Paden City Council holds meeting
All Paden City council members were present Monday evening for the regular meeting, including Councilwoman Eileen Smittle who has been out for several months.
After the roll call, the council approved the minutes from the May 2 meeting and then opened the floor up for public comment.
Kevin Yoho, who lives on Church Street, asked the council to post a new “dead end” sign on the corner of 1st and Church Street. According to Yoho, several cars have driven through his neighbor’s driveway recently, thinking it was an alley.
Mayor Bill Fox informed Yoho that the sign would be relocated so it is more visible to those driving in the area of Church Street.
Under committee reports, the council approved a measure to pay the City’s monthly bills. A roll call vote found five in favor if the motion; Smittle voted “no” citing that she had not had time to review the bills prior to the meeting.
Fox then informed the council of a matter involving money owned to the city. “We have a property owner who owes the city a bill for Municipal and Street Fees in the amount of $378.84. Does council want to take this to Magistrate Court?”
“Absolutely!” replied Councilman Bob Casteel. Councilman Larry Potts seconded the motion, which was approved with no opposition.
The city will pay a mandatory fee of $75 to take the issue to court.
The council also entertained a budget revision for the year for the General Fund. The revision will increase revenue for line item 305 (Gross Sales Tax) by an additional $12,000 and line item 365 (Other Grants) by $27,520. The latter is covered by a grant check for the Paden City Development Authority which was payable to the city.
Additionally, it was proposed that expenditures for the Recorder’s office be increased by $3,500 to cover the salary of a part time office clerk. Another increase in the amount of $5,000 would cover overtime incurred by the police department while they have an officer at the West Virginia State Police Academy. An increase of $3,500 will cover insurance and bonds for the fire department.
Before the measure was passed, Councilman Matt Ferrebee posed a question. “How many hours does the part time person work in the Recorder’s office?”
“She is scheduled for 20 hours per week,” Mayor Fox replied, adding that she also filled in when other office personnel were sick or on vacation.
The budget revision was approved with no opposition.
In the water department report, it was brought to the council’s attention that applications had been sought for the Utility Clerk position. Approximately, 12-13 applications were submitted. The council will interview the applicants this week to determine who will be hired.
Under “streets,” the mayor informed the council that a new street light had been installed on the pole in the alley on S. 7th Avenue between Washington and E. Adams Street.
“The hiring for the season has been done,” Fox said in reference to the pool. “The pool was painted and filled with water and they opened on May 30.”
According to Fox, the pool took in approximately $1,200 over Memorial Weekend and had around 200 patrons.
Casteel added, “They made around $800 this past weekend.”
In related business, Councilman Ferrebee pointed out that according to Ordinance 149.01, the council was to appoint Board of Park Commission members.
Council approved a motion for the mayor to sign a resolution to replace the windows in the H&R building with funds from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant through the Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council.
The measure was approved by council.
In old business, the council discussed a proposed noise ordinance for the City of Paden City. Carolyn Flannery, legal counsel for the city, informed the council that she had made some minor changes to the ordinance and suggested they offer temporary waivers for organizations wishing to have bands or other events which would be in violation of the proposed ordinance. Mayor Fox agreed the suggestion would cover the city during festivals or alumni weekend.
Councilman Richard Wright and Councilman Ferrebee had several questions regarding the proposition.
“I think we are opening a can of worms,” Ferrebee stated. “It sounds like we are discriminating against certain people. . .saying that certain people can make noise and certain people cannot.”
Flannery replied, “Council needs to be on the same page. There are all kinds of ways to do a noise ordinance. A noise ordinance is for intentional loud noises, not for regular activities. The issue is loud bursts of noise.”
She then suggested the mayor set up a committee to discuss possible revisions to the proposed ordinance.
Fox appointed Wright, Ferrebee, Potts and Councilman Tom Trader to the task of discussing the ordinance.
“We are not trying to run anyone out of town or put anyone out of business,” Fox noted of the ordinance.
The council hopes to entertain the first reading of the noise ordinance in July.
Fox then moved on other business matters. “Monroe Excavating is considering the purchase of The Warehouse,” he explained. “They would like to have council’s approval to drive dump trucks, back-hoe, skid steer equipment, plus the tractor portion of a tractor trailer to this location on Helen Street so they can work on their equipment in this building.” He noted the heaviest piece of equipment was 25,000 pounds.
Smittle made a motion to table the matter, to which Potts made a second. Ferrebee, however, opposed the decision. “I don’t want to lose another business.”