Paden City Council Discusses Streets, Storm Damage
PADEN CITY – Zoa Postlethwait talked about rats – lots of rats – at Monday’s Paden City Council meeting.
Postlethwait of Jackson Street said she has killed 19 rats in recent weeks that are most likely coming from a vacant home nearby.
“It became my duty now to take care of this,” she said. “I’ve killed several rats around the back alley behind five houses. I set traps now and they work. I’m up to 19 rats.”
Postlethwait asked if city council can do anything to help her with this problem of the rats that may be infesting an abandoned house in the 100 block of East Jackson Street.
“I’m concerned for the kids, cats and dogs around because we need to treat a whole neighborhood without kids getting in the poison or our pets,” she said after the meeting. Mayor Joel Davis said the city would look into the matter.
“As far as the rat situation, I will look into it and contact the health department to see what can be done,” he said. “We will also contact the owners of the house. We need to find out where they are coming from.”
When confronting the rats, Postlethwait didn’t hesitate to apply her Second Amendment rights and grabbed a weapon.
“I first thought it was a snake under my house, so I grabbed my BB gun to go check,” she said. “After searching for about 30 minutes, I saw it was a rat trying to get in my house. I managed to corner it and had no choice but to shoot it or let it go on in my house. So I shot it. It still moved around, so I shot a few more times to assure I would not get bit when removing it. Later, I kept a lookout – not scared – but concerned because my daughter is highly allergic to all in the rat-like family. When the rats are around, you can hear them around outside in trash cans, scratching around.”
In other matters, council approved the possibility of hiring a part-time police officer.
Police Chief Bob Postlethwait said when the department is unable to fill the gaps in staffing, the city pays officers from other police departments for their service. His point was that since the city is paying for this service anyway, why not hire a part-time officer instead.
Postlethwait said a part-time hire would be trained, but not have to attend the police academy. The laws prohibit a part-time officer from remaining on the force unless that person is bumped up to full-time status, which would require training at the state Police Academy.
Council noted that because of periodic vacancies on the police force, any part-time officer may have an opportunity to gain full-time status.
Council agreed to allow the department to move forward with the application process to select a candidate. Once an applicant is chosen, council would give its blessing as to whether to hire that person.
In other matters, it was brought to council’s attention about an issue involving parking on Stephen Street during school drop-off and pick-up times. Parking on both sides of the street has become a safety issue and needs to be addressed. As a reminder, parking is not allowed where the curb is painted yellow. Chief Postlewait will work with Paden City officers to address the parking issue.
“I will be in contact with the Wetzel County School Board to look into other way of making pick up and drop off times safer for all,” he said.
In other business, Davis gave a brief report about damage caused by the hail storm on Oct. 20. He said the city’s insurer has adjusters inspecting the damage to caused to city property including the library, maintenance building, senior citizen’s center among other places.
City Recorder Tami Billiter said after the insurance company makes its decision as to how much to money it will provide the city for repairs, a bidding process will take place.
Billiter said according to state law, council will award contracts for the work based on the lowest bid without regard for prevailing wage standards or talk of local versus outside contractors. She said council has a responsibility to the taxpayers to get the lowest and best bid for the work.
Speaking of Billiter, she gave a report about the possibility of council potentially implementing 1-2 percent annual rate increase for water and sewer. She said the idea behind any rate increase – not yet discussed or approved by council – is so that customers would see an incremental rate change in their bills versus one big rate increase all at once. Billiter said state law requires any rate increase to be a specific dollar amount, not as a percentage.
In other matters, it was brought to council’s attention about an issue involving parking on Stephen St. during school drop off and pick up times. Parking on both sides of the street has become a safety issue and needs to be addressed. As a reminder, parking is not allowed where the curb is painted yellow. Chief Postlethwait will work with Paden City Officers to address the parking issue.
” I will be in contact with the Wetzel County School Board to look into other ways of making pick up and drop off times safer for all,” Davis said.
Among other items discussed, council:
Approved the purchase three fire hydrants at a cost of $1,500 each $4,500 total.
A stop sign will be placed at the intersection of Maurice Street and Alley by the football field.
A proclamation concerning National Education Week.
Extending the City Seal contest until Jan. 1.
Approved the annual Hazardous Mitigation Plan.
Approved a cellphone for police.