Where History and Rivers Meet

City of Point Pleasant, WV

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Council Minutes



January 13, 2003     


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, January 13, 2003.

 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
Kevin R. Nott          
Elaine G. Hunt   
Carol L. Jones
Robert C. Doeffinger    
Ronald R. Kapp

 Absent were:

City Attorney James M. Casey,

Council Members

James E. Fetty
Robert A. Messick.

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 presented a plaque to “Willard D. ‘Sonny’ Hunt in Recognition of His Dedicated Service of 13 Years as Superintendent of the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the City of Point Pleasant, January 13, 2003”.  Mr. Hunt commended the men he had worked with at the plant.

Mayor Woomer introduced Lowell Cook who is a volunteer for the City of Point Pleasant.  Mr. Cook is overseeing the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project calling on the citizens trying to retain some easements for our new drainage channel.  He is a representative of the Western Soil Conservation District in the Resource Conservation and Development Program which is a consortium of ten counties in southwestern West Virginia that are working on various civic and social problems; trying to help plan and fund them.  The Great Kanawha Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) developed this plan for what we are calling a “grass waterway” because it fits the description, as it is more than just a drainage ditch.  The Soil Conservation Engineers did an excellent job of designing it and he sincerely believes the cost will be reasonable and within the scope of what the City can afford.  If this project is properly supervised when built, it will serve the purpose very, very well as the first stage in correcting some of the problems we have.  At the request of Mayor Woomer and Lowell Wilks, RC&D, Mr. Cook has visited several of the people who have property adjacent to this grass waterway and have discussed with them the possibility of giving an easement to the City across their property to build the channel.  After visiting with three to five residents some problems developed with many questions and concerns.  Mr. Cook made notes of the questions and typed a list for Mayor Woomer to present to each Council Member.  Mr. Cook suggested that a provision be included in the contract to use the soil to fill in the low place up there to get the water out.  He explained that once the plans were rolled out in front of the residents that he approached, went down in the area and walked over it with them, located the center lines for them, stepped off approximately how wide it would be, it was interesting that every person was highly in favor of it and would like to see it done.  This is a positive project and will help Point Pleasant immensely.

Robert Doeffinger moved to approve the following invoice and two change orders for the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Project:  (a) American Electric Power engineering work completed and to relocate existing pole along the riverfront for a cost of $685.57 and submit to the WV Department of Transportation (WVDOT), State Project U627-PPR/PK-1.00 Grant, second year Federal Funding ratio; (b) J.D.&E., Inc. change order in the amount of $578.04 for the closure of the eaves and soffit on the electrical building; and, (c) J.D.&E., Inc. change order on a time and material basis for the placement of the filter fabric, rip rap, grout and waterproofing regarding the sloped area between the comfort station and the floodwall in the amount of $6,000.00; Woolpert LLP recommended approval of the change orders.  Kevin Nott seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Larry Jones, 803 Main Street, appeared before Council not to make any comments, but to answer Council’s questions concerning a recent newspaper article and a complaint lodged about him in April, 2002.  He was never notified of that and then received a letter in September and within a few days had his attorney return a letter, received nothing; and three months later received a call from the reporter that there seemed to be a disagreement that he had with the City and he advised the reporter that he was unaware of a disagreement (issues had come up at the Council meeting that people had complaints).  Carol Jones advised that they had received complaints concerning the scaffolding erected to paint his house for a long period of time in a Historic Landmark District.  Prior to April when Mayor Woomer was City Inspector he approached Mr. Jones about two and one-half years ago and asked him about his plans and progress.  The new scaffolding is thief proof and cost $1,000; and he did not consider it a safety hazard even though not the best for appearance.  Mr. Jones offered in the letter from his attorney to mask it off to protect anyone from getting in there and asked for someone to call back.  Mayor Woomer advised that his letter was turned over to the City Attorney upon receipt.  Kevin Nott expressed his regret that this issue was front-page news because he was working through the City Inspector.  The scaffolding has now been taken down and chained to prevent theft after being up for seven years.  Chairwoman Leota Sang introduced four members of the Historic Landmark Commission: Marlene Slusser, Lesa Doeffinger, Sylvia Casey and Judaline Liberatore.  She explained that before you can do anything within the Historic District you must come before the Commission and fill out an application for approval of any type of work that you plan to do on your home.  The Historic Landmark Commission had presented a complaint to the City Inspector concerning Mr. Jones’ prolonged home project (unpainted house with scaffolding up for seven years).  City Inspector Stephen Williamson advised that once Mr. Jones appears before the Commission for review and receives approval, he will issue a building permit.  Mayor Woomer and Council expressed their willingness to work with Mr. Jones.

