January 11, 2010
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 Monday, January 11, 2010.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian L. Billings who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Keith Biggs/Ordinance for Creation of Sanitary Board- spoke concerning an Ordinance for creation of a Sanitary Board required by WV Code 16-13-2 which states the construction, acquisition, improvement, equipment, custody, operation, and maintenance of any works for the collection, treatment or disposal of sewage and, in addition, for the collection and control of storm water and the collection of revenues there from for the service rendered thereby, shall be under the supervision and control of a sanitary board appointed by the governing body. Biggs stated the board is necessary since the law requires such sanitary board to make and enter into all contracts and agreements which would relate to the Mason County PSD’s proposal to pump sewage from Lakin and Camp Conley to Point Pleasant for treatment.
Johnny Brown/Attorney (Civil Action Suit No. 08-C-489) – was absent due to a conflicting schedule. According to City Attorney R.F. Stein, Brown was unable to attend due to Court being delayed beyond his control. Attorney Brown has asked to reschedule at a later date.
Allen Bell/ AB Contracting- advised Council he and his client will meet with the Historic Landmark Commission concerning a decline for a permit that pertains to property on Main Street. Bell indicated his client hopes to compromise with the Historic Landmark Commission concerning floor plans, and that they can reach an agreement that will be a benefit for Main Street.
James Bowles made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular council meeting for December 7, 2009 and a second was given by Marshall Bonecutter. Motion to approve minutes passed unanimously 10-0. Dr. William Park made a motion to approve the minutes of the special meeting for December 17, 2009 and a second was given by Gary Cotton, the motion passed. A motion made by Robert Doeffinger was seconded by Marshall Bonecutter to approve the financial statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the month of December 2009. Councilman Sam Juniper mentioned that B&O taxes were down and that he would like for the finance committee to meet and discuss some ways to save money and generate new money for the City. Approval of the financial statements passed 10-0. Marshall Bonecutter made a motion to approve the outstanding obligations for the month of December 2009, and Linda Smith seconded the motion. At that time, Juniper made a motion to eliminate the $1,500 donation to the Sleigh bell Ball from the obligations, and Gary Cotton followed with a second. The motion to eliminate the donations failed 3-7, with Marshall Bonecutter, Robert Doeffinger, Leota Sang, Dr. William Park, Elaine Hunt, Linda Smith, and Barbara Brown opposing. The motion to approve the outstanding obligations passed 8-1-1, with Juniper opposing and Sang abstaining.
Attorney R.F. Stein amended and revised ordinance 1331.02 that pertained to special provisions for Mobile homes and trailers. Previously there were concerns of what is defined as a back/side yard. Stein provided a revised copy of the ordinance to Council and asked if there were any further concerns. Barbara Brown mentioned she received a call from a resident in the Meadowbrook area who has concerns about the amended ordinance. Robert Doeffinger made a motion to approve the first reading for ordinance 1331.02 and Dr. William Park gave the second and the motion passed 9-1 with Barbara Brown opposing.
Stein then advised Council of two meetings that were held to draft a proposed pay/salary ordinance. He gave Council a draft of classifications and then asked to hold a special meeting to address any further issues with this newly proposed ordinance. The ordinance will allow the City to comply with the provisions of West Virginia Code section 8-5-12 which states that the governing body of every municipality shall, by ordinance, fix or caused to be fixed, the salary or compensation of every municipal officer and employee; Provided, That the salary of any officer shall not be increased or diminished during his term of office. Mayor Brian Billings set the special meeting for January 21, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Attorney Stein concluded with addressing concerns from previous meetings involving the need of a Flood Wall Board. Stein indicated the City currently does not have a Flood Wall Board and possibly has not since 1951, that was the last amendment shown in the Codified Ordinance Book. He advised Council they could dissolve the board since there has not been an active board for so long, or they could appoint members to make it an active board. Juniper advised he would like to see a flood wall board formed. Council voiced concerns of dissolving the board that ranged from bond obligations, municipal fees charged, and the overall condition of the flood walls. Mayor Billings advised he would like to see the Flood Wall Board dissolved and/or changed to the current Flood Wall Committee since they monitor, make the repairs and are knowledgeable about the flood wall requirements. He also informed Council that funding is being sought to help with necessary repairs. Attorney Stein advised Council he would do further research and report back.
