Where History and Rivers Meet

City of Point Pleasant, WV

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Council Minutes



July 12, 2004





Mayor James H. Wilson X  
City Clerk Stanton D. Burdette X  
City Attorney James M. Casey X  
Finance Director Ron Siders X  
Executive Secretary Harriett Nibert X  
Municipal Judge Jeremy T. Vickers X  
At Large Brian Billings X  
At Large Kevin R. Nott X  
First Ward James W. Fetty   X
Second Ward Robert C. Doeffinger, Jr. X  
Third Ward M. Leota Sang X  
Fourth Ward Robert A. Messick X  
Fifth Ward Elaine Grimm Hunt X  
Sixth Ward Ronald R. Kapp X  
Seventh Ward William H. Wallace X  
Eighth Ward Carol L. Jones X  


The minutes posted to these pages are the exact words contained in the official minutes on file in the City Clerks office. The format has been changed to make the information easier to read when presented in an Interned browser. Every effort is made to insure accuracy in transferring the information to these pages.  In all cases, the document on file at the City Building will be considered the official document.

REGULAR MEETING CITY COUNCIL CITY OF POINT PLEASANT July 12, 2004            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 July 12, 2004.   J. Glenn Long led Council in the Prayer. The meeting was called to order by Mayor James H. Wilson who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Wilson recognized William H. Wallace of the Sternwheel Regatta Committee. Mr. Wallace expressed his appreciation to the City, City employees and Keri Derenberger of the Tourism Committee for the work done to help make the regatta a success. He added that all cruises on the sternwheeler were sold out. Carol L. Jones asked about the problems associated with the fireworks display. Mayor Wilson explained that the contractor, hired by Zambelli Fireworks Inc. to set up and discharge the fireworks, had various difficulties through no fault of the City and Zambelli Inc. had agreed to make restitution for the sub-par display. Mayor Wilson then introduced Darlene Haer of the Riverfront Committee. Ms. Haer updated Council on the expenses paid out. She explained that the stage had been paid with half the funding coming from TEA-21 Funds and half from the WVEDA Grant Funds. Ms. Haer stated that the committee wanted to order 7 trees to replace dead or damaged trees at the park. She explained that she had seen a tree that was suitable for the location and asked for Council approval to purchase and install the trees later in the year. The Mayor explained that the trees were under warranty but the contractor had been notified and refused to honor the warranty. J. Glenn Long made a motion to purchase the trees and Carol L. Jones added the second. Being no discussion, the motion passed unanimously. Ms. Haer then reported that the committee wanted to have handrails installed down the center–aisle of the amphitheater. She added that the estimated cost should be approximately $3,000.00-$5,000.00. Concerns were raised as to which set of steps should have handrails installed. Ronald R. Kapp made a motion to approve the purchase of the handrails and Brian L. Billings added the second. The motion passed unanimously. J. Glenn long thanked Ms. Haer for her hard work and dedication on the Riverfront Park Project. Mayor Wilson then introduced Charles Humphreys of the Point Pleasant Restoration Foundation Inc. (Main Street Program). Mr. Humphreys gave a presentation on the purpose of the Main Street Program and some of the projects that the program had been involved with such as Gunn Park, Streetscape, River Museum, Mothman Statue, Riverfront Park and the Fantasy Light Show. Mr. Humphreys stated that Main Street had helped with all of these projects in some way such as obtaining grants. He explained that he was presently working to obtain grant money to paint murals and install a sound system on the floodwall at the Riverfront Park. The murals would paint a history lesson about Lord Dunmoore’s War and the Battle of Point Pleasant. He further explained that there was grant money available for history and educational purposes. Mr. Humphreys added that he thought if this project were completed, it would stimulate the local economy thru tourism. In closing, Mr. Humphreys stated that “putting businesses in storefronts is not enough; you have to bring people to town”. Brian L. Billings thanked Mr. Humphreys for the work he had done to help revitalize the City. In another matter, Mr. Humphreys asked council to consider making a donation to Main Street to help cover costs associated with the purchase of the Mothman Statue. Mayor Wilson stated that the City had received a reimbursement grant from the State for $5,000.00 for the statue. It was decided that the request be forwarded to the finance committee for consideration. Mayor Wilson then recognized Ms. Pat Sallaz, Director of Krodel Park Campground. Ms. Sallaz explained that she was experimenting with keeping 4 spaces open with a 14 day limit on the length of stay. She added that it would bring in 4 times the amount of revenue as the seasonal spaces. Additionally, she added that she has to turn away many travelers because of lack of space. She stated that she could fill as many seasonal spaces as were available. It was suggested that in the future, any additional spaces have a time limit imposed on them also. The Mayor suggested that the Recreation Committee