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Burning issue tabled by Paden City Council

By Staff | Jan 7, 2009

Paden City residents packed the council chambers on Monday evening to hear the first reading of an ordinance banning outdoor wood burning stoves in the city. The issue, however, was tabled by Mayor Bill Fox with no opposition from the council, though few residents were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on the matter.

It was Fox’s recommendation to the council members that they spend more time looking at ways to regulate the wood burners instead of banning them all together. “I personally have a problem telling people they cannot do something. If we have a right to go out and buy a product and it’s legitimate, then I do not think we have a right to tell people they cannot do that.”

“What we don’t know today is what is going to happen years down the road. We can see the changes in this country every day,” he continued. “There are people in this town that someday that might be the only source of heat they are going to have. If they have access to wood, that might be the only way they can do it. Some people in this town may get a bill for $500 for a month for heating. . . that’s there check for the month.”

Fox said, “We have to be careful. I received this bulletin on the mail and when I opened it up there was an article questioning invocational prayer in council meetings. They are asking ‘Can we do this?’, ‘Is it legitimate?’. I’m telling you that when they tell me I can’t do that, they are going to put me in jail,” he said. “This is what we have to be careful about in this country. Every day when we pick up the newspaper we see that someone is taking something away from us and it only takes one person.”

The council was in agreement with the mayor and voted to take more time to investigate the issue with the wood burners and develop ways to enforce regulations.

In other matters, the council unanimously voted to purchase a backup booster pump, tanks, etc. for the water system at Meadow Heights in light of an issue over the holidays.

“The pump failed and we had to call in G.O.W. Resources from Chester, W.Va., to bring us one so Meadow Heights would have water.”

The quorum also voted to replace the blown motor in the city’s 1999 utility truck at a cost of $2,000.

Police Chief Mike Billiter gave a report on Patrolman Mike Owens who is currently attending the West Virginia Police Academy for certification. “We have an officer down state at the academy. He left this morning and we have had no calls yet and no news is good news,” he explained. “If everything goes as expected, Owens will graduate on April 24.”

Upon completion of Owens’ training, Paden City’s force will be staffed by fully certified officers.

Councilwoman Cherita Daugherty reported four motor vehicle assists, one EMS assist, three service calls, and one mutual aid standby for the Paden City Fire Department. No structure fires were reported.

Councilman Clyde Hochstrasser informed the council that a letter had been sent to Sprouse by the Paden City Development Authority requesting a long term lease. “He has refused the lease offer. He will be there for about three years under the terms of the current lease. There is 150,000 square feet that we need to lease. There are two companies that are looking to do that.”

According to Hochstrasser, one company will lease 50,000 square feet and the other will lease 100,000 square feet of the building.

At the close of the meeting, Fox shared some wisdom with the citizens. “I’m not trying to scare anyone. This is for informational purposes. I think that the citizens of Paden City need to make sure that their doors and windows and cars are locked at night. I’m not saying that we have a lot of problems. There have been some problems, but it’s not only here in Paden City. We are living in a different age today.”