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, December 13, 2010.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian L. Billings who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Marshall Bonecutter made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular council meeting for November 8, 2010 and a second was given by Barbara Brown. Motion to approve minutes passed 10-0. A motion made by Gary Cotton was seconded by Marshall Bonecutter to approve the financial statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the month of November 2010. Councilman Juniper advised he noticed the garbage fees seem to be falling behind and the City may need to consider a rate increase. The financial statements were approved 10-0. Councilman William Park made a motion to approve the outstanding obligations for the month of November 2010, and James Bowles seconded the motion, which passed 10-0.
Attorney Stein told Council he has prepared notices to file against the owner of the Yeager Property that is located on Main Street and he is working with the City Inspector to take all necessary actions to proceed with the filing of those notices. Stein advised he wants everything to be in proper order so there would not be any delays after the filings. He hopes to have more information next meeting to present to Council.
Stein also updated Council concerning the Franklin Property. He indicated this week he will file a dismissal on the previous case and file a new case based on a new complaint. He is hoping this route will allow the City to move forward and will update at the next meeting.
Sam Juniper asked Stein if he had an update on the progress he has made on Municipal Service fees. Attorney Stein indicated he would give Juniper a report in January.
City Clerk Amber Tatterson advised Council that Joe Supple, who currently serves as a Board member for Main Street Point Pleasant, is interested in serving on the Historic Landmark Commission. This would fill the current Main Street vacancy for the Historic Landmark Commission. Barbara Brown made a motion to appoint Supple and Mr. Bonecutter added the second. Councilman Juniper indicated Supple does not reside within City limits and the ordinance states the individual must be a City resident. Juniper also informed Council that the ordinance states there shall be a member from the Planning Commission that serves on this board. Councilman Doeffinger advised the ordinance needs to meet guidelines and understands it is hard to find volunteers to serve on various boards. He stated perhaps Supple could serve as an extra member since he owns and operates a business in the Historic District. Mayor Billings advised the Historic Landmark Commission needs to be given notice that they need a member from the Planning Commission and a member from Main Street Point Pleasant that reside within the City to serve on their Board. The issue will be tabled.
Clerk Tatterson advised Council that the next Neighborhood Watch Meeting will be held at the Marshall’s Mid-Ohio Valley Center on Tuesday January 11, 2011 at 6:45 p.m. Tatterson stated that Councilman Doeffinger and Councilwoman Sang have been attending the meetings and encouraged other Council members to attend and show community support to the citizens.
Mr. Doeffinger asked Dave Snowden, outside accountant, if he was able to look at the possibility of a water rate increase. Snowden indicated he has researched the increase and that he is in the process of completing the annual Public Service Commission reports. He intends on addressing the rate increase once those reports are completed. Doeffinger advised a public meeting would be held with Burgess and Niple to discuss the drainage project and asked to have sewer rates available for that meeting.
Mayor Brian Billings asked for a motion to approve the second reading of the pay ordinance for the Mayor of 2012. The pay ordinance will increase the 2012 Mayor’s salary by $1,673.44. The Mayor’s salary was previously reduced by the same amount with the adoption of the pay ordinance in early 2010. Councilman Juniper made a motion and James Bowles added the second motion to approve the second reading. The motion passed 9-1, with Sang casting a no vote.
Mayor Billings asked for a motion to approve the annual Sleighbell Ball donation. Billings indicated the donation is in the budget for $750, which is half of what the City previously donated. Mr. Bowles made the first motion and Marshall Bonecutter added the second, which passed 9-1 with Juniper casting a no vote.
*At 7:19 p.m. Mayor Billings asked for a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters pertaining to employment of a City employee. Gary Cotton made the first motion while William Park added the second motion which passed 10-0.
*At 7:40 p.m. James Bowles made a motion to come out of executive session and William Park added the second motion which passed 10-0.
Upon returning from executive session William Park made a motion to hire employee (A) as a full time employee for the Water Department at minimum wage and employee (B) as a part-time employee for the Street Department at minimum wage and no benefits. Mr. Bonecutter added the second motion, which passed 10-0. Mayor Billings asked for Council to allow him to make a call to the CWEB program and get a background check on potential employee (C) and if there are no issues, proceed with hiring him as a full time employee as an electrician at minimum wage. Linda Smith made the first motion and James Bowles added the second, and the motion passed 10-0. Council
members decided at that time it should be standard procedure to have background checks on all new potential employees. A motion was made by Mr. Juniper for the City to do background checks by outside agencies for new employees with written consent from the individual. This would be in addition to the drug screening that takes place. James Bowles added the second motion, which passed 10-0. Mayor Billings then asked for a motion to post two new positions to fill vacancies in the street department. The posting will state specifications for welding, mechanical ability, heavy equipment experience and CDL’s as a requirement. Juniper made a motion for the posting and Mr. Bowles added the second, and the motion carried.
Marshall Bonecutter stated residents are complaining that semi-truck drivers are using gears as breaks when coming off the Bartow Jones Bridge. Councilman Juniper thought there might be an ordinance against “engine breaking” and advised he would research it.
