoman’s job for this county.  You are right I got $15,600,000 and I got called up and he said you ...., you take us off the list and we didn’t get our money.  So I went and changed legislation and put them back on the list so that you couldn’t take them off, then they got their money and guess what, I got a phone call and said you .... you’ve got money down there for them schools.  End of the day I guess that’s the way the system works.  Dr. Parsons never ever, ever fails to give recognition to people who work for him and do a good job for him.  He has always been extremely kind to me and he made the effort to thank me for all the things I have been able to do and he is very smart; what that made me do is want to do it more.”

“When Jimmy Joe Wedge was Mayor, there was a controversy over the Moose Lodge being abandoned.  Senator Craigo called Mayor Wedge and said, if I would buy the Moose Lodge located at Second and Main Streets for the senior citizens will you share the credit with me.  He said, if you buy the building I will give you all the credit.  Senator Craigo said he purchased the building and has given money to that thing, big bucks every year since then.  He said Jean Salem, Director of the Mason County Senior Citizens, is a wonderful individual and wonderful administrator.  She is doing an unbelievable job for that senior program and she never fails to give him credit.”

“The farm museum, I remember getting a call from Walden Roush, a great guy.  Mr. Roush said, you know we have the Mason County Farm Museum and we have never ever gotten any public money to help us and asked me if I could help.  I remember at that time he had a board with 125 volunteers; what he had was, he lead them all, he volunteered, his wife volunteered, and everybody volunteered.  I went down and met with Mr. Roush and explained that in order to help him I would have to adopt him, and asked do you know what that means.  You have the Mason County Farm Museum and that will not work, it will have to be the State Farm Museum.  If we can get them to adopt you, then you know what happens when you adopt somebody, you have to feed them.  When he talked to the board they were not very receptive to that idea, they wanted to be a Mason County Farm Museum.  Mr. Roush said the man is telling us what we have to do, we have to do it.  So we will change the name to the West Virginia State Farm Museum and that year the bill was passed and nobody objected, no money; so what happened the State adopted it.  The next year Senator Craigo started feeding it and has been feeding ever since.”

“Senator Craigo said that he and Dale Humphreys go back a long way to tell the truth.  He saved my life one time in Glendale, right out of Wheeling, and I never did forget it.  I wasn’t always nice to him, I just knew he had something on me and he was kind enough not to bring that up tonight.  When we started down the path of getting the prison I remember very well the first call I made was to John Musgrave.  I said John I have an idea that I could put a prison in Mason County, I want to send some people down to take a look, will you show them around, buy them lunch, and talk to them to see what you can do to sell them on this idea.  They came and after talking and putting pressure on this group they visited again.  I called Charlie Lanham and Jack Fruth as I always do; then I called my real sounding board, Jean Salem, and I said I want to bring a prison down there; do you think they will run me out of town if I was able to bring a women’s prison to Mason County.  The guys said I think it will work.  ....Mrs. Salem said thank the Lord, we will make it work (construct prison), and she became my biggest fan.  As you all know by the end of the day there will be a total $36,000,000 worth of new construction up there; have already spent $32,000,000 and have about $6,000,000 more.  This is a real big addition and will grow in the process.  I checked around found out that several of the wardens in different institutions throughout the state were former state troopers .... if that’s the kind of qualifications you need, I know just the man and he happens to live there; so I have become a big advocate for Dale Humphreys to be your warden.  The end results were good and I’m glad he is there.”

“Michele Craig and I worked together for a long time and you do a yeoman’s job in what you do and I want you to know that if I have been of any help at all I certainly am honored to do that.  The real problems that we have in this State that is challenging is how are we going to grow our economy and it is going to be through creative things that we can put together and we can do; like being a regional business partner and I am going to ask you all to be an advocate because Kanawha County is anti-everything but Kanawha County.  In that business park I have got scheduled to come down there the new lottery commission which will be like an anchor store and beside it will be an off-campus campus for Marshall similar to what you have up here.  It is all in the works and is all ready to go, but I don’t have any juice any more.  I need you to help me, because everything doesn’t have to be nor should it be in Charleston, it should be spread around.”    

