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Sistersville Park Committee prepares for summer season

By Staff | Mar 19, 2014

Dee Dee Williamson and Audist Pancake work at the Winter Auction to benefit Sistersville Park.

Summer is coming and perhaps no one is more acutely aware of that fact than the Sistersville Park and Pool Committee.

Audist Pancake reported to Sistersville City Council March 10 on the committee’s recent work. “Hopefully this is a little bit of fresh air tonight,” she said.

The committee held their first winter auction and made $828. “So thanks to everybody who donated,” said Pancake. Those in attendance at the council meeting applauded that news.

The city is still accepting applications from people age 16 and over who would want to be lifeguards. Pancake said that is “the reason we are working so very hard to raise this money.” She noted it costs $200-250 per person for lifeguard training. “A lot of our kids cannot afford the cost,” she said.

At all times they need three lifeguards on duty-two at the pool and a back up. “We’re looking at needing at least six lifeguards or more,” said Pancake.

Also in regard to the pool, David Pancake reported that the lift chair required at the pool by the Americans with Disabilities Act is available from “In the Swim” for $2,679.64. Plus, the company will ship it for free. Previously he had only found the lifts for about $4,000.

The company is also offering a deal on paint for the pool. David Pancake said last year the city spent $2,600, or about $79 per gallon, on painting the pool facility. “In The Swim” will sell them the needed paint for $52.99 per gallon, or $1,748-a savings of over $700. That product, also, will be shipped for free.

“Very good, you guys have been working hard,” said Mayor Ann Doig, whose comment was met with applause.

She further said the committee has checked with the city’s insurance company. “There are a lot of people who want to volunteer at the park. We wanted to find out what they can and can’t do,” said Audist Pancake.

She reported that Momentive has a committee that is hopefully making a decision to change both concession stand roofs, paint the shelter, install French drains, and maybe put in a handicap ramp.

Switching facilities, Audist Pancake said there are many problems at the gym: too many keys, people going in when they shouldn’t, unsupervised kids, etc. As of now, they have decided to change the locks.

Council unanimously put their stamp of approval on a plan presented in a letter from Tyler County Development Director Eric Peters concerning putting a wildlife refuge along the walking trail. He said SGH has approved having it put on their property along the Ohio River.

The governing body also unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Heintzman to the Sistersville General Hospital Board. Linda Leasure told council the board recently had three openings develop.

“I hope everybody realizes there are criteria that have to be filled in these appointments,” said Leasure. She noted Heintzman is the former co-owner of the Sistersville Dairy Queen, is retired from the United State Postal Service, and owns Heintzman’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Council unanimously agreed to reimburse Bob Gilmore for mileage when he turns on and shuts off water meters for city customers. Mayor Ann Doig said he is currently doing this job and using his own truck because he works part time.

“Without him we wouldn’t be able to shut off meters when people need to be shut off,” said Doig.

Given the amount of travel he is currently doing for the job, Doig estimated that at 56 cents per mile he would require approximately $9 a week.

“That’s a lot cheaper than a car payment,” said Councilman Mitch Corley.

Councilman Bill Rice said that while he wasn’t against the mileage payments, he wondered when it became Gilmore’s job to turn off meters. Doig said the city crew has been busy, so Gilmore has been executing the job.

Rice said he is concerned for Gilmore. When it was said he hasn’t had a problem, Rice added “yet. I just worry about your safety.” Rice thinks it would be better to have two people do it.

“I just don’t like him having to go by himself, at his age,” said Rice. “The way it is today, let’s face it, they’re crazy out there.”

Daniel Grimes, city commissioner, could not be at the meeting, but Police Chief Ben Placer said Grimes is getting prices on starters for the ferry. Most of them are about $900. However, Morgan Auto Parts is able to get a deal for about $330. “I think they’re pretty much giving it to the city at cost,” said Placer. The expenditure will come out of the maintenance line item.

Councilman Mark Klages asked if the starter purchase could wait until the city gets the 80 percent of a $4,000 grant back. Councilman Phil Konopacky said even if it is purchased now, they are looking at 60 days until a payment is needed. The installation will be done by the city’s crew.

The ferry is slated to open for the 2014 season on April 7. For the first month they will operate on winter hours: 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

The city is accepting applications to serve on the city’s water board. Anyone is welcome to pick up an application at city hall.

Council unanimously approved a list of poll workers for the city election. Early polling started Friday.

Council unanimously approved the payment of the following bills: SGH, $390,197.69; payroll, $312,538.62; P-Card bills, $36,710.89; utilities (cannot be paid by P-Card), and $12,692.95. Of the latter, Doig said, “They haven’t been paid for two months.”