look into the matter and develop long term plans for the campground. Mayor Wilson then asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Council meeting of June 7, 2004. Ronald R. Kapp made a motion to approve and Brian L. Billings added the second. The motion to approve passed unanimously. The Mayor then asked for a motion to approve the Consolidated Income (Financial) Statement of the General, Water and Sewer and Coal Severance Funds for the month of June 2004. Kevin R. Nott made a motion to approve and J. Glenn Long added the second. Being no discussion, the motion passed unanimously. The Mayor then asked for a motion to approve the Outstanding Obligations for the month of June. Kevin R. Nott made the motion and J. Glenn Long added the second. In discussion, Carol L. Jones stated that no bill was to be paid before Council approval citing Section 18 of the City Charter. Ms. Jones had concerns that some bills were paid in May without Council approval. Finance Director Ron Siders stated that bills such as utility, water and sewer bonds, and vehicle payments were paid as have been in the past to avoid late charges or delinquencies.  City Attorney James M. Casey read Section 18 of the charter and stated that the Treasurer was to pay bills as Council may prescribe. Further, he added that it had been prior practice to pay these type bills by previous administrations or Council. He stated that Council could vote to pay or not pay these types of bills as generated. Mayor Wilson stated he had not changed any procedures for paying of the bills from the prior administration. City Clerk/Treasurer Stanton D. Burdette added that he had not made any procedural changes in regards to the way bills are paid. Mr. Casey stated he knew of no changes in the procedures since he has been the City Attorney. He added that Council should address the matter and decide if it was appropriate for the Treasurer to continue prior practice and pay these types of recurring monthly bills. Ms. Jones stated that she was just trying to do what the City Charter states. After discussion, the motion to approve the Outstanding Obligations was approved 8-1 with Carol L. Jones voting against. After a brief recess, J. Glenn Long made the following motion. In accordance with the City Charter, the Treasurer be allowed to pay outstanding loans, leases, bonds, normally recurring bills, insurance premiums and utility bills as they come due and that these payments be reported to Council at the next regular meeting of Council. Robert C. Doeffinger added the second. In discussion, Finance Director Ron Siders stated that he could provide a print-out of the General Ledger for any member of Council who so wished. Being no other discussion, the motion passed with a majority vote of 8-1 with Carol L. Jones voting in opposition. Next on the agenda was City Attorney James M. Casey. Mr. Casey updated Council on the status of some of the distressed property in the City. He said letters had been sent to some of the property owners advising them of ordinance violations. Carol L. Jones stated that the former bowling alley property on 22ND Street was a disgrace and health hazard and needed to be cleaned up. She added that a letter needed to be sent to that property owner also. The Mayor stated that City Inspector Greg Walker had compiled a list of distressed properties and that he would notify the property owners. Robert C. Doeffinger asked Mr. Casey if the City could petition or barricade a property if the City Inspector deemed it an imminent danger or health hazard. Mr. Casey stated that he believed the City had to the power to do so and should because of liability insurance issues. Mr. Casey speaking with regards to the upcoming mediation on unresolved issues with the Riverfront Park stated that the parties involved would hold a pre-mediation meeting on July 13TH to clarify some issues to be discussed in mediation. In closing, Mr. Casey stated that the City would be allowed to use retired police officers to help with staffing deficiencies. City Clerk Stanton D. Burdette then presented the 3rd and final reading of revisions and amendments to ARTICLE 953 of the Codified Ordinances, GARBAGE AND TRASH DISPOSAL. The amendment included a $3.00 increase for residential service and a 30% increase in fees for all other garbage services. J. Glenn Long made a motion to adopt the revised garbage ordinance and Kevin R. Nott added the second. In discussion, Robert C. Doeffinger stated that the garbage service fee should pay the costs of the actual service. The fee charged should pay for the truck payment, dumping fees, salaries, etc. He added that there may be other areas in which the City could become more efficient and cut costs but the garbage service needed to be self-sufficient. Ronald R. Kapp stated that the Sanitation Department was budgeted at a deficit the previous year and that money was being transferred from the General Fund to subsidize the garbage service. After a long discussion, the revised Garbage and Trash Disposal Ordinance was adopted by majority vote with Nott, Billings, Doeffinger, Long, Kapp and Wallace voting in favor. Jones, Hunt and Sang voted in opposition to the increase. On a motion by Brian L. Billings and seconded by J. Glenn Long, it was unanimously decided that the rate increase would go into effect September 1, 2004. Next Clerk Burdette presented the 3rd reading of revisions