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Sistersville Council Hears Citizen Complaints

By Staff | Oct 17, 2018

The regular monthly meeting of Sistersville City Council took place on Oct. 9, 7 p.m. at the City Hall in Sistersville.

During the public forum, residents from Hanford City were on hand to discuss an issue with a sewer line, stating they can see raw sewage in a ditch near their home and can smell raw sewage after heavy rains. One resident, who spoke on behalf of himself and several households affected by the broken line, is afraid of sickness from the raw sewage, as well as concerns over the mosquitoes that the sewage and standing water are drawing to residents’ yards.

Unsure where responsibility lies, the city attorney is going to look over documents from the old water project to determine if it is the city’s responsibility before they can take action.

The issue over an overgrown yard on Main Street was addressed. Neighbors have complained in the past, and the city had previously asked the resident to maintain their yard. A council member stated the homeowner has made a noticeable difference in the front yard of the residence, but the backyard is still in need of proper upkeep.

After a lengthy discussion, members of the council decided that rather than issuing a ticket, they will ask the homeowner if they could help in finding someone who charges reasonable rates to assist with the yard clean-up.

In other matters, the council approved a Water Purchase Agreement. Tim Meeks reported the agreement was recently approved by the Tyler Public Service District, with revisions based on the city attorney and council’s input from the last council meeting. The water agreement includes a $1 million grant and a $3.55 million loan the city will have to repay over a 40 year period with a one percent fixed interest rate. To meet the payments, the city will have to implement water rate increase of roughly $10 per month on residents’ water bills, based on the average household usage of 3400 gallons per month.

In other business, council approved the first reading of the city’s noise ordinance. The council approved all city bills.

The city still needs a city building inspector and is looking to find a part-time inspector to possibly share with other cities in the area.

The council discussed the state of the roads and the need to get some repairs done before Nov. 1 when the hot asphalt supplier stops production for the cold season. There is $25,000 in the street paving fund, Mayor Rice informed. The council noted the following streets that are needing repairs immediately: Wood, Florence, McCoy Heights, and Thistle Street.

Resident Danny Pancake of Cherry Street approached council about getting approval for a No Parking area across the street from his driveway. The residence across the street was formerly a single-family dwelling, but the homeowner has leased the property to oil field workers who use the home as a bunk house. The influx of cars and work trucks parked along the dead-end street is causing issues with Mr. Pancake having access to exit his driveway. Concerns of emergency vehicles not being able to access the road with all the added vehicles parked along the street was also addressed. The council will talk to the homeowner about the issue before taking any action.

The council approved the Sistersville Lions Club Halloween Parade. Trick-or-treating is scheduled from 6-7 p.m. with the parade to follow downtown at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 25.

The Sistersville Parks and Recreation board reported some of the new playground equipment has arrived for the park, but the old playground equipment needs to be removed first. Equipment that is not being replaced will be repainted. Eventually the playground area will have a fence around it, as well. The park restoration is being paid for by grants and donations.

Volunteers are needed to paint and help decorate the gazebo at Veteran’s Park for the holiday season.