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Council decides to do nothing about website

By Staff | Jun 25, 2014

At the June 9 meeting of Sistersville City Council, the body finally decided to do nothing about a request for an official city website.

Josh Rice, son of Mayor Bill Rice, had come before the council a couple months earlier asking for the council’s blessing on a website he and some others had developed for the city.

Council questioned what had ever happened with a previous agreement to start an official City of Sistersville website, that never materialized. At the June meeting,

Councilman Mark Klages said the city did not pay the full value of the previous contract for the city’s website.

He further said the real question at hand was whether or not the city wanted to put their weight of approval behind Rice’s site.

Noting there is interest for an information website, Sistersville Librarian Heather Weekley said a Facebook page created for people to share photos to put on the website has almost 300 “likes”.

“We just need a yea or a nay, because we’re going to do it either way,” said Weekley.

Klages said he has looked at the site, cityofsistersville.com, several times.

Councilwoman Bonnie Hizer made a motion to let the people doing the website to go ahead and do it without the council dragging them down.

It was mentioned that if the city is going to sanction it, there should be some sort of working relationship, like a committee. If not, then they are on their own.

“I think that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to let them go on their own and get out of their way,” said Klages.

City Attorney Carolyn Flannery said since the council is just getting out of it, they don’t need a motion to that effect.

The website is currently not “live”, but it will be in the future-offering a variety of information about Sistersville, including old photographs of the area.

In other city matters, council appointed Todd Smith and Pat Morris to the water and sewer board. They also approved three-year terms for Carolyn Sterns and Barbara Vincent to the planning commission and urban renewal and beautification committee.

In regard to urban renewal and beautification, Mayor Rice said the city has been awarded a $225,000 Sistersville Streetscape Grant.

Former Mayor Dave Fox had applied for the grant in 2007. It would be for a project similar to Middlebourne’s completed beautification and lighting.

It does require a 20 percent match, or about $45,000.

“We’re not going to kick it to the curb because we have to come up with $45,000,” noted Mayor Rice.

However, he did say it was something they would look to in the future, indicating the money will would still be available.

“Quite a bit has changed in town in the past seven years,” said Klages. He believes council should sit down and look at it to update it.

Finally, council agreed to allow Alex King to write grants for the city, free of charge. “I think he’ll be a good asset,” said Councilman Harold Dally.