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Council entertains vital ordinances

By Staff | Aug 3, 2011

On Monday evening, the Paden City Council entertained and unanimously approved the first readings of three ordinances addressing issues of concern within the city.

The first ordinance, which addresses noise in the city limits, has been in the works for several months. However, due to disagreements in regard to the complex nature of the first draft, the matter has been tabled several times pending revisions. After a committee appointed by Mayor Bill Fox met for the second time, the councilmen came to an agreement and submitted the changes to City Attorney Carolyn Flannery. Upon the council’s recommendation, the ordinance addresses nighttime noise, eliminating several paragraphs pertaining to noise during daytime hours.

Flannery commented, “I made some general revisions, but I kept the clauses that applied to nighttime noise.”

Per the proposed ordinance, residents are prohibited from making “excessive noise” between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday; and from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The ordinance defines “excessive noise” as anything exceeding 80 decibels.

Councilman Richard Wright commented, “We are trying to be fair to both sides.”

The first reading of the ordinance was approved by a unanimous vote by Councilmen Richard Wright, Bob Casteel, Tom Trader, Dan Probst,and Matt Ferrebee.

The second proposed ordinance sets restrictions and penalties for dangerous dogs in Paden City. The ordinance was drafted after several animal attacks were reported. Wright, who is responsible for bringing the matter to the council, is adamant the measure was proposed as a safeguard for citizens. “If your dog is not vicious and does not bite, this ordinance does not pertain to you,” he stressed.

Flannery pointed out an important revision to the original ordinance. “I added a clause pertaining to dogs who attack other animals, as well.”

In a discussion of the ordinance, a resident posed a question. “What if someone breaks into my house and my dog attacks him?”

Wright replied, “If someone breaks into your house and your dog is protecting your house, it’s doing its job. But, if the animal attacks someone outside your house and it is determined to be a dangerous dog under the guidelines of this ordinance, there will be consequences.”

The first reading of the “dangerous dog” ordinance was approved with no opposition.

The third and final proposition to come before the council was a revision to the highly controversial “ATV ordinance.” The amendment proposed by council will redefine “all-terrain vehicles” in the current ordinance to include rough terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles and golf carts.

The ordinance will restrict the usage of these vehicles to adults 18 years of age and older who have a valid driver’s license. Penalties will be imposed for those who do not meet these requirements.

The matter was brought to council in July after several complaints were filed in regard to underage residents operating golf carts and other ATVs on the city streets.

The first reading was approved by council.

In other business, council made a motion to approve Abraham & Company to conduct a Public Service Commission audit for the water and sewer departments. The governing body also accepted a bid from Progressive Communications for the replacement of the police department’s radios. The bid, which came in at $14,990 will be paid out of a $25,000 grant procured for the department. The remaining funds will be used to purchase other items to be named at a later date.

Recorder Tamara Billiter, who presided over the meeting in Mayor Fox’s absence, commented, “It’s not costing the city anything.”

Under streets, Councilman Casteel reported the city is slowly getting repairs done in the areas where work on underground lines has been completed. “It’s going to take time,” he said.

Casteel also reported on the park and pool. “We’ve had a good year,” he said. “We had some problems, set backs – but we have it under control. Things are going very well, other than dogs running loose at the park.”

He urged citizens to report “dogs at large” to combat the growing problem of animals running loose in Paden City.

Wright relayed a message of thanks to the council and the police department on behalf of Rodney McWilliams and the Paden City Foundation. “Rodney would like to thank everyone who helped with the 5K. The police department really did a good job that day, and we appreciate it very much.”

Before the conclusion of the meeting, the council approved the re-hire of Mary Barrick as the crossing guard for Paden City Elementary School.

Trader said, “We need to do something to help Mary. She has almost been hit several times trying to help children across the road. I have contacted the State and they have refused to paint lines on the road or put up a caution light. If the city does it, they say we will assume the liability if something happens in that area.”

Because PCE is not situated along W.Va. 2, the state is not required to put up a light or designate the area as a “school zone.” Casteel commented, “I think the state is wrong. She needs some protection up there.”

The councilmen will explore means of protecting the crossing guard and bring the matter back to the table.