 “Senator Craigo said another project that you did not mention that I will take credit for because I am extremely proud of, I’m the guy that’s the father or grandfather of the DMV Offices (Department of Motor Vehicles).  When we started down that road I took our people of the DMV in my motor home to Virginia and I showed them how the rest of the world does it; not a lot of genius, how they do it, we ought to copy it, and they ‘bout ran me out of town, did not want to change.  It took a long time but I got DMV Offices in three out of my four counties.  I was extremely pleased to get one here in Mason County creating seven jobs and I hope everybody likes it.  But the regional park needs to become a reality that has a potential of becoming 200 acres, and so when you see an ad in the newspaper write a letter to the editor to say it should be up here, it doesn’t all have to be in Charleston; this will create 10,000,000 in construction jobs.  They are up there now renting an old warehouse and a former Steak and Ale and they are paying $400,000 a year and we are renting it and that will go on for ever; we need to own our own building, they have the money to do it and we should do it, the commitment is there, but because I’m not there they will try to take it away.  I’d appreciate it if you all would be an advocate and one good reason is because you are in that mix that Brian is talking about.  That regional park is owned by five counties and Mason County is one of them.  I told Brian, Charlie, and Jack when I talked to them about the business park, don’t get mad at me, that Mason County does not have any juice, but you do have a lot of level land; so it is a natural that we should be working with those people.”

“Wally (Wm. Wallace), you’ve been a yeoman to work with and you are a wonderful man.  I remember working with the City to try to get some water for sewer project up on Washington Avenue; called me down here and wore my butt out one evening because I got them a 20-year loan @4% interest and they wanted a 40-year loan @0% interest.”

“The Mason County Health Department, a lady (Sue Brown) worked hard over there to make that a reality and I was just somebody who was able to help her and I think by the end of the day we did put a lot of money in there.  We did help the county and the city when we bought the parking lot next door.”

“You know it has been a great 22 years and I’ve been very, very blessed to be here.  The Governor has offered me a job to come down and work with him.  He wants me to be a part of his administration and he has offered me pretty good bucks to do that and that would be nice for retirement, you wouldn’t know anything about that.  It would be very nice for retirement, but really and truly I am not looking for a job, I kind of worked full time at being a legislator and it doesn’t pay very much, but I worked hard at it and I loved it and it was a lot of fun; but I put more time into it than I needed too because I let my business go and I’m very blessed to have a good business and I need to focus on that.  So anyway, I don’t know that I will go down, but he will let me write my own ticket; I can be a consultant with him, I can work on your contracts with him, or work from nine to five.  I have also been asked, this one is pretty intriguing, to work with medical schools, they want to hire me  for the same reason – everybody today is having money crunches and sometimes they need a little help and how creatively put things together.  My life has been pretty wonderful, I just came back from Boston spent time with all my kids over Thanksgiving and all of them are coming home for Christmas and things are going well in my personal life.  My ability to stay involved is there if I want to do it, but I really want to be involved with you and I hope you will consider inviting me to be on your tourism board, and I would hope that you would call me to meet with you on any occasion because I do have some working knowledge and maybe I could contribute something and I would be just more than happy to do that if you will just give me the opportunity.  I don’t have any juice, but I know all the players.”

“Let me just tell you that my good friend, Pat Williamson, is here and the things that you did here and the things that I was able to do for this city I did for the Town of New Haven, Town of Hartford, and Town of Mason equally as important on a smaller budget.  On many occasions this guy would call me up whether his library burnt down and find money to build a new library, or trouble with sewer plant, or needed a new police car, I think he will tell you that on almost every occasion I have been able to help and I am glad you are here.  Thank all of you for being here, I appreciate very much what you have done, I love all of you!” 

Mayor Woomer presented a plaque to “John D. Roach, Mayor, City of Point Pleasant, in Appreciation of His Dedicated Service to Our Community, July, 1999 to September, 2002”, with a family picture displayed on it. 

Police Captain John D. Sallaz, Jr. presented a plaque to “David M. Downing in Recognition of His Dedicated Service of 21 Years as a Police Officer for the City of Point Pleasant, November 12, 2002”.  Officer Downing retired as a Lieutenant.

Former Mayor John D. Roach presented wrist watches to Lieutenant David M. Downing and Lieutenant Grayson Joseph Miller for their many years of service as police officers for the City of Point Pleasant.

Mayor Woomer invited everyone to a reception in honor of Senator Oshel B. Craigo.