and amendments to ARTICLE 747 of the Codified Ordinances, MUNICIPAL SERVICE FEES. The revision would increase the monthly fee from $7.00 to $10.00. The $3.00 increase would be distributed into the police, floodwall, and street maintenance budgets. Ronald R. Kapp made a motion to adopt the revised Ordinance and Kevin R. Nott added the second. In discussion, the Mayor stated that the fee increase was necessary to cover the cost of increases in health insurance, liability insurance, salary increases and funding the police pension fund. In discussion, it was noted by the City Clerk that the City would need to start contributing to the Police Pension Fund or the City would face a serious deficit in the fund in the future. Finance Director Ron Siders stated that money from the fee increases would not be held separately unless there was a directive to do so. In case of the Police Pension Fund, the fee increase was budgeted under the pension line-item.  The Mayor added that $1.00 of the fee increase would be dedicated to the Police Pension Fund. Concerns were raised that earlier increases were not used for their intended purpose. Following a lengthy discussion on how to segregate the money into a Police Pension Fund Account, council approved the Municipal Fee Increase with a majority vote of 6-3. Those voting for the increase were Nott, Billings, Doeffinger, Long, Kapp and Wallace. Jones, Hunt and Sang voted in opposition to the increase. On a motion by Robert C. Doeffinger and seconded by Ronald R. Kapp, it was unanimously approved to segregate $2,000.00 per month (based on the $1.00 per month police fee increase) starting September 1, 2004, into a segregated Police Pension Fund Account and that this money could only be spent for that purpose. In closing, Mr. Burdette stated that it was time to renew the liability insurance policy for the City. On a unanimous vote by Council, it was decided to continue a binder with Village Insurance and the St. Paul Insurance Company until a quote from the Scottsdale Co was presented. The 2004-2005 policy premium would be $110,606.00. Mayor Wilson reported that advertisements had been put in the newspaper seeking architectural or engineering firms interested in working with the City on the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project. M. Leota Sang asked if a separate account could be set up at this time for the project. The Mayor stated that it would probably be best to wait and see what the firm contracted to assist the City suggested. He added that the City should have information back on interested firms around July 15TH. Speaking with regards to the Sternwheel Regatta, Mayor Wilson stated that the parade was one of the biggest he had seen in Point Pleasant. William H. Wallace added that there were 92 entries in the parade. The Mayor asked Council if they had plans on attending the West Virginia Municipal League Conference in August to please contact him so the reservations could be made. In Council Concerns, William H. Wallace stated the liability insurance premium for the Main Street Foundation had risen to $3,900.00 per year. He added that the regatta and some other activities fell under the Main Street Policy and that the regatta portion of the premium for this year would be $925.00. Ronald R. Kapp commented that the Street Department had done an excellent job repairing holes in the Park Drive area and that the residents appreciated their efforts. Robert C. Doeffinger stated that there were still holes in the sidewalk on Main Street from utility pole replacement being done by a contractor. Also, the contractor had just cut some poles off instead of removing them. Mr. Doeffinger also aired concerns over dead, diseased or dangerous trees within the City. Attorney Casey read the section of the City Ordinance dealing with trees in the City and the Street Tree Director. M. Leota Sang stated that she had reviewed past Council minutes and budgets and made comparisons between the years. She added that she was excited about the things happening in the City but she could not vote for any fee increases at this time. Carol L. Jones inquired about the health status of the residents involved in recent automobile accident with policeman Nathan Fowler. The Mayor stated that there did not appear to be any serious injuries. Ms. Jones also asked if the Cell-Phone Ordinance had been completed. The Mayor stated he would research the progress and report back to Council. Kevin R. Nott are stated that if the Fireworks Company offered to put on another fireworks performance, to compensate for the sub-standard display during regatta, a display during the Battle Days Celebration might be appropriate as this marks the county’s 200th anniversary. In closing, Mayor Wilson stated that 3 lottery cafes would probably be opening up in the near future. He stated that it may be something that Council would want to address in the future. He added that it may be difficult to keep them out of the City but he was trying to obtain information on how to deal with them. There being no other business, J. Glenn Long moved to adjourn the meeting and Kevin R. Nott added the second. The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 by a unanimous vote.  

_______________________________ James H. Wilson, Mayor

______________________________Stanton D. Burdette, City Clerk 






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