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, May 10, 2010.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian L. Billings who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Police Chief Ernie Watterson (bullet proof vests)- Chief Watterson advised Council the police department needs to replace some bullet proof vests since theirs are currently out of date. According to Chief Watterson, this is a safety issue that needs to be taken care of and it is an obligation of the City. He indicated he has a grant that will pay for half the cost of the vests and he currently has nine officers. Each vest can cost as much as $480 and he needs at least 6 new ones. Elaine Hunt asked Watterson what the life expectancy of a bullet proof vest is on average. He indicated it is typically three years. He asked Council for their approval to submit the grant. Hunt made the first motion and James Bowles added the second motion which passed 9-0.
Steve Littlepage/local business owner- spoke concerning the possible closing of Court Street Alley. He indicated he is speaking on behalf of himself and other local business owners that the closure may affect. Littlepage advised the closure would hinder the usage of his property, as well as, others located there along the alley. His handicap parking is to the rear of his office and his clients need to be able to utilize that lot and entrance. He feels the alley needs to be open to some extent to allow him to access his business and for an exit for those visiting other businesses in that vicinity. He also felt it was the Church that extended their building right up to the alley. Littlepage proposed a partial closure and to direct traffic to a right angle through the parking lot that would turn toward Main Street, which would satisfy all parties involved. He concluded by advising Council that he and local business owners are willing to meet with the Church to reach a compromising agreement and asked the City to wait until then to make any further decisions with the alley.
Dr. William Park made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular council meeting for April 12, 2010 and a second was given by Gary Cotton. Motion to approve minutes passed unanimously 9-0. Dr. Linda Smith made a motion to approve the minutes of the special meeting for April 20, 2010 and a second was given by Marshall Bonecutter, the motion passed. A motion made by Linda Smith was seconded by Councilman Bonecutter to approve the financial statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the month of April 2010. Approval of the financial statements passed 9-0. Elaine Hunt made a motion to approve the outstanding obligations for the month of April 2010, and Marshall Bonecutter seconded the motion. Mr. Juniper asked Teka McCauley, administrative assistant, how much money was left in the current Brownfield grant and she indicated approximately $15,000. Final vote to approve outstanding obligations was called and passed 9-0.
City attorney R.F. Stein updated Council on the status of the proposed skate park. The Board of Education has suggested the skate park be located on the northern end of the playground in the center of the current walking track. The next step to move forward would be to write up a lease agreement between the City and the Board of Education that outlines the location and responsibilities. At that time Councilman Juniper voiced concerns of noise issues for the local residents in that area and asked if it would affect the basketball court that is located in the same area. Stein indicated the court would not be affected, however, a set of swing sets would need to be re-located. Councilman Bowles asked if a fence would be placed around the concrete pad since the track would surround the skate area. Dr. Park asked if there would be lighting. Linda Smith indicated the current plans include a fence, as well as, lighting. She also advised Council statistics show that skate parks can cut down on destruction to other property, reduces crime rate and drug use. Councilman Gary Cotton asked why the Harmon area is not being considered for a location since the drainage issues are to have been corrected. Smith indicated the Board of Education wants this park in their area since kids are already utilizing the area. She also voiced further concerns with drainage issues that are still prone in the Harmon area. Attorney Stein asked Council if they wish to proceed with a lease agreement between the City and the Board of Education. Dr. Smith made the first motion to proceed and Barbara Brown added the second. The motion passed 8-1, with Gary Cotton voting no.
Attorney Stein concluded by re-visiting the issue previously discussed concerning the Court Street Alley. He advised Council he was contacted by Mr. Littlepage concerning the closing of the alley. He was told Trinity Church members and local business owners would hold a meeting to discuss issues both sides have with the alley. Stein indicated he would attend the meeting when it takes place and hopes to meet a compromising decision between the City, Church, and businesses that may be affected if the alley were closed. Councilman Robert Doeffinger indicated the necessary procedures would need to be followed despite what decision is reached between all parties.
City Clerk Amber Tatterson advised Council she and the Mayor were approached by John West proposing the rental of the Krodel Concession Building. Tatterson reminded Council Mr. West spoke at the March meeting concerning rental of the building. Mr. West was told a legal ad would be posted and he would need to respond. The legal ad ran in the local newspaper stating the bid would open April 8, 2010 and all bids would be presented to City Council at the April 12th meeting. The ad ran on March 19th and 25th, however, there were no bids received, including from Mr. West. Tatterson proceeded to tell Council Mr. West asked for Council to reconsider renting to him for $200 a month without any upgrades being made. He would only be selling Italian ice, drinks, and bait. Council chose not to take any action due to Mr. West not responding to the previous bid process.
Tatterson asked Council for a motion to approve the proposed budget revision accountant Jeff Feamster provided. Feamster felt the revision was necessary to prevent “over spending” in certain departments. Tatterson indicated the current revision is due to the auditor’s office for approval by the deadline of June 15, 2010. She also indicated budget revisions are made numerous times throughout the fiscal year to prevent over spending. Robert Doeffinger made the first motion while William Park added the second. The motion passed unanimously 9-0.
Tatterson concluded by telling Council she wished to hold an executive session to discuss personnel matters but indicated they would do it later in the meeting.
