City council votes on sewer project
Steps toward the Hanford City Sewer Project were made at the Feb. 11 Sistersville City Council meeting. John C. Stump from Steptoe & Johnson attended, explaining the bond ordinances needed to complete the project. The first bond issue is in the amount of $203,000, while the second bond issue is in the amount of $754,000.
Stump also clarified the concept of “debt forgiveness” in reference to the second bond issue, stating that each time that bond is brought up for payment, it is forgiven. He described it as essentially being a grant.
The bonds for the project will be used toward the costs of acquisition and construction of additions, betterments and improvements to the sewerage system.
The council then approved a Supplemental Resolution detailing the exact amounts of the bonds and a Sweep Resolution for automatic debit payment of bonds to the Municipal Bond Commission.
Opening a public hearing, council voted unanimously to approve of these combined bonds for the aforementioned purposes, as well as the approval of a professional engineer for the project.
In other news, City Commissioner Daniel Grimes reported the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance companies both denied covering payments for the old lift station pumps because of wear and tear associated with age. But on a positive note, all five of the new pumps they are working to acquire can serve as backups. Grimes described the quick repair of a service station pump that went down one night, stating workers pulled together to fix the problem.
He also mentioned that he anticipates repairs to the pump will be completed more economically than expected. He then brought up the possibility of getting the sewer plant set up to take in sludge from other places, which could generate extra income for the town.
Under committee reports, the Planning Committee approved Connie Boyd’s three-year term. They also spoke of painting the oil derricks as well as a shelter at the park.
The possibility of kayak insurance for potential riverside rentals was discussed and speculated, but no actions were taken.
The two new stop signs placed on Wells Street will be added to the city’s list. Mayor Dave Fox cited complaints about cars speeding down the street as the reason for the new signs.
Three city employees received pay raises. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Alexis Billings will receive a pay raise of $1 per hour; Craig Surface, who was described to have “stepped up to the plate” in his duties at the water plant, will also receive a pay raise of $1 per hour; and Zach Hubbard, head of the sewer plant, will earn now earn $9 per hour.
After two years of reportedly receiving workers compensation forms from the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department too close to deadline, Fox urged them to turn their papers in sooner to avoid increased premiums and the potential that they may not be able to fight fires.
The council also discussed the possibility of charging Sistersville General Hospital for accounting services.
“We’re having to do all of this work for them, so I think we should start charging them accounting fees,” said Fox.
Previous minutes were approved and the bills were paid.
“I’d like to thank all of the department heads because they are doing a good job of keeping within their budget,” said Fox.