Burning laws and the upcoming bicentennial celebration were the main topics of the April 8 meeting of the Middlebourne Council.
Because of questions from the community, Mayor Gayla Fisher reviewed burning laws with the council.
From March 1 to May 31, citizens can burn from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. Those same rules will also apply in the fall, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. The maximum fine is $1,000 for violating the burning law. This is sponsored by the West Virginia Forestry Division.
The burning laws in brief are as follows: no burning between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., fire must be attend at all times, area must be cleared down to mineral soil for a minimum distance of 10 feet around what is being burned, if fire escapes, citizen is allotted for costs of fighting the fire and any damages, and willfully setting fires is a felony and punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. The West Virginia Arson hotline is 1-800-233-FIRE.
Fisher also updated the council regarding the upcoming bicentennial celebration which will be held on June 21-23. Fisher said she is still awaiting quotes on some plans.
The celebration will start on Friday evening at the Tyler County Senior Center with a dinner beginning at 4 p.m. There will also be a quilt show going on in the Senior Center Friday and Saturday. The entertainment will be the Mountain State Bluegrass Express. On Saturday, the celebration will open with a parade at 11 a.m. The library will be a BBQ chicken dinner an a slide show of the history of Middlebourne will be at the Middlebourne Fire Hall. For the children, there will be face-painting, balloon animals, and a bubble show. Patty Cooper will be doing a historical portrayal of Belle Boyd who was a confederate spy. On Broad Street, they will have children's activities and games along with birthday cake. Plans are still continuing for the celebration and are not yet finalized.
The council also approved a resolution to submit a project amendment change of scope/activities application for the Governor's Community Participation Grant which provides $10,000 in Local Economic Assistant Funds. This money will be used for the purchase of two new fire hydrants, putting an existing hydrant back on line and burying a deeper line for a hydrant.
City Attorney Gary Rymer informed council that an agreement still has not been reached with the Division of Highways regarding the bridge project on state Route 18 near Sellers Run Road.
The council has concerns regarding the water and sewer lines located around the property. The main concern is that the utility lines will be damaged by vibrations or shifting of the ground from use of the heavy equipment.
Although an agreement has not been reached, the DOH seems to be moving forward with the project.
Rymer also updated the council regarding the property that was donated to the library by the heirs of Hallie Swan Haught. The council plans to put the lots up for public auction. Before they can carry on with the auction, Rymer is settling some legal matters.
The council agreed to allow Melinda and Dale Koontz to remove a portion of a curb on Westchester Avenue in order to construct a 25- to 30-foot driveway.
The council went into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved by the council. The members present were Dave Farhatt, Doug Doak, Dave Myers, Vera Henthorn, Mayor Gayla Fisher, Treasurer Tena Eastham, Recorder Suzanne Farhatt, and City Attorney Gary Rymer.
The next regular meeting of the Town of Middlebourne City Council will be held on May 13, 7 p.m., at the city building.