The Common Council of the City of Point Pleasant, a Municipal Corporation in Mason County, West Virginia, met in Regular Session at City Hall, 400 Viand Street at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8 , 2009.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian L. Billings who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jason Barss/Park Drive- Voiced concerns about hedges on Liberty and North Park Drive being too high. He indicated that it is causing an obstruction of view in that area and fears that someone is going to get hurt. Linda Smith told him that she had previously contacted Jeremy Bryant, City Inspector, and the issue has been addressed. The resident began trimming the hedges; however, due to equipment failure he was unable to complete the trimming. Smithwill follow up to be sure that it is completed. Mr. Barss also indicated that a wrecked car has been parked at a residence in the Country Club Addition for over 6 months and the owners were selling parts off the vehicle. Also, on South Park Drive, there is a parked car with an expired licenses and flat tires.
Barbara Brown made the motion to approve the minutes of the regular council meeting for August 17, 2009, and a second was given by James Bowles. Council member Sam Juniper had a few concerns that he felt had been left out of the minutes and asked for them to be added. Clerk Tatterson agreed to amend and add his concerns to August council minutes. Motion to approve minutes passed. A motion by Leota Sang was seconded by Linda Smith to approve the financial statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the month of August 2009, motion passed 8-1 with Juniper opposing. Councilman Juniper pointed out that there was an error on the Economic Development expenditure. Mayor Brian Billings agreed that he would research Juniper’s concerns. Leota Sang made a motion to approve the outstanding obligations for the month of August 2009, and Linda Smith seconded the motion, which passed 8-1, Sam Juniper opposing.
City Attorney R.F. Stein spoke on the ordinance that cites WV Code 16-13A being amended. The ordinance sites a section of the WV code to give authority to the municipality for the operation of a sewer system. The ordinance cites 16-13A, which pertains to the Public Service District. Stein indicated that he is still working on drafting an amended ordinance to correct 16-13A that should read 16-13. It involves much more than just deleting the typo with the “A”. He will present the draft to Council in the October council meeting for the 1st reading.
Stein then addressed the issues with Ordinance 8-20-3 (ordinance describing project; contents). After much discussion of which project this code pertains to, Stein indicated if this ordinance applies to any projects the City is currently working on, he would draft a proposed ordinance and present to Council.
Attorney Stein then proceeded to discuss Ordinance 361.07. After further research in amending this ordinance, Stein determined that not only does this ordinance concerning abandoned vehicles need revised, but Ordinance 1331.02
concerning mobile homes and trailers also needs to be revised. Council agreed and asked that Stein draft a revision for these two ordinances. Stein then made Council aware of an unpaid water bill that has been delinquent since March 2009. He told Council a civil suit could be filed on behalf of the City and asked Council how they wished to proceed with collection. Council stated that the Public Service Commission has procedures dealing with these situations and asked Stein if he could do some research with the PSD before filing a civil suit. S
tein agreed to contact PSD to look into what procedures they use. Stein then updated Council members on the Yeager property hearing that was held August 28, 2009. He indicated that so much time has passed over the past years concerning this property; the process might need to be started over from the beginning. As well as, should the decision be made to demolish this property, there is a high probability that the money spent would not be recovered. Council then decided that they would like to proceed with getting bids to demolish the home and present them in the October meeting. If the bids are too high, then they will need to look into going back to square one with this property.
Attorney Stein concluded with informing Council of the recent settlement for the civil action against the City. A Freedom of Information Act request was received in terms of this settlement. No response has been given at this time due to the fact that the request is premature since the settlement has not been finalized. He understands the obligations to respond, and will respond in a timely fashion, upon the finalization of the settlement. Attorney Johnny Brown wanted Council to be aware that upon Council request, he would meet with them concerning the litigation and settlement.
City Clerk Amber Tatterson discussed the Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace Policy with Council members and let them know that she contacted Joe Boggs and Associates to get some information on their testing rates. They conduct their tests based on a random pool of all employees, which they will choose. It is a 10 subject test panel with a charge of $35 per person and $.45 for mileage traveled to perform tests. A motion was made by Juniper and seconded by James Bowles for Tatterson to contact Joe Boggs and Associates to ask them for a detailed contract to look over and discuss in the October council meeting, the motion carried.
Tatterson then asked Council members if they were interested in participating in WV Retirement Plus, a program that acts as a supplement to employee’s pension, social security, and other personal retirement savings, with no extra cost to the city. Sam Juniper made the first motion to participate while Linda Smith followed with a second. The motion passed unanimously.
Tatterson asked for a motion for the first reading to approve the replacement pages for the Codified Ordinances. At that time, most of the council members indicated that they did not have an ordinance book to replace pages. Mayor Billings indicated that he would look into getting each council member a book. A first motion was then made by Linda Smith to approve the replacement pages with Sang making a second motion. Motion passed unanimously. Sam Juniper made the 1st motion to accept the contract with the Walter H. Drane Company to do Codified Replacement Ordinances for 2009 through 2011. Leota Sang made a second motion and the motion carried. Tatterson also asked Council to approve payment to the Walter Drane Company for the 2007 through 2009 Replacement pages in the amount of $2,784. First motion was made by Sang and seconded by Bob Doeffinger, the motion passed.