Leota Sang asked the Mayor for a copy of road repairs. Sang advised that her ward has alleys that need repaired. She stated that the recent installation of blacktop on Camden Avenue and Kanawha Street was not good and they were not supposed to blacktop over the floodwall gate. The new blacktop is causing water to stand in front of residents’ homes and in some places is not wide enough for vehicles to pass one another. Sang stated she is disappointed in the condition of City Streets and that her ward was overlooked during warm weather and now it is winter and it is being overlooked again. The condition of Mt. Vernon Avenue is quickly declining and needs attention. According to Sang citizens traveling to the daycare and Primary School have to deal with the roads on a daily basis and it is sad. Councilman Bowles stated the roads in the third ward are in bad shape and the repairs should be on the top of the list. Councilman Juniper stated that $12,000 should have gone to Sang’s ward. Ms. Sang then stated the Meadowbrook area has had repairs and she presented Council with a petition and still has not had any attention. She feels her ward is being overlooked for some reason and the Mayor assured her that would not happen. Sang stated that she is not doing her job if she cannot get issues addressed and taken care of for citizens. She also indicated CSX needs to be contacted for Poplar Street residents at 203 and 212. Rain water is
causing flooding in these yards. She told the Mayor to ask Bruce Chapman of the sewer department, concerning this since it was
addressed about a year ago. CSX needs to address this issue or assist with correcting the issue. Sang advised the street sign at the intersection of Poplar Street and High Street is in the wrong direction. Sang then spoke concerning property at 104 High Street. She was advised by the City Inspector he would update her on the status and she has not heard from him. Mayor Billings advised he was told by the City Inspector that a report was sent to her pertaining to the property. Sang also asked the Mayor for an update on the drive-by shooting that took place in her ward. Billings indicated that investigations are still being conducted. Mayor Billings then asked for Sang to stay after the meeting to look over the list of street repairs.
William Park wanted to inform Council that the scope of work being conducted behind the flood wall by the Corps of Engineers is unbelievable and is coming along nicely.
Elaine Hunt applauded the sewer department for their hard work on an issue that occurred over the weekend. Hunt also told the Mayor that if the CSO public meeting with Burgess & Niple would be cancelled for any reason to notify her and she would assist with getting local residents the message. Mayor Billings thanked Hunt and took the opportunity to advise Council that sewer department employees hand delivered fliers to notify residents and business owners of the meeting that would inform them about the project.
Sam Juniper advised Mr. Doeffinger that drainage issues north of 28th Street are not currently being addressed by the CSO project. Juniper said he met with Burgess & Niple to show them drainage problems that are occurring north of the proposed project. Juniper stated there are many sunken areas in the McNeil and Parrish area and that some of the lines seem to be clogged. Juniper would like to see the project address these issues. Doeffinger indicated lines may need to be replaced in those areas and they could ask for it to be included in the project. Doeffinger told Juniper they could speak with Burgess & Niple to ask them to investigate and then add it to the current project. Juniper advised he would speak with the engineers at the public meeting. Council members asked if the meeting was advertised. Clerk Tatterson advised she asked the local newspaper to publish it two times and had a copy of the email. She was told it was only in the paper one time. Mayor Billings informed Council that this was only a public meeting, not a hearing, so it was not necessary to be published more than one time. Councilman Juniper then asked Tatterson about the status of the B&O letters that should go to rental property owners. Tatterson advised Juniper that she plans to send the notices in January to start the new year
for property owners. Juniper than asked the Mayor if the City will check for sewer leaks before doing repairs to the sunken areas in his ward. Mayor Billings indicated he would see that the message is passed on to the necessary individuals. Juniper then told the Mayor he spoke with Diane Cromley and she indicated she had ward boundaries mapped out. Juniper felt it might be necessary to wait until the numbers are in from the 2010 census before mapping out any new boundaries. Mayor Billings spoke up and said that he and Clerk Tatterson spoke with Cromley and agreed to meet at the first of the year to discuss re-alignment of the wards. Juniper concluded with telling Council there is a stop sign on a utility pole at the Third and Main Street Intersection. He stated the sign should not be posted on a utility pole and it is not in the ordinance book. He asked for the sign to be placed on a pole and approved by Council then put it in the ordinance book. At this time, police cannot enforce or ticket the sign since it is not recorded in the ordinance book.
Barbara Brown stated she had received a few complaints from residents concerning leaf burning taking place at Krodel Park. Mayor Billings stated that the issue has been addressed and should be minimal from this point forward.
Robert Doeffinger asked if there was an update on the drainage issues that Mr. Mabe addressed Council with last month. The Mayor advised that Bruce Chapman made contact with Mr. Mabe. The Mayor will follow-up with Bruce and report back to Council.
James Bowles told the Mayor that a loud ATV with four kids on it was riding in his ward at high speeds. Mayor advised he would have the police department investigate the area.
Being no other business, Marshall Bonecutter made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:17 p.m. James Bowles added the second and the motion carried.
________________________ Amber D. Tatterson, City Clerk
________________________ Brian L. Billings, Mayor