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Middlebourne Council approves sale of property

By Staff | Jul 16, 2014

Middlebourne Town Council on Monday approved the final reading of an ordinance to sell three lots on Westchester Avenue.

The ordinance allows the town, as trustee for the library, to sell the lots to Robert Carpenter Jr. at a price of $20,000. At their May meeting, council rejected the bid of $7,800 from Community Resources. Mayor Charlie Delauder and council all agreed the bid was not sufficient for the property.

After discussion from several residents, council agreed to sell the property to Carpenter, who offered $20,000 which Delauder said he considered a fair price. He said it would have to be an ordinance and would have to be read at three meetings. At Monday’s meeting Councilman Dave Myers made the motion to pass the ordinance and sell the lots and Vera Henthorn seconded, all those present voted for the sale. Mayor Delauder advised City attorney Gary Rymer to prepare the transaction. Delauder said he would contact Carpenter.

Council also took action on street paving bids. The town had two contractors bid on the paving project, with J & T Paving coming in as the low bidder at $53,795. Mayor Delauder named the streets to be paved: Cherry from North to Park Ave., Dodd from Main to Fair, Broad from Main to Fair, all of Steele Street, Park from Main to East, Park from Main to Fair, and North Street from Main to Fair Street.

The mayor said, “We have a number of other streets which could be added to the list but there just isn’t enough money.” He said they were going to mill the edge of the streets so the curb stays on the streets that have curbs. Gary Rymer asked if the bids had been advertised so the contractor would be paying prevailing wage. Delauder answered they had.

Council agreed to enter into a grant agreement with the USDA for a search grant in the amount of $30,000 to be used for test drilling for a new water source. Once the funds are received they will be put into a special account and then given to Thrasher Engineering to be used for test well drilling. Delauder said it is basically free money and there would be no requirement for matching funds.

Mayor Delauder brought up the need for a temporary recorder, because of illness and subsequent absence from council meetings. He suggested Vera Henthorn temporarily fill the position. Attorney Rymer told council it would be a conflict since Henthorn is on council. Mayor Delauder then suggested Tena Lemasters, the City Clerk, fill the position. Rymer said he saw no conflict there. Delauder, with the approval of council, appointed Lemasters to temporarily be recorder. She was told all she needed to do was sign checks.

Mayor Delauder called for the first reading of an ordinance for crosswalks on Main Street. He read the ordinance which provides for three crossing areas to be designated and plainly marked. Traffic would be required to stop for pedestrians crossing from one side to the other. The fine for vehicles failing to stop and allow people to cross would be $500 plus the appropriate costs of prosecution. Council, on a motion from Sue Pelikan and a second by Dave Myers, voted in favor of the first reading of the ordinance.

The Middlebourne Baptist Church requested permission to hold a block party on Fair Street on Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with permission to close the street from the bank parking lot to Dodd Street. Council voted to approve the request.

Mayor Delauder asked council for permission to attend the West Virginia Municipal League Conference and Judges Training in Bridgeport, W.Va., on Aug. 13-15 at a cost of $300 plus expense reimbursement. Council unanimously approved the request.

Councilwoman Sue Pelikan questioned Mayor Delauder about the legality of the handicap signs on the poles on Main Street and whether he had asked the utility company permission to post them. He said he had not asked permission and it was mentioned that the utility workers do not climb the poles any longer, they instead use lifts to make their repairs. So he didn’t feel it would be a problem. Others seemed to agree. Pelikan said she had the concern because a friend of hers said her husband has to climb those poles.

Mayor Delauder also reported he had issued a complaint to a man for two junk cars on Main Street. He is also getting ready to issue another one to a person who has a junk car and trailer sitting on the street. He said he issued a complaint to people who are building a modular home, for allowing mud to run out onto the street and not cleaning it up. He said there are about a half dozen people he has talked to about mowing grass trimmings out into the street. He also issued a complaint to a person who has been tearing a house down for close to a year. He said the man came last year and asked permission to tear the house down and put a doublewide in there. Now the house is only half way torn down and he gave the man 30 days to finish it. He said citizens had made complaints regarding those issues and they are valid complaints.

Council also approved the minutes of the previous meeting. The next regular scheduled meeting will be the second Monday in August, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m.