Water Superintendent Dan Rodgers and Wastewater Superintendent Bruce Chapman appeared before Council and advised that they have had some difficulty with the UV system (ultra violet) that kills the pathogens in the wastewater.  The City has an opportunity to buy one unit and they will give us another unit free at a cost of $36,000.  When the new wastewater plant was built they switched over to UV system (a set of lights that the water passes over) instead of the chlorine gas.  It is mandatory that the City replace this unit because we have been out of compliance the last few months with the regulatory agencies.  Elaine Hunt moved to purchase the UV system from I.W. Technologies Incorporated in the amount of $36,000 for the supply of the two new systems and a full guarantee on system efficacy.  James Wilson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mayor Woomer advised that the department heads, Police Chief Ronald D. Spencer, Street Commissioner Ernest “Willie” Call, Water Superintendent Dan Rodgers and Wastewater Superintendent Bruce Chapman, were present to answer any questions that Council Members had on overtime.  Ronald Kapp replied that the only question he had on overtime was discussed several months ago; we have one group of people that work seven hours and we pay them for 8 hours and if they work 8 hours we pay one hour over time.  Also, a month or two ago we worked overtime picking up leaves, etc., therefore, there is some overtime that Mr. Kapp cannot understand.  Elaine Hunt and Carol Jones have seen improvements in the City and have received telephone calls from residents within their wards to that effect.  Mayor Woomer advised that he has a department head meeting every Monday morning to review what has taken place throughout the week and the overtime is being monitored very closely and under control.  Mr. Kapp said that he does not have a problem with justified overtime.

Kevin Nott asked Police Chief Ronald Spencer about the police force and the status of the officers.  Chief Spencer advised that within the last two months the department has lost four officers and hired two new men, James L. Freeman and Robert A. Wilson, effective November, 2002.  The new officers are enrolled to attend the police academy June, 2003.  The Police Department overtime is up slightly this month and Chief Spencer presented a letter to Council showing that the City has received $1,700 for road check and $700 for patrol (DUI Grant) from the State (reimbursement).  There are nine fulltime police officers.  Upon Mr. Nott’s inquiry, Chief Spencer advised that the legality of the road checks (seat belts), hand out flyers, and writing tickets is funded by the State and Federal Government; with the citations more people are wearing their seat belts and saving a lot more lives.  For the past year Captain J. D. Sallaz, Sr. has been the instructor for doing child safety seat checks and they are now in the process of getting another officer certified.  The City of Point Pleasant Police Department has won an award twice this year at $10,000 for overtime and equipment; and this has been obtained for three years for going by the guidelines of the Federal government that the State sent down.

Mayor Woomer complimented the department heads for a fine job in serving the people of our City.  William Wallace has received calls from residents in appreciation of the gravel placed in the alleys and thanked Street Commissioner Call.

City Inspector Stephen Williamson advised that all signs have been removed except for one that he missed and went back later and they wanted to take it down and a couple of people have asked for help in locating and giving them proper signage.  Upon Robert Doeffinger’s recommendation, Mayor Woomer had written letters to thank these persons for removing the improper signs.  City Inspector Williamson reported that he is listing by address all distressed properties and has started with Highland, Kingtown, 1st to 14th Street and will continue through the City.  Once the list is completed he will take pictures and write what the actual problem is with each site.

The minutes of the Regular Council meeting of December 9, 2002, Special Council Meeting of December 26, 2002, copies of the General Fund, Water and Sewer, and Coal Severance Financial Statements of December 31, 2002, were presented to each Council Member and unanimously approved on motion by Robert Doeffinger, second by Kevin Nott.

Leota Sang moved to pay the outstanding bills as presented on the Obligation Summary for December, 2002.  Kevin Nott seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Elaine Hunt moved to approve the General Fund Budget Revision #2 for Fiscal Year 2002-2003 to be submitted to the WV State Auditor for approval.  James Wilson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.  A copy is hereby attached to and made a part of these minutes.

