J. Glenn Long led Council in Prayer. The meeting was called to order by
Mayor James H. Wilson who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
RIVERFRONT PARK COMMITTEE
The Mayor recognized Darlene Haer of the Riverfront Park
Committee. Ms. Haer updated Council on the status of the Park. She
informed Council that as part of a grant agreement, an interpretive sign
showing the old wharf and brick pavers that were removed from the Fourth
Street entrance would have to be installed. She stated that WOOLPERT,
Inc. had designed the sign and the State agreed that the design met the
terms of a grant agreement. She added that the State would release the
remaining T-21 grant funds once the sign was installed. Ms. Haer added
that regulatory signs were also needed for the park showing facilities,
handicap accessibility, etc. She added that there would also be a sign
at the proposed marina directing visitors to the upper level of the park
and an informational-welcome sign posted on the comfort station. She
stated that the City had already received $25,000.00 in grant funds for
signage from the Public Port Authority and $23,803.00 was now left after
design fees. Ronald R. Kapp moved that the Park Committee be allotted up
to $23,803.00 of the Port Authority Grant Funds to finish the signage at
the park. J. Glenn Long added the second and the motion was unanimously
Mayor Wilson recognized Mr. Tim Clendenen of 2102 Mount
Vernon Avenue. Mr. Clendenen brought several concerns to Council. He
stated that he felt that the City Codes needed to be enforced. He stated
that there were code violations existing all over Point Pleasant with
respect to distressed properties, trash, uncut grass, disabled autos and
properties in a general state of disrepair. He added that many of the
properties were rentals and that if the landlord did not want to fix
them, they should be condemned and demolished. He stated that he
understood that many owners of rental property were not paying any
B&O taxes on their rental income. Mr. Clendenen added that rental
properties were often a habitat for drug users and dealers. He added
that a clean and neat town would help promote tourism. He stated as
tourist did not want to visit a trashy town with distressed properties.
Further, Mr. Clendenen asked if the City had threatened to condemn a
property if the owner did not sell it or repair it. The Mayor stated
that he and the City Inspector did buy a property from an individual who
did not have the resources to either repair or remove the structure.
Mayor Wilson informed Mr. Clendenen that there was a process that the
City Inspector and the Enforcement Agency had to follow with regards to
dealing with distressed property. The Mayor added that progress had been
made on several properties but it was a slow process. Mr. Clendenen also
stated that the $5.00 Business License that the City requires from
vendors with booths or shops set up in the antique and craft stores was
a deterrent to business. He added that he had spoken with several
crafters and vendors who were going to stop doing business in the City.
He stated that the antique and craft business was a big tourist
attraction. In closing, Mr. Clendenen told Council it was time for the
City to enforce the City Code.
The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the
Regular Council meeting of December 12, 2005. Ronald R. Kapp moved to
approve and J. Glenn Long added the second. The minutes were approved
unanimously. The Mayor then asked for a motion to approve the Financial
Statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the
month of December 2005. J. Glenn Long moved to approve the statements
and Kevin R. Nott added the second. The Financial Statements were
unanimously approved. The Mayor then
asked for a motion to approve the Outstanding Obligations for the month
of December 2005. Ronald R. Kapp made the motion and Kevin R. Nott added
the second. The motion was passed unanimously.
City Attorney James Casey informed Council that preliminary
work had begun on the property on 22nd Street but that
results from asbestos testing would be needed before any demolition
could begin. The Mayor stated that he had spoken with Howard Yeager
about the distressed property on Main Street. The Mayor added that Mr.
Yeager had received the Quit –Claim Deed from the City Attorney but
that he had some questions for Mr. Casey. The Mayor suggested that if
the City did not get a response from Mr. Yeager before the next meeting,
the offer from the City would expire. J. Glenn Long moved to repeal the
offer extended to Mr. Yeager involving the property transfer-park
agreement if deed is not returned before next meeting. Brian L. Billings
added the second and the motion was unanimously approved.
CITY CHARTER CHANGES
Mr. Casey stated that there had been some discussion about
changing the City Election day to coincide with State’s Election Day.
He stated that this could save the City approximately $30,000.00 every
election. He stated that the City’s ward boundaries would have to
match the County precinct boundaries in order for this to be possible.
He added that no office holders’ term could be shortened and if the
Charter were changed the next election would be held in conjunction with
the 2008 primary. Mr. Casey stated that the Charter could be amended by
Ordinance provided there was no opposition. He added that if there was
any opposition to the change, the charter could only be changed by
putting it on the ballot and letting the residents vote on it. J. Glenn
Long moved to appoint a committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk,
Councilman Billings and Councilman Kapp to pursue the issue of the
election reforms. Kevin R. Nott added the second and the committee was
MUNICIPAL TRAFFIC SCHOOL
The Municipal Traffic School Ordinance was not completed at
the time of the meeting. J. Glenn Long moved to have the 2nd reading of the Ordinance at the February Council Meeting.
KINGTOWN PROPERTY DISPUTE
Mr. Casey stated that he had received a report from the
property survey that was done in Kingtown. The property was surveyed
because of a boundary dispute. He stated that it appeared from the
survey that the property owner had built a portion of a structure on
City property. Mr. Casey stated that the City could lease the property
to the party or they could offer the City comparable property in trade.
The Mayor suggested that the involved party work with the City Attorney
to resolve the issue.