Mayor Billings advised Council, Bruce Chapman of the sewer department previously asked for Council’s approval to begin the bid process to purchase a new dump truck as outlined in the North Point Pleasant Drainage project. The current truck has several maintenance issues and is in dire need of replacement. They would like to move forward with the purchase of the dump truck. The estimated cost would be approximately $70,000 and the CSO account would be used for the purchase. Councilman Sam Juniper had previously voiced concerns that the timeline was not being followed. Chapman indicated the timeline states now or by 2015. Juniper advised Phase III shows the purchase of this truck once the project is completed. Juniper thinks they should look at the rate cases to verify whether the CSO fund can be used for the purchase of a dump truck at this point. Juniper also indicated that in reading the project plans dated August 2008, the dump truck was in the report, however it was left out in the amended plan in December 2008. The truck was later included in the January 2009 amendment. Juniper would like to clarification for which copy is accurate. Councilman Robert Doeffinger indicated he would call a Sewer Committee meeting with Burgess & Niple to address any concerns that have recently been voiced.
Mayor Billings updated Council on a meeting held with the recreation committee concerning the opening of the City pool. Billings advised Joe Doeffinger would continue to act as the pool manager. Billings also told Council that City workers are replacing doors, painting the pool, looking for leaks, and finishing the shed on the property. The anticipated opening date for the pool is May 29, 2010. Dr. Smith informed Council the pool will be offering water aerobics this summer.
The Mayor told Council the Sewer Department is still down one full time employee due to the death of a co-worker. Bruce Chapman, department head, asked to hire a seasonal part-time employee. Sam Juniper asked why not hire a full time employee now since it is in the budget. Billings indicated he does not feel the department is ready for the replacement at this time. Councilman Doeffinger indicated if the sewer department is able to meet their duties then it would be wise to hold off hiring a new employee. Mayor Billings called for a vote to hire a seasonal part-time employee for the sewer department. Robert Doeffinger made the first motion and Sam Juniper added the second. The motion passed 9-0 to hire a part-time employee with no benefits and no overtime.
The Mayor asked for Sewer Chairman, Robert Doeffinger, to update Council on the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project funding status. Doeffinger indicated he received confirmation to approve the four and a half million application previously submitted for the project. He also told Council there are still hopes in receiving some of the funding from the green infrastructure grant. He advised he would have Burgess & Niple meet with Council to revisit the proposed project schedule.
Billings advised Council he had an item to address that did not make it on the agenda. He told Council he asked for Steve Gardner, water department head, to generate a fire hydrant flushing schedule for the local area since it is something that should be done on a regular basis. Billings gave Council a proposed schedule with the start date on or around May 20, 2010. Billings also indicated the need for a chlorine monitoring system that would indicate when levels are too high or too low. He indicated this is something that should have been in place back in November 2009. The estimated cost for this alarm dialer is $5,857. Sam Juniper made a motion for the purchase of this system if it is an emergency. Linda Smith added the second and the motion passed 9-0. Billings also indicated he told Mr. Gardner he wants water clarity reports as previously asked for by Councilwoman Elaine Hunt.
*At 8:09 p.m. Clerk Tatteson asked for a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters pertaining to employment and dismissal of a City employee. Gary Cotton made the first motion while Sam Juniper added the second motion which passed 9-0.
*At 8:24 William Park made a motion to come out of executive session and James Bowles added the second motion which passed
Sam Juniper made a motion to contact the Police Pension Board and notify them the City is ready to sue for money that is owed to the General Fund. James Bowles added the second motion, which passed unanimously.
James Bowles spoke about the recent road work completed on the approach ramp of the Kanawha Street Bridge. He stated the area is very rough and it needs to be fixed. Mayor Billings said he was aware of the area and they intend to wait until June to make repairs. The Mayor also indicated when the State begins the Jefferson Blvd. project and they pave Camden Avenue and Kanawha Street they might consider paving Camden hill and around the Harmon Park curve. Bowles also indicated the 14th Street Railroad Crossing is in bad shape and the Mayor advised it was looked at in April and it is on the schedule to be repaired.
Robert Doeffinger asked City Attorney Stein to draft and enact a Codified Ordinance to deal with distressed property in Point Pleasant since legislature passed a bill last session.
Linda Smith wanted to thank City Inspector, Jeremy Bryant, for his detailed monthly report. Billings advised Smith, Bryant is working hard to address grass issues in various areas.
Sam Juniper advised there is property on Viand Street that has high grass and the home appears to be falling in. Billings indicated Bryant is currently trying to get something done concerning that property. Juniper also said the old high school property had high grass. Juniper asked why Council has not received the annual water and sewer fund budgets. Clerk Tatterson advised they would be in the June Council packets for approval. Juniper asked for a copy of the current audit report. Tatterson indicated she would see that he is given one. Councilman Juniper asked Attorney Stein his opinion on the need of a sanitary board. Stein advised the City can establish a board, but it is not necessary. The City of Point Pleasant is currently in compliance with the law. Juniper indicated he felt it is needed and perhaps he would meet with Stein to further address the issue. Juniper concluded with reminding the Mayor of two sink holes in the Parrish area.
Barbara Brown wanted to thank the Police Department for patrolling and monitoring her ward for motor-scooters.
Being no other business, James Bowles made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:43 p.m. William Park added the second and the motion carried.
Amber D. Tatterson, City Clerk
Brian L. Billings, Mayor