Citizens Bring Parking Concerns Before Council
Residents on East Robinson Street from State Rt. 2 to Paden Fork Road went before council over parking issues.
The residents stated that they have been parking on the the street in front of their homes for the past 40 years or more. This past winter things changed and no parking signs were placed along the street leaving some residents with no where to park except behind their home or in their yards.
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the regular session of the Paden City council long-time residents of East Robinson Street, Tim and Nancy Raper, appeared at the council meeting to find out why and to express their concerns regarding the no parking situation. According to Tim Raper as long as they have lived there parking has been allowed on at least one side of the street and at times it was permitted on both sides. He said he had presented a petition to the city with the names of all the residents on the street requesting that parking be restored to allow homeowners and their families a place to park without having to pull into their yards or park a block or so away.
City Recorder Tammy Billiter, acknowledged the petition and even returned a copy to the Raper’s along with a letter she said had been sent to the State requesting permission for the City to be able to regulate the parking. She said the letter had been sent out twice and they had received no response back. Mayor John Hopkins stated that the state actually owns Robinson Street, which is State Rt. 26, running from Rt. 2 to 180. He said it was not the city who changed the parking but the state had requested it.
Nancy Raper then questioned how that happened. Hopkins stated that the city received a letter from them. Raper said that tells her the city mandated the change, she went on to say on Monday there were people parking on the street on both sides and she questioned why it was allowed.
“There was a parade and I don’t think when you have that many people in town for a parade that they will get a ticket,” said Hopkins.
Nancy Raper also questioned why Rural Street was still allowed to have parking, she said it is a state road also. Council and street commissioner Josh Billiter responded it was county and they take care of it.
Hopkins said the state is also wanting to eliminate parking on Rt. 2 through town due to the truck traffic. He said he believed the situation on Robinson Street came about over safety issues. It was also mentioned there is a yellow line on the street and it is illegal to cross the line, which has to happen when cars are parked on the street.
“What you have done is taken away the whole front of are home, we have lived here for 40 years and we try to respect the law and now we have no where to park, no where at all, when we get company or family there is no where,” said Nancy Raper.
She went on to say that she had spoke to Councilman Joel Davis who told her the change was made because of the amount of accidents. Davis then denied saying accidents, “I said potential accidents.” stated Davis. A verbal exchange over what he did or didn’t say then took place between the two with Mrs. Raper finally saying all right!
Recorder Billiter and one of the council recommended the Rapers contact their state representatives. Tim Raper asked who to get a hold of, he ask for names and phone numbers. The city provided them with the names of several state people who they could contact.
“We feel like you have endorsed this, was there meeting held on this? no one came and talked to us, we just got up one day and there were the signs, we need your help on this,” said Raper.
Hopkins said we will look into it. Tim Raper thanked the council and told them he appreciated anything they could do to get parking restored on East Robinson.
Council revisited Water, Streets and Maintenance Superintendent Josh Billiter’s request for a skid steer for the maintenance department. Billiter said he believed it would pay for itself in the long run. He mentioned work had begun on water line repairs and they had to quit because the concrete saw broke down, he said he didn’t think it cost much to have it repaired but it was like the rest of the city’s equipment, old and wore out. Billiter presented two estimates for the skid steer, one for $79,800 from Bridgeport Equipment and another for $80,795. The city also received bids for painting the city building for $16,080 and for painting the corning fence for $13,120. No action was taken on any of the bids.
Discussion was held on sending a representative to the WV Rural water association convention and it was.agreed it wasn’t feasible at this time. It was brought up by councilman John Staggers that there is a storm sewer on seventh avenue filled up with gravel. Billiter said it was like that all over town, but they would check it out.
Repair of Robinson Street (water leak repair) was tabled until they receive a price.
Council unanimously approved a request from Police Chief Joey Richardson to purchase needed ammo to have for the department and to qualify two new officers. The total cost was around $550. It was also mentioned that anyone needing the police after 4 p.m. should call 911.
Under buildings and grounds it was again brought up about unkept properties. It was mentioned that citations had been issued and would be taken before the city police judge who would be required to levy fines for those who had ignored previous warnings and failed to make repairs or cleanups.
A proposal to require a business license for rental property owners renting more than one house/apartment was tabled and no action was taken.
A budget allotment to the Park and Pool Commission had no action taken for a lack of money.
Under new business: Council unanimously approved trick or treat night for October 29, from 6-7. Also approved unanimously was the financial report for the 2014-2015 FY. Council agreed that because of the extremely dry and hot weather they would set the burning season at the October meeting.
A new contract with Pestech and budget revisions for street paving were also approved. Tabled was a proposal to have Mensore’s install a water cooler and to purchase water from them. Council voted to hire Joseph Parrish as a full time employee retro to Sept. 1, 2015. Hopkins was given permission to sign a resolution supporting the Northern Panhandle Drug Enforcement Agency and Tackical Division Squad.
Hopkins proposed the implementation of a one percent Municipal sales tax on city businesses. He mentioned he felt the city could generate around $20,000 to $25,000 per year. He said some of the other towns like Pennsboro were getting much more. Council took no action on the proposal.
The next regular scheduled meeting of city council will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5.