City Clerk Amber Tatterson spoke with Council concerning an Alcohol and Drug-free workplace policy. As asked by Council, Tatterson spoke with Pleasant Valley Hospital concerning on-site specimen collection for drug-screening on five individuals. She was advised by the Director of Labs that it would only be cost effective for them if they were performing twenty on-site tests rather than the five that we were considering. Tatterson advised that she would again contact Joe Boggs and Associates since their services include on-site collection. It was mentioned that perhaps we could ask if we could have testing on the same day the County is testing to share the costs for the mileage charged. She also mentioned that the next step after deciding on a company to perform the tests, the City would need to draft a policy to follow. The City could ask the County for a copy of their policy to use as a guideline. Juniper indicated he could get a copy for review. Tatterson then proceeded to read two resolutions. The first resolution was to accept the contract for WV Community Participation Grant Program for $15,000 to the City of Point Pleasant Skate Park for the promotion of recreation for our youth. Linda Smith made the first motion and Barbara Brown added the second, and the motion passed 10-0. The second resolution was to authorize application for the WV Community Participation Grant for $5,000 for the repair of sidewalks and ramps in the Public Housing and Senior Center areas in Point Pleasant. The first motion was given by Marshall Bonecutter and James Bowles made the second motion. The motion passed unanimously. Tatterson concluded with asking Councilman Sam Juniper to speak about his concerns with the CSO account. Juniper indicated that he previously asked for the Sewer CSO to be a separate line item on the monthly financial statements since it has a separate interest bearing account. Tatterson told him that the City’s accountant, Jeff Feamster, indicated the Sewer CSO is where it needs to be in the financial statements at this point since there have not been any expenditures. Juniper said he would wait until the February meeting to make a motion for a separate statement since he knows there is a pending invoice for this account.
Mayor Brian Billings informed Council of meetings he has attended at the National Guard Armory. He has met with Sergeant Powers, Mr. Capehart, and Becky Lambert, as well as, other individuals who wish to have a parade to honor and give a send off to the Forward Support Co. 1092nd Engineer Battalion (Field Service Company) being deployed to Southwest Asia. The intended date for the parade is set for February 19, 2010 at 1 p.m. They have asked for help with the parade route and for police escorts. Billings asked Councilman Marshall Bonecutter if his Color Guard would be involved and he indicated they would be in contact. Mayor Billings then spoke concerning representation for the Historic Landmark Commission if it is necessary. He made several calls to law offices concerning possible representation, but hopes that based on Mr. Bell speaking at tonight’s meeting it might be resolved. City Clerk Amber Tatterson also told Council that she contacted the City’s insurance company concerning this matter and there could be representation provided by the insurance but it would depend on what allegations were filed. Mayor Billings then spoke to Council concerning the fireworks for the 2010 Regatta. He was informed by Jacob Hill, of the Regatta Committee, that the 2010 Regatta will be held July 1-3. Hill indicated entertainment is scheduled for July 3, and asked if Council would consider having the fireworks on July 2nd. Councilman Juniper made the motion for fireworks to be scheduled for Friday July 2nd and James Bowles made the second motion. The motion failed 3-7, with Juniper, Bowles, and Gary Cotton voting for July 2nd. After further discussion, Robert Doeffinger made a motion to schedule the fireworks for July 4th, 2010 and Linda Smith gave the second motion. The motion passed unanimously for the fireworks to take place on the 4th of July 2010. The Mayor advised Council he is still contacting CSX Transportation concerning the condition of the railroad crossing located at 11th and Viand Streets. He hopes they will address the issue as soon as possible. Mayor Billings also informed Council of letters he sent to Senator Karen Facemyer, Senator Mike Hall and State Delegates, concerning major street repair issues in Point Pleasant. He asked if they could secure some funding to pave less than 5 miles that are in desperate need of repair. The Mayor concluded with informing Council the City received a letter from Tom Wilson II asking for permission to gravel City property & fix the entry into a driveway off of Monroe Avenue. Councilman Juniper asked Stein if he would draft a letter to Mr. Wilson giving him permission to build and maintain the road with no future obligations to the City. Juniper made the first motion and Robert Doeffinger gave the second. Council voted 10-0 to give permission to City Attorney Stein to make contact with Mr. Wilson to further discuss this matter.
Councilman Robert Doeffinger advised Council the Sewer Committee held a meeting January 7, 2009. Members Robert Doeffinger, Gary Cotton, Sam Juniper, and Marshall Bonecutter, along with Mayor Billings, City Clerk Amber Tatterson, and City Attorney R.F. Stein were in attendance. Council member James Bowles was absent. Councilman Doeffinger advised Council that the Committee discussed comments and concerns pertaining to the project agreement between the City of Point Pleasant and the Mason County Public Service District. He asked for the Committee to gather January 14, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss comments and concerns pertaining to the service agreement. Doeffinger also discussed the timeline on the North Point Pleasant drainage project/sewer project. He concluded stating the possibility to receive funding through the DEP- the Clean Water State Revolving fund is soliciting “green” infrastructure projects. The deadline is February 1st, so the Mayor would need approval from Council to complete the form. Robert Doeffinger made the first motion to allow the Mayor to complete the form and Marshall Bonecutter made the second. The motion passed unanimously 10-0.