John Bryant, Point Pleasant Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service appeared before Council to review the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  Over the years FEMA funds have gone toward floods and through research they have included earth quakes and other disasters; they have divided several million dollars among the states to be filtered down to the counties.  Each state is responsible to establish an all hazard mitigation program/plan to identify each disaster within each county.  Basically, once the West Virginia funds were divided among the counties, there was not a whole lot of money for the amount of work involved/required.  Therefore, in a meeting they were advised that in order to get any mitigation funds in the future they must submit this plan for the entire county.  All cities within the county are asked to sign to be included in the program/plan.  Any county that does not meet the guidelines or any city that does not sign on, no mitigation funds will be issued.  Ronald Kapp moved to approve and authorize the Mayor to sign the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program with the county to include the City of Point Pleasant; and at a later date appoint representative(s) to serve on the planning committee.  James Wilson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Robert Doeffinger moved to approved Woolpert LLP Invoice No. 22-202031 B, dated November 30, 2002, in the amount of $8,500, Project Number 57149, for the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Project; and Pay Application #6 from Alan Stone Company, Inc., in the amount of $188,227.66 for the time period of 11/07/2002 through 12/09/2002, and Payment Request #6 from J.D.&E., Inc., totaling $142,513.20 for construction services; and one (1) Payment Resolution authorizing the request and disbursement of said funds; (Total $330,740.86), recommended payment by Woolpert LLP for the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Project; and submit to the WV Department of Transportation (WVDOT), State Project U627-PPR/PK-1.00 Grant, second year Federal Funding ratio.  William Wallace seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Upon Woolpert’s recommendation, Robert Doeffinger moved to approve J.D.&E., Inc. change order in the amount of $907.70 for placement of 4” drain tile and gravel under the serpentine wall footing.  Carol Jones seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.    

Upon Robert Doeffinger’s request, Darlene Haer, Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Committee, presented Contingency Fund Without/With $1.2 Million Grant for change orders to each Council Member.

The minutes of the Regular Council meeting of November 12, 2002, copies of the General Fund, Water and Sewer, and Coal Severance Financial Statements of November 30, 2002, were presented to each Council Member and unanimously approved on motion by Ronald Kapp, second by James Wilson.

Robert Doeffinger moved to pay the outstanding bills as presented on the Obligation Summary for November, 2002.  Carol Jones seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

City Clerk Marilyn McDaniel reminded Council Members of information each received on the West Virginia Municipal League Mid-Winder Conference to be held on January 19 & 20, 2003 at the Charleston Marriott.  The Municipal Election Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2003.    

Upon the recommendation of Point Pleasant River Museum Foundation President Jack L. Fowler, James Wilson moved to approve Letart Corporation  Invoice @$10.00, Sherwin-Williams Company Invoices @$729.88, State Electric Supply Company Invoices @$1,051.94, Thomas-Do-It-Center Invoices @$1,311.75, Valley Brooke Concrete Invoice @$237.25, JCO Lumber Invoice @$5,394.37, and Lowe’s Companies, Inc., @$399.96, totaling $9,135.15; and submit to the Transportation Enhancement Program, West Virginia Department of Transportation ($60,000) for payment.  Robert Doeffinger seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.  James Wilson moved to officially name the river museum building the “Point Pleasant River Museum”.  Upon the recommendation of Robert Doeffinger, Mr. Wilson moved to amend his motion and to hold it over until the Regular Council Meeting of January, 2003, to have City Attorney Casey research and report back to Council.

Progress Reports for November, 2002, from the City’s Street, Sanitation, Maintenance, Floodwall, Shop, Water, Police Departments and City Inspector Stephen Williams were presented to each Council Member.

Robert Doeffinger moved to have Recreation Committee Chairman Kevin Nott appoint three/four persons to pursue the lease/purchase of the Lutton property which is located south of Camden Avenue adjacent to Harmon Park for proposed additional ballfields and report back to Council.  James Wilson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Accountant Ronald Siders reported that a couple of months ago Council approved the purchase of new computers and software.  The computers have been installed; next month we will do up date and conversion to the new software since we are toward the end of the new year and Jeff Feamster will do the W-2’s on the old system.  Everything seems to be working fine at this point.  Robert Doeffinger asked about the process to convert from a post card to a return envelope for water bill.  Mr. Siders advised that a decision has not been made because it will not be cost effective; it will cost $6,000 more a month for postage, purchase a machine to stuff envelopes at $15,000 to $20,000, unless you want to give this to the water office employees @3,000 bills per month.  Our Accountant Jeff Feamster advised that unless the Public Service Commission (PSC) told you to do that, due to the privacy concerns, not to worry about it.  With our new printer/copier, we can now do duplex printing, so we can print the bills on one side and notations on the back.  The new copier will save us $570.00 per month which will pay off the machine in less than two years with a low cost of 1.2 cents per copy.  Mayor Woomer will further research the card vs. envelope cost and process for the mailing of water bills.