Clerk Tatterson asked for a motion of approval to accept contracts for 2) resolutions for WV Community Participation Grant Programs:
Municipal Building $15,000- For the purpose to repair and improve the Municipal Building, as well as for new equipment. Barbara Ann Brown made the first motion to approve and M. Leota Sang seconded, the motion passed.
Main Street Bronze Plaque Preservation $1,800 - For Main Street Point Pleasant to preserve the bronze plaques at Tue-Endie-Wei State Park. The first motion to approve was made by James Bowles and seconded by Barbara Brown. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk Tatterson also read a resolution for the All Hazard Mitigation Plan. This is to update the current plan which must be updated every 5 years and be in place should a natural, technological, or man-made hazard occur. Bob Doeffinger made the first motion to approve and Marshall Bonecutter made the second. The motion passed to approve the resolution.
Tatterson informed Council of a Neighborhood Watch meeting that is being held September 10, 2009 @ 7 p.m. at the Day Report Center. Clerk Tatterson concluded with updating Council members on the recent Cemetery Destruction. There were 64 more monuments vandalized. The City Police arrested 2 individuals and served 2 juvenile petitions. Many concerned families have contacted Tatterson asking if the City would be able to have their monuments reset. She then asked Council if they would allow City workers to reset the smaller monuments and then contact Stepp Monument to reset the larger ones at the City’s expense. The first motion was made by Bob Doeffinger and was seconded by Linda Smith, the motion passed.
Mayor Brian Billings asked for a motion to approve changing the October council meeting to Tuesday October 13, 2009 due to Columbus Day falling on that Monday. Sam Juniper made the first motion, while James Bowles seconded, the motion carried.
Billings also informed Council that there were several items not being used by the City. Some of those items include older vehicles and equipment. He asked Council for approval to sell these items by auction. Councilman Juniper made the first motion for approval and a second motion was given by Marshall Bonecutter. Motion passed with no set date required.
Billings then informed Council about the up-coming Mothman Festival set for September 19-20, 2009. Mayor Billings asked for a motion to approve the Battle Days annual donation of $1,500.00 for the October 2-4, 2009 event. The first motion was made by Bob Doeffinger and seconded by Marshall Bonecutter. The motion passed 8-1 with Councilman Juniper opposing.
Council was also informed by Billings, that Trick or Treat is set for October 29, 2009 for 5:30-6:30 p.m. and that the Halloween Block Party is scheduled for the same evening from 6-8 p.m.
Mayor Billings told Council that he received a contract for street lighting from Appalachian Power. He asked Council to approve the contract which is good for 120 months. Leota Sang made the first motion and Marshall Bonecutter made the second. Motion to approve passed.
Billings then mentioned needing to discuss applications received for the Krodel Park Campground manager position. He asked if it could be later addressed while in executive session, and Council agreed.
Mayor Billings then updated Council members about the Robinson Street paving. Street Commissioner Willie Call contacted Myers Paving to get an estimate for the re-paving. He was told that for labor, equipment, and materials to complete the job, it would cost $21,850. The Elders Committee of the New Hope Bible Baptist Church previously said they could contribute $7,000 toward the cost, leaving $14,850.00 for the City to pay. Billings then gave an alternative option for the City to consider only paving 3 intersections in that area that need the most attention. Council agreed that this option would be a better route to take at this point, and agreed that re-paving will take place at the intersections of Robinson/Howard, Robinson/Franklin, and Robinson/Mossman Ave.
At 8:58 pm Mayor Billings asked for a motion to go into executive session concerning personnel matters. Gary Cotton made the motion while Marshall Bonecutter added the second and the motion carried.
At 9:38 pm James Bowles made a motion to come out of executive session and Gary Cotton made the second and the motion passed.
At that time, Councilman Sam Juniper made a motion for the Parks and Recreation Committee to look over the applications for the Krodel Park Campground manager and conduct interviews on September 21, 2009 at the City Building. James Bowles made a second to the motion, and the motion passed.
Marshall Bonecutter asked if the Corp of Engineers responded to the concerns of the debris and dredging at the Point Pleasant Boat Launching Facility. Billings indicated that a letter had been sent and he is waiting for a reply, and that the City has made some improvements to the dock at that location. Bonecutter also asked if there was a way to get plaques put on the floodwall for all the lives that were lost in the Silver Bridge Disaster. He was told that there are bricks with those names on the sidewalk. Bonecutter asked if there is a way to get in contact with someone to have the names placed on plaques on the
floodwall. The Mayor told him that Diane Johnson should be the person to contact. Boncutter also mentioned that Bobby Wood’s name is missing from the Medal of Honor. Billings was unaware and said he would check into this, and follow up if that is the case.
