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Middlebourne Discusses Finances

By Staff | Feb 20, 2019

The Town of Middlebourne convened for a regular council meeting on Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. All council members were present. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Steve Seago, and the first order of business covered was the approval of the previous minutes. A motion was made to approve this, and was subsequently passed.

Following this was the Recorder’s Report. It was said that the report showed through Jan. 31, and there were a few discrepancies in the ones previously provided. As a result, the amount the council was familiar with was slightly off. However, the recorder said she got it straightened out.

It was also said that due to budget revisions, the numbers will once again change. As revenues and expenditures were also off, a revision was needed to get the numbers correctly balanced. The recorder reported that revisions were needed for the following budgets: City Council, City Hall, and Expenditures.

However, because revisions were also made to other areas where they had over-budgeted and the extra grant money they received, the budget was able to come out even.

It was reported that revisions are balanced, and many are in good shape. A motion was then made to accept revisions as they are, and the motion was carried.

In other business, resolutions were provided to the council in regards to the water project under Drawdown Number 6.

It was said that this resolution covers the following three invoices: an inspection from an engineering company for $7,784.32, the first invoice from Mid Atlantic Storage Systems for $37,489.05, and the sixth and next to last invoice from Wolfe’s Excavating for $30,860.17.

The cost for the requested project funds totaled to $76,133.54.

A motion was made to approve the aforementioned invoices, and was quickly carried.

The council was also informed that Contract One for Wolfe’s Excavating has over $160,000 available in it, and that they will have a $130,000 under-run where they reduced the amount of asphalt. That amount was said to be directed to Contract Four, leaving a little over $30,000 owed to this company.

Following this matter, the Treasurer’s Report was reviewed and a motion was made to accept this report. The motion was then carried.

Under old business, Town Manager Tena Lemasters brought an update on the upcoming election. While people have until March 19 to accept or decline their position, Lemasters reported those who had accepted. For the mayoral position, Steve Seago and Charlie Delauder put their bids in. For the Recorder’s position, Chad Swiger and Sue Pelikan accepted. For the council, Vera Henthorn, Bill Jenkins, Dave Myers, Bob Allen, Bill Suter, and Charlene Galluzzo accepted. It was said many are still undecided.

One council member then asked about the notifications sent out to local home and land owners asking them to clean their properties. Seago said that one owner complied with the notice, and told council that he spoke with the part-time police officer who will reportedly serve papers in the following week. The mayor also said that he was going to have the officer address an issue about dogs running loose in town, as it could become an issue.

The council then began discussion on New Business.

One council member said that as part of the water project, Tyler County Public Service District needed a right-of-way to cross into Middlebourne’s property. Discussion was held on this subject, and it was advised that a motion be made in favor of this as communities should assist each other. A motion was then made for an ordinance to be made to allow them right-of-way. The motion was carried.

Seago then addressed issues on the town’s street lights. The lights have reportedly been malfunctioning, with some blinking on and off and others not working at all. The mayor said that an electrician who is familiar with the lights would be coming later that week to find the issue. However, this electrician explained that the lights that are blinking most likely need new bulbs, and the ones with lights that are not working might mean that either the bulb is completely burnt or it requires a new valance, which is $175 a piece. In the event that a new valance is needed, it was suggested that they replace the part and current lights with a more energy efficient kind.

As a result of this report, Seago purchased two boxes of bulbs for the street lights simply needing bulbs. One council member suggested that as they go bad, they slowly replace them as suggested. However, Seago said that a decision would be made after the electrician officially determines the problem.

It’s because this situation is a concern to citizens and businesses that the council decided to make a motion to have the valance and bulbs replaced – if needed – with energy efficient bulbs. This motion was carried.

In other business, Seago brought up the conditions of Main Street in town. He said, “We weren’t responsible for the cost of putting the asphalt down; that’s state revenues. The town of Middlebourne is not responsible (for paving on) Main Street or East Street.”

It was said, however, that the state road attempted to do Middlebourne a favor by applying one coat before winter officially came. It was as a result of rain that the job has not held. Seago said that it rained when they were paving that area, and that when water gets underneath, it softens it. He explained that with the cold weather and heavy trucks that this was not a surprise.

However, it was explained that it was not the final coat, and that when weather warms they will repair the road and finish the job.

One council member suggested that they have someone go around Middlebourne in order to take into account all the areas they’re responsible for that need addressed and paved in the Spring. Lemasters says that areas on Second Street, Fair Street, and Broad Street all need repairs.

Seago agreed that this needs to be taken care of, and said bids should be available by the next council meeting in regards to the cost of fixing everything.

Following this, the council went into an executive session.

The Middlebourne Council will meet again on March 11 at 6 p.m. in order to discuss matters involving the town.