William Wallace encouraged the City to begin a new policy to post the agenda for the Council Meeting and post the minutes of the previous meeting on the website.  William Wallace moved that the City start posting its minutes and agenda of the City Council Meetings on the pointpleasantwv.org website starting with this Council Meeting here.  James Wilson seconded.  William Wallace amended his motion and moved that the City of Point Pleasant look into the feasibility and talk to the City Attorney about posting our agenda and past minutes for council meetings and report back to us.  James Wilson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

City Clerk Marilyn McDaniel advised Council that the City of Point Pleasant General Election will be Saturday, May 17, 2003 and the Political Convention will be scheduled in March, 2003.  There will be absentee voting at the City Hall.  The West Virginia Clerks will attend an election seminar January 21, 2003, Charleston, WV.  Ms. McDaniel received an election packet from Secretary of State Joe Manchin and has pursued registered voters assistance of Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley.

James Wilson has had calls from residents concerning the additional stormwater from the new construction at the Ordnance Elementary School.  Robert Doeffinger advised that the stormwater on that site will not be a problem as it will all be collected in a huge engineered French drain and the water percolates out into the sand.  The water that does not percolate comes up into an overflow above that in the same area toward Cecil Dean’s house; there is actually a storm inlet from the City that ties in over at 29th Street.

Upon the request of residents on 30th Street, Carol Jones asked about opening a right-of-way between 30th Street and English Road for an emergency exit in case of a fire/accident.  Council agreed to have City Attorney Casey research.

James Wilson suggested the City find an alternate plan to meet their financial obligation toward the riverfront park project. 

Ronald Kapp received a complaint from the Point Pleasant Fire Department that there was no heat in the bay.  Mayor Woomer advised that a furnace downstairs is being worked on and may affect that area.   

Ronald Kapp deemed it an emergency and moved to adopt a Resolution to support a $15,000 Grant submitted to the West Virginia Economic Development Grant Committee by the Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a refurbished Aerial Platform Fire Truck.  William Wallace seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ronald Kapp requested a workshop to review the 1972 City of Point Pleasant Zoning Ordinance Revisions and prepare for the second reading.

Ronald Kapp discussed the financial report given to Council and asked for a more specific/simplified print out, in particular, payroll.  Accountant Siders will prepare a consolidated chart of accounts with four major categories:  payroll overhead, major expenses, revenues and actual year-to-date (simplified income/expense report).

William Wallace reported that the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta Committee met and asked the city to contact Zambelli’s to schedule the fireworks display for the 4th of July.

Council discussed the list of questions raised by property owners in the area of the drainage canal to be constructed in north Point Pleasant as presented by Mayor Woomer.  Mr. Lowell Cook has been contacting property owners and several have signed the agreement.

Mr. Wallace visited the tourism building and commended the city workers for doing a marvelous job.  However, he is rather distressed how small the water department is and the lack of natural light in there.  “I think we need to look at that, I think we need to rethink that again.  It was a water department to begin with.  Our goal when we first started this was to provide a facility for the citizens of Point Pleasant to pay their water bill.  Oshel came along and said, hey, if you put an area in there as a welcome center I can get you some money.  Now it has become primarily, it is beautiful tourism center, but now we are slighting the water department.  That is my opinion.”

Robert Doeffinger gave a report on distressed property in another area and they are having the same problems that we are, but they are a little more aggressive.  They have an urban renewal authority to get grants to tear the property down/pay the property owner some value to actually own the property; get enough lots and get a developer to build houses, etc.  We want to do this procedure right, but the problem is how long it takes the list to get resolved.  Mayor Woomer advised that City Inspector Stephen Williamson has a list of distressed property (10-12).  Mayor Woomer has met with City Attorney Casey for assistance.

Leota Sang said, “I want to thank Mayor Woomer, City Clerk Marilyn McDaniel, Administrative Assistance Harriett Nibert, and Accountant Ronald Siders; I think tonight was very tastefully done, very professional and really nice”.  Council members extended their appreciation and felt Senator Oshel Craigo appreciated it too.

Upon motion by James Wilson, second by Ronald Kapp, the meeting adjourned at 11:20 P.M.



 

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