Bob Doeffinger asked Billings about complaints received concerning cars being parked along the Parade route. He advised that when the City posts a parade, they post that if cars are parked along that route they will be ticketed or towed. Perhaps that would stop the problem.
M. Leota Sang is concerned about the lack of lighting in 2100 block of Lincoln Ave. She has received several complaints from concerned citizens. Mayor Billings had Police Chief Watterson, City Inspector Jeremy Bryant, and Police Captain J. Veith check the area and they indicated that there is lighting in that location. Billings also checked the alley and felt that there is adequate lighting. Sang then asked for extra patrols in that area due to some scared residents. Mayor Billings asked if she might give him some addresses so that Watterson or Veith could help with their concerns. Sang also notified Billings of reported speeding occurring at 5:30 a.m. on Jackson Avenue and Jefferson Blvd. Mayor Billings indicated that he would have patrolmen look into the problem. She also asked what is being done with those who are blowing cut grass into the streets. Billings is preparing letters for those individuals and placed an announcement in the newspaper bulletin, as well as, on the radio reminding residents that if you mow and blow grass in the streets you need to clean it up before it causes a nuisance. Sang asked if one-way signs have been placed in the cemeteries, the Mayor replied that the Street Commissioner just received those signs and they will be placed in the appropriate areas. Sang concluded with asking about a Public Parks Ordinance that needs to be drafted. Billings agreed to meet with City Attorney Stein and work on the list of Parks to be in the ordinance.
Gary Cotton voiced his concerns of a possible water leak at the city pool, based on the gallons used over the past few months.
Elaine Hunt asked Billings if he could make sure that the water department starts preparing water reports for Council to view. She would like to see how our water is testing and if there are actions that need to be taken if something shows up in those reports.
Linda Smith informed Council that they have not received any bids on the skate park. Apparently the company that is to provide an
estimate needs to know the drain route in Harmon before they can proceed. Councilman Bob Doeffinger indicated that he would call the company that is suppose to be letting them know about the drainage route.
Sam Juniper voiced concerns about the delay in the Burgess/Niple Brownfield Project and Teka McCauley, Grant Coordinator, responded that apparently a family illness has caused the delay. Juniper mentioned that he has received concerns from some citizens about the security cameras at the Riverfront Park. He asked if they were working properly and if any problems have been reported with them. Mayor Billings said that he has not heard any complaints and they have been working properly. Juniper also asked Billings if there is an emergency route in place if flooding should occur while the Jefferson Bridge Replacement construction is underway. Billings responded that the Department of Highways told him, should that occur they would place a traffic light at the replacement location and 2 way traffic would have to travel on the one lane bridge. Juniper then voiced concerns over a few pay raises he believes took place in the past without Council approval. He cited an article from the employee hand book that states “The City of Point Pleasant compensates employees in accordance with decisions by the City Council as budgets are set. Pay for any given position is subject to the annual budgetary process, as such, may be subject to increase, reduction, or status quo maintenance for any time period. The supervising elected official or administrator may make suggestions about salary compensation and other pay system concerns but the final decision regarding compensation levels rests with the City Council.” With the up coming holiday season, Juniper had concerns regarding the amount of money spent in preparing and running the Fantasy Light Show. Juniper mentioned that he has received a complaint about the donated money spent on the motorized bikes for the City Police and why the bikes are not being used. Also mentioned, by Juniper, residents living outside of the city limits connected to city water are billed for the municipal fire fees, however, some of those residents are not paying that fee when sending their payments. He feels that they should be paying those fees the same as the city residents are required. Juniper again asked about the Floodwall Ordinance and Floodwall Board. Billings indicated he would follow up on that ordinance with the City Attorney. He
also reminded Council that the Zoning and Planning Committees will expire the month of October. Juniper stated that printing, mailing, and collection of retiree insurance should not be the responsibility of the City, the retirees should mail their payments directly to PEIA. Billings indicated that he never had a problem with it all the years that he was Clerk and felt it was a nice gesture for our elderly retired, Tatterson agreed.
Councilman Juniper also spoke on the need of
re-surfacing in the Bellemead area and needed concrete work on the corner of McNeil and Parrish Avenues. Billings indicated that those repairs are on the City’s schedule, but the Street Commissioner has not given him a projected date. He again shared his concerns about Jeff Feamster not being a licensed CPA. Juniper indicated that he made some calls, and at that time Jeff Feamster had not filed an application to obtain his license in West Virginia
Barbara Ann Brown asked if an account had been established for the Sewer CSO Project funds and she asked for monthly balance reports for that account. Clerk Tatterson told them that the account was established and she had a meeting scheduled for Thursday September 10, 2009 with members of Peoples Bank to establish how the account would work as far as interest and transfers. Brown added that she also referred a woman who was injured exiting the Iron Gate to speak with us at the City Building. Billings did speak with the woman and it was determined that she was fine.
Being no other business, Sam Juniper made a motion to adjourn. James Bowles added the second and being unanimously approved, the meeting adjourned at 10:28 p.m.
Brian L. Billings__________________Mayor
Amber Tatterson_________________City Clerk