Paden City Vote Set For July 23
The Paden City Common Council convened for a regular meeting on Monday, July 6 in the council chamber of the municipal building. Discussion was held on various subjects including the ongoing, long-term water project, street repairs, and the status of the annual Labor Day celebration.
Following approval of the June 1 regular council meeting minutes, citizen Danny Billiter approached council about a concern he had in regards to a washout on his road. Billiter explained that, following a heavy rain, there was a “big washout”, causing gravel to be displaced. He questioned if the city was going to take any action on this.
Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser said that they have future plans to pave that road. However, in the meantime, the gravel will just be put back in place when this happens. He conveyed that there’s nothing they can do that will keep the gravel in place and hold up against heavy rains. Mayor Hochstrasser did comment that the gravel was put back in place rather quickly this past time.
Council then heard from Susan Wade in regards to plans for the annual Labor Day celebrations. While Paden City usually celebrates on Main Street with festivities and a parade, the threat of COVID-19 has put future plans into question.
Wade said that while the committee still plans to hold the event, there will be major changes to account for safety and social distancing. The event will be changed to a one day event this year, and will be held on Monday, September 7. It will also be moved to the park to ensure better social distancing for attendees.
Wade reported talks are still being held concerning the annual parade. The current plan is to go ahead and move forward as if they are holding the parade, and make a decision at the next council meeting.
There was discussion among council as to how there could be safe, social distancing with both the parade-goers and those in the parade. Wade admitted that it might be difficult to set the people up and to have have them follow the requirements; she also noted that if a parade were to be held, they would not be able to throw candy from floats as is typically done.
Wade said she is all for having the parade, but that they will continue to assess the situation.
Councilman JP Springer then spoke for a group of individuals on East Main Street who are reportedly highly concerned about the state of two storm drains, which were said to need serious repair. Springer then questioned where they were with the plans with putting a drain in front of a church that has reported a drainage issue.
Mayor Hochstrasser told him there are currently no plans in place. He conveyed that it’s not even on the list at this time as it’s been pushed back to make room for the more important projects. Hochstrasser stressed that while it is still important to fix, he has placed a priority on the areas where people drive.
Following discussion on this subject, a motion was made to approve all bills for payment. This motion was carried.
In other business, Water, Streets, and Maintenance Superintendent Josh Billiter gave a report to council.
In regards to water, Billiter said that the most recent testing for PCE was done on June 12. He reportedly tested the southern-most point and the northern-most point as well as the GoMart and the Marathon gas station. In all of these sites, Billiter reported that there was “no detection [of PCE] across the board” and claimed the dangerous chemical was out of the water system.
“Now we’re on compliance monitoring once a month for PCE, and that will continue until this time next year.” Billiter said. He also told council that with the addition of the water stripper unit to the system, testing for lead and copper would be done this year, and would continue for the next three years.
While discussing street matters, Billiter told council that he wants to get an excavator by July 13 to use for a project on Meadow Heights. He explained that he’s planning to complete the work on a drain across from Meadow Heights. The plan is to pick up the ditch line across from the booster station as it’s higher on that end.
Billiter informed council that he’s already made notifications to the people who live in that area as there’s only one way in and out for the residents. He informed council the city will have it “torn up” for a few hours as they work.
Also in the area, a stretch of road is plotted out and a ditch exists there. Billiter said he never knew it was there, but that it needs to be trenched back out so the water can be diverted, so instead of coming down over the hill, it will cut and turn out towards the road and go out to the ditch.
Billiter also said that Terry Yeager was wondering if he bought the gravel if the city would gravel the ditch behind his residence. Mayor Hochstrasser agreed to this arrangement.
Billiter then began discussion on maintenance needs, telling council about difficulties with the breaker box at the high school baseball field as well as issues at the campground. He explained that they have spent around $100 on the breaker box and the pole to get lighting working again at the baseball field. In addition to this, Billiter said a 50 amp outlet at the campground was “melted,” and he isn’t sure how that happened.
The Maintenance Superintendent went on to inform council that the Park and Pool commission needs a new mower because the two they have are reportedly falling apart. He explained that the mowers they currently have were not built for the amount of work they are required to do, and that they often are forced to replace multiple parts on each mower. Councilman Springer told council that the Park and Pool board needs to approach both the Tyler and Wetzel County Commissions and address the matter there.
Following Billiter’s report, Mayor Hochstrasser asked council for permission to sign the letter of conditions and associated forms for the large water project. A motion was made in favor of this action, and it was quickly carried.
A motion was also made in favor of approving a change in contract pricing; instead of the original payment of $439,000, the contractor is now asking for $448,000. The additional funds requested are reportedly for compensating the contractor for additional work as well as electrical upgrades and other work.
Discussion was then held on curb repairs that are needed on Loring Street as well as a few other places including Monroe Street. Hochstrasser reiterated that they would get to these curbs, but they have to prioritize the most heavily traveled areas.
Moving onto matters involving police, a motion was made and subsequently carried to approve the hire of Anthony Lauer as a full-time officer. Lauer has reportedly been working for about a month, but council’s vote made things official.
While attending to other Park and Pool matters, discussion was again held in regards to the issues with the cameras in the park. On this matter, Councilman Springer said, “I’m tired of hearing that they’re going to take care of it. I think it’s time to get something formal on this. I’ve been on this for a year… I’m over it.”
It was reported that there are currently six cameras in the park with only three in working conditions. Another camera is needed as well as a new antenna.
Hochstrasser explained that the county has already paid someone to do the work, but work has yet to be completed. When questioned by City Attorney Carolyn Flannery, Hochstrasser confirmed that there was a contract in place. However, the city placed no time limit on completion of work.
Hochstrasser agreed with Springer, saying it should have been completed by this time and that it “was getting on the ridiculous side.” In the meantime, the mayor said the contract would be reviewed.
In other business, James “Cork” Bowen with the Paden City Development Authority provided council with a a Fourth Quarter update. Bowen also brought a resolution for council to approve. He explained that the resolution was about supporting the PCDA in their efforts to obtain funding to redevelop the Industrial Park. The resolution stated that the Paden City Industrial Park is considered a Brownfield site and funding and technical assistance has been provided for work on Phase One and Two of the project. The data from these two projects will be used to apply for assessment grants. Bowen explained that the resolution conveys that the city supports these efforts, and stressed that they would not be financially responsible.
Under unfinished business, discussion was held on maintenance needed at city hall. According to the mayor, they had previously discussed getting it painted as well as having the roof and the gutters checked over. Although they haven’t had anybody check the roof and gutters, an estimate was given for carpeting for the front and side door to the City Building. A motion was made to approve the estimate, which was reported to be $1,178. This motion was carried.
Discussion was also held on maintenance needed for the Senior Center. Hochstrasser explained that they had talked about putting a gutter in to alleviate the water. However, he expressed that he didn’t think this would work; instead, he proposed that they put in a drain. Hochstrasser was of the belief that this was the only solution that would alleviate the issue. A motion was made and quickly carried in favor of the drain.
Under New Business, the following matters were also approved by council:
The Coal Severance budget revision for fiscal year 2020-2021, to adjust year in cash on hand;
The General Fund budget revision for fiscal year 2020-2021, to adjust year in cash on hand;
Accept the appointment of Barbara Slider to the Library Board;
Set July 29, 2020 as Canvass the vote; Set July 31, 2020 as Certify the vote;
Permission to give the Park and Pool Commission their budgeted $9,000 for 2020-2021 fiscal year;
Permission to give the Library their budgeted $5,000 from general fund and $4,000 from Coal Severance for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
The Paden City Council will reconvene on August 3, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of the municipal building.