At 9:05 p.m. Councilman Sam Juniper asked for a motion to go into executive session to consider matters involving or affecting the purchase, sale, or lease of property. Bob Doeffinger added the second and the motion carried.
At 9:15 p.m. William Park made a motion to come out of executive session and Linda Smith made the second and the motion passed.
Leota Sang asked if there were any updates concerning the Blacksmith that vandalized the Fort at Krodel. Attorney Stein advised he looked over the grant the gentleman is here on and found he can be banned from the premises without the risk of losing the current grant for Fort Randolph. A motion was made by Robert Doeffinger giving authority to the Fort Committee to ban the individual and Linda Smith added the second. Motion passed unanimously 10-0. Councilwoman Sang spoke about the enclosed letter from City Insurance concerning the parking in front of their business at 501 Main Street. They were asking for the City to consider limited one hour parking on Main Street during weekly business hours of 8-4. Sang advised contacting the Merchants Group to see what might be realistic. Sang then advised Council the “West Virginia- Make it Shine” event is scheduled for April 5-18, 2010. She advised Council she would like to resign her position as Chairman and only assist with the event. She asked Council if they knew of any recommendations. At that time, Councilman Juniper made a motion to appoint Denny Bellamy, tourism director. After further discussion, Council decided Bellamy should be asked if he is available to fulfill the position. Juniper withdrew his prior motion. Mayor Billings advised Council he would contact Bellamy and ask him to become the new chairman of the clean-up and complete the necessary forms prior to the February 15, 2010 deadline. Sang also mentioned the idea of having a city-wide yard sale as other cities host. She recommended the weekend before the clean-up event. Sang concluded with asking if the City is utilizing the “Day Report Crews” that are available to assist the City in various duties. Teka McCauley, administrative assistant, indicated they are being used on a needed basis and Mayor Billings also indicated he just received a letter indicating the City has an individual approved for 113 hours a month and they will use him wherever the need.
Sam Juniper spoke concerning December’s Issue of League Lites, a publication of the WV Municipal League. The issue discussed the Municipal Pensions Bill- SB 4007 that passed and was signed by Governor Manchin. The new bill permits municipalities participating in a policeman’s or firemen’s pension and relief fund to close the fund to newly hired employees and place the new employees in a new retirement system that is administered by the WV Consolidated Public Retirement Board known as the Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System. Juniper believes this would be something Council should support because other cities have been able to save money with the new program. Councilman Juniper then spoke concerning a copy of a grant that Council received by mail from Police Chief Watterson. Teka McCauley clarified that Watterson had a deadline of January 5th, so as long as it was post-marked that day for Council review they could apply for the grant to purchase a new car for the Police Department. The individual assisting with the application is from North Carolina and is able to help the likelihood of receiving the grant. She has a great reputation with other departments in achieving grants. She will only be compensated if the grant is received. Councilman Juniper moved on to discuss a letter pertaining to Jeff Feamster, the current accountant for the City. The letter indicated Feamster does not have an active accounting license in the state of WV. Juniper asked City Attorney Stein if he could legally perform accounting work without a license. Juniper previously made contact with Joanne Walker, Administrator of the Accountancy Board, to ask her opinion concerning illegal practicing. Walker indicated her report from Feamster indicates he is not doing accounting work, however, she said she knows otherwise. Juniper asked Stein to contact the Board, however, Stein declined to do so since Juniper already made that contact the week before. Juniper advised the City should consider a new certified accountant. Juniper concluded by mentioning Feamster did not make the October 1st, 2009 deadline for the Water and Sewer Annual Reports. Mayor Billings indicated to Council he would address the issue and follow-up with Council at a later date.
William Park complimented the Street Department for a job well done with the recent snow removal.
Linda Smith asked attorney Stein if he made contact with Gary Mitchell with the Board of Education, to discuss a proposed site for the skate park. Stein indicated they have not walked the property due to weather, but they will when the weather permits. Mayor Billings asked to be involved when they walked the property. Smith also mentioned the City would remain responsible for maintaining the property, lights, hours of operation, as well as, insurance responsibilities.
Being no other business, Marshall Bonecutter made a motion to adjourn. Linda Smith added the second and being unanimously approved, the meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
Amber D. Tatterson City Clerk ________________________
Brian L. Billings Mayor________________________