FINANCE / HUMAN RESOURCES
Mayor Wilson introduced Finance / Human resource Director
Heather Thabet-Moore. Ms. Moore explained that she had conducted a
survey of the City’s employees with regards to benefits. She also
presented a survey of benefits comprised of other governmental and
public works type of employers in the tri-county area. Some of the
highlights were the health insurance opt out plan, defined retirement
plan and revisions to the vacation and leave policies. Ms. Moore
explained that the biggest issue that the employees wanted corrected was
the retirement plan. She added that since the City did not pay high
wages, it was necessary to have good benefits to attract and retain
quality employees. Ms. Moore explained that the employees had a savings
plan but that was not the same as a defined retirement benefit. She
stated that the City could join the West Virginia Public Employee
Retirement System (PERS) with the City contributing 10.5% of full-time
employee payroll. The employees would have to contribute 4.5% of their
gross earnings and PERS would require all employees participate. She
stated the present cost to the City would be approximately $81,000.00.
Ms. Moore stated that much if not all of the plan could be funded with
savings from the opt-out health insurance program and contributions to
the employee savings plan stopped and the funds diverted to PERS. Also,
the Police department would not be included in the plan as they
currently participate in the Police Pension and Retirement Fund. Also,
Ms. Moore stated that new employees could roll-over any previously
accrued PERS contributions into the City’s PERS plan and likewise if
an employee left, they could roll-over into other employers PERS Plan.
In closing, Ms. Moore proposed letting the sick leave time continue to
accrue above the present limit of 120 hours and changing the vacation
policy to mirror that of the City Police Department which earn 10 hours
of vacation per month. Mayor Wilson added that the City employees were
good employees and these were the issues that they wanted addressed.
City Clerk Stanton D. Burdette reported that the City
Accountant had finished the 2004-2005 Financial Statement and it had
been forwarded to the Auditor. He stated that the Accounting Firm of
Bassett & Lowe would be in the City later in the week to do on-site
POLICE PENSION CONTRIBUTION
Clerk Burdette presented the 2004-2005 City of Point Pleasant
Police Pension Annual Report. He added that he would be sending
information to the State certifying the current year contributions of
$10,000.00. He stated that the State would issue a pro-rata
re-imbursement of approximately $12,000.00.
OHIO RIVER MITIGATION
Next on the agenda was Mayor Wilson. Mayor Wilson stated that
he had met with Madison Coal on the River Mitigation Project. He stated
that the company had evaluated the area and decided that the Wildlife
Structures would help minimize erosion to the river bank. He added that
the company would make a presentation before Council as the project
became more of a reality.
The Mayor stated that City Accountant Jeff Feamster would be
in the City next week to help prepare for the budget workshop. He said a
workshop would be scheduled after the February Council Meeting.
The mayor stated that he had talked with Mr. Feamster about
the ability to purchase vehicles for the Sewer and Water Departments
from the Depreciation Funds. Mr. Feamster felt that the funding was
there and the City had the ability to repay the Funds. The Mayor added
that the Sanitation Department was almost breaking even and that a new
garbage truck would need to be purchased soon. Ronald R. Kapp made a
motion for the Mayor to secure bids for new trucks for the water, sewer
and garbage departments. Carol L. Jones added the second and the motion
was approved unanimously.
PAVING GRANT RESOLUTION
The Mayor presented a Resolution empowering him to apply for
$132,715.00 in Local Economic Assistance Grant Program Funds for Street
Paving (Main Street) and allowing him to sign all associated
applications and agreements. J. Glenn Long moved to adopt the Resolution
and Kevin R. Nott added the second. the Resolution was unanimously
WVDOT RIVER MUSEUM GRANT RESOLUTION
Mayor Wilson then presented a Resolution authorizing the
Mayor to apply and execute all necessary applications and to enter into
an agreement with the River Museum and the WVDOH for grant funding to
complete the restoration of the River Museum Building. J. Glenn Long
moved to adopt the Resolution and Kevin R. Nott added the second. The
Resolution was unanimously adopted.
SLEIGHBELL BALL DONATION
The Mayor presented a request from the Main Street Committee
for the annual $1,500.00 donation to the Sleighbell Ball. The mayor
added that the money was budgeted and the City donated every year. Carol
L. Jones moved to approve the donation and Kevin R. Nott added the
second. The donation was unanimously approved.
William H. Wallace stated that the Regatta Committee had not
yet set the date for the Regatta. He stated that the Committee was
looking at July 7, 8 & 9. Mr. Wallace added that the Regatta
Committee would like to have fireworks but could not afford fireworks
without the City paying for them. He explained that the sternwheelers
and the fireworks were the biggest attraction of the Regatta.
Brian L. Billings asked that signs be posted in the First
Ward alerting motorist to the high volume of wheelchairs in the area.
Ronald R. Kapp raised questions about the Business Licenses
and B & O payments from vendors and crafters.
Elaine G. Hunt raised concerns of heavy trucks traveling up
Ohio Street. She asked that signs be posted there alerting motorist to
children in the area.
M. Leota Sang stated that she was not happy with the way the
trees were trimmed on Main Street.
There being no other business, Kevin R. Nott moved to adjourn
the meeting and J. Glenn Long added the second. The meeting was
adjourned at 10:04 P.M. by unanimous vote.