City Clerk Marilyn L. McDaniel read by title the following ordinance:  AN ORDINANCE CHANGING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE EIGHT (8) WARDS IN THE CITY OF POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA.  Robert Doeffinger moved to approve the ordinance and to pass the ordinance to second reading with right to amend.  Leota Sang seconded and the motion was approved.  Kevin Nott abstained.

Leota Sang moved to submit a letter to our U.S. Legislators to support funding for the Great Kanawha Resource Conservation & Development Council.  Kevin Nott seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Upon the recommendation of Point Pleasant River Museum Foundation President Jack Fowler, Ronald Kapp moved to approve invoices for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. @$1,159.74, Sherwin-Williams Company @$80.75, State Electric Supply Company @$483.30, and Thomas-Do-It-Center @$1,807.64, totaling $3,531.43, and submit to the Transportation Enhancement Program, West Virginia Department of Transportation ($60,000) for payment; also Thomas-Do-It-Center Invoice @$134.32 and submit to USDA Rural Development (FmHA) for payment that will close this account.  William Wallace seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ronald Kapp moved to authorize the Mayor to write a letter to Charter Communications stating that the Common Council of the City of Point Pleasant opposes the rate increase effective February 1, 2003.  Elaine Hunt seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Upon motion by Carol Jones, second by Robert Doeffinger, Council unanimously moved to approve a donation of $1,500 for the Sleighbell Ball to be held at the Moose Lodge on Saturday, February 1, 2003.

Mayor Woomer advised that he has contacted all department heads and the City will advertise and conduct a surplus equipment auction at the rear of the City Building next month.

Progress Reports for December, 2002, from the City’s Street, Sanitation, Maintenance, Floodwall, Shop, Water, Police Departments and City Inspector Stephen Williams were presented to each Council Members.  The sanitary survey conducted on December 3 and 4, 2002 was discussed.

Robert Doeffinger moved to go into Executive Session to discuss finances and personnel.  Ronald Kapp seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ronald Kapp moved to go out of Executive Session.  William Wallace seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Robert Doeffinger made a motion to (1) move the water department to the new tourism center when it is completed; (2) that the City ascertain the incremental cost attributed to the water department space remodeling and contribute the same to the overall cost of the renovation; and (3) if it is found administratively that the City water employees contribute to overseeing the tourism center, a 6x7 opening with double doors be installed to communicate the water office to the tourism office.  William Wallace seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ronald Kapp moved to hire an outside accountant to audit any business for the purpose of collecting unpaid B&O Taxes owed to the City of Point Pleasant as needed due to failure of not complying with the ordinance after several letters from the City administration in an attempt to collect.  Carol Jones seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Robert Doeffinger has heard good reports on City Inspector Williamson going after the distressed property and it is really starting to make a dent now and it is a positive thing.

Leota Sang suggested that Council go through their minutes again, because their term is coming to a close, and review the things that have not been followed up on or accomplished.  She referenced the Council Meeting of October, 2000, “Upon Mr. Wilson’s and Robert Doeffinger’s recommendation, Council agreed to schedule a standing meeting for the second Monday after each regular Council Meeting to plan, discuss and update matters of importance to the City”, and advised that they have never done that.

Kevin Nott had received a complaint and expressed his appreciation to Mayor Woomer for replacing the flags behind the floodwall the same day.  Mr. Nott proposed to establish a time line to complete the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project during this administration.

Carol Jones requested that City Attorney Casey have a representative attend each Council meeting when he cannot be present.  Ms. Jones listed the following concerns within her ward that have required the City Attorney’s attention:  Suncrest Cemetery Agreement, extending English Court (Street) to 30th Street. 

To comply with Leota Sang’s suggestion, Ronald Kapp recommended that Council review the minutes for the past three and one-half years, submit their list to the Mayor, place Old and New Business on the Council Agenda to discuss and take action on unfinished business.

Mayor Woomer read a Letter of Resignation from Ward #1 Councilman James E. Fetty effective January 13, 2003.  Mr. Fetty has taken a job with the West Virginia Department of Highways.

Upon motion by Ronald Kapp, second by Kevin Nott, the meeting adjourned at 10:55 P.M.


_______________________________  Marilyn L. McDaniel, City Clerk   

  ____________________________ C. Edward Woomer, Mayor



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