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Sistersville City Council Makes Decision on Wells Street Parking Issue

By Staff | May 20, 2020

Discussion was held at the May 11 Sistersville Council meeting on safety of opening the Ferry this year.

The Sistersville Council met on Monday, May 11, with a full agenda. Many items were discussed including the introduction of a new police officer, parking on Wells Street, holding a city clean up, and a decision about the Allen Maxwell boat docks.

The meeting began with the approval of the previous minutes and bills, followed by department head reports. Jason Rice gave a water update. He requested permission to hire another employee due to the significant work load, as it has become overwhelming. Rice reported the only qualification necessary is a drivers license, and the position would be advertised. It was also noted by council members a pay scale needs to be addressed based on certifications to ensure there are no pay rate discrepancies.

Rob Haught, Chief of Police, introduced the newest addition to the officer team, Joseph Ledergerber. Haught reported Ledergerber still needs to be trained and certified, however, due to the pandemic, the academy is behind.

Mayor Bill Rice gave a water board report. He began by saying Route 2 has not been paved yet because there are a few places that would need to be dug up for the water project.

Rice also reported the chairman of the Ferry Board, Barb Gauge, has resigned. There was speculation amongst the council members as to whether it would be safe opening the Ferry this year, as the governor had closed the state lines. The Ferry also needs to be inspected, however the inspection has not yet been scheduled. “I’m all for getting the Ferry open, I just want to make sure we’re doing it right,” said Mayor Rice.

Also under speculation is the opening of the pool for the Summer. The Park and Pool board is very adamant about getting the pool open, according to Rice. It was reported it isn’t the water in the pool, but the ladder, tables, etcetera that poses an issue. Rice reported the pool has to be pumped out and chlorinated until the first killing frost in the Fall regardless of whether it is open or not. The next Park and Pool meeting is set for May 19, and the Council asked them to make a decision to either close the pool, or be ready when the Governor gives permission to open.

Under old business, the first item on the agenda was the parking issue on Wells Street. After much discussion, it was decided there was no practical way to enforce a time limit so two hour parking signs were deemed insufficient. “The store owners… need to tell their employees not to park in front of the store,” said Mayor Rice. Rob Haught was in agreement that nothing could be done by the City of Sistersville to inhibit parking.

Mayor Rice gave an update on the Little Sister Oil Derrick. He reported he spoke to a representative from Antero who said they might be able to help fix the Derrick this Summer pending the Coronavirus limitations. The representative asked for a letter from the City requesting help on the Derrick.

Mayor Rice reported the fire door at the Library is being replaced and installed by Miller Windows and Doors. The Council also discussed taking bids on replacing the roof on the City Building due to the water leaking. Mayor Rice reported he was told by a contractor in Paden City the building could not be patched.

Following the roof discussion, Mayor Rice moved on to report a concerned citizen that filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission on some of the hiring that he has done as a Mayor. “I got to answer questions about my sons employment with the city, my daughter in laws employment with the city, my other sons little bit of employment with the city, and my employment with the city,” Rice said.

“I’m very upset about this, because when you start messing with my family because of who they are, it really upsets me,” continued Rice. “I’m not sorry for anything I’ve done for the past several years. I’ve worked my rear end off for this town.”

“She said the only thing that if it came down to it, I would have to sign a paper saying that I did this wrong, but I just want everybody to know… I don’t know that I’m going to sign any paper that I did any wrong, because what I’ve done I’ve done for the good of the town,” said Rice.

The Council then approved the reappointment of Diane Myers to the Sistersville Library Board, as well as approval for the MOVRC to proceed with requesting proposals for bond counsel, local legal counsel, and PSC council. They also approved the purchase of city shirts for the employees.

Next on the agenda was a vote to hold a city clean up day. The council tabled the motion to gather information.

The Council then approved a motion to remove the Allen Maxwell Boatdocks from the water due to safety concerns.

The meeting then moved into an executive session, followed by adjournment.