Sistersville City Council Holds Meeting
The Sistersville City Council met on Monday, August 10 at the Sistersville Fire Hall. The meeting opened with a Sistersville resident speaking under public forum.
Resident Herman Wells was present to inquire about his rights concerning dogs who allegedly tried to maul him while entering his apartment near the hospital. Wells reported he is unaware of who owns the dogs, so it would be impossible to file a complaint against the owner. He asked the penalties he would face if he were to shoot one of the dogs, to which he was informed he would be charged with cruelty to animals.
Following this brief discussion, the approval of the previous minutes and bills was approved.
Seeing no updates from department heads or boards and committees, the meeting moved forward to discuss old business. The Council voted to select Steptoe and Johnson as both bond and PSC counsel, as well as Bowles Rice for the local counsel, pertaining to phase 1 of the Sewer Project.
At the previous meeting, Councilman Brandon Chaddock had expressed concern about trying to save money by going with a cheaper option. However, Chaddock reported that after speaking with Luke Peters, he was told the counsel has already been funded in the project so it would not save money to go with a cheaper option.
For this reason, they chose to go with firms the city was already familiar with and had worked with on other instances.
Moving forward, there was discussion about two city employees’ third week of vacation, however, no solution could be reached because the policy was not available to be read, and there was speculation about what the policy read. The item was tabled until the next meeting so the policy could be reviewed.
Sistersville Fire Cheif Jason Wayne was the next to address council, requesting permission to trade off the city owned fire truck for a new one. Wayne reported the fire truck was having issues, and if it were traded in could possibly save the city money in the long run. He reported he would be getting the truck at stock price. The council voted to table the item until the next meeting, and requested Wayne bring more information on the truck.
The next item on the agenda was to discuss the billing on the maintenence of unkept properties. City Attorney Krista Fleegle informed the council there is an ordinance that speaks to unkept properties. She reported the ordinance outlines the proper way to notify the owners, giving them a set amount of time to clean up their property. If the property is not cleaned up within that time, the city may take care of the clean up and bill the owner. She reported the individual can also be fined under the public nuisance ordinance.
The Council then moved on to speak about the stray cat issue in Sistersville. A resident reported she had recently called the Olive Branch requesting they take in a cat with kittens. However, the Olive Branch reported they were full and did not have room for the animals.
It was also said that Tyler County is the only county in the state that does not have a humane society. It was suggested the Council should write a letter to the County Commissioners asking them to address the issue of why we don’t have a humane society in the county.
Next, a resident of McCoy Heights, Audist Pancake, was present to request the city find a way to install an alternative entrance and exit for the hill. She reported she felt it would be possible for the route to come off of Old 18. However, the Mayor reported he was unsure of who owned the property. He reported he would check in to the matter to see if it could be an option.
Pancake then presented an idea for the Council members to go throughout their wards and collect emergency contact information from each household in their ward. She reported after the derecho that swept through the area years ago, many residents were lost in the shuffle. She reported many individuals who needed oxygen went without, and she would hate to see the same thing happen if another disaster were to occur.
The information that would be collected would include the names of the people in the home, if anyone drives, owns a vehicle, requires oxygen or medical assistance, and emergency contacts that could be reached in the event of an emergency.
Councilwoman Bonnie Hizer speculated there must be a better way to collect the information than to knock on doors. She reported she works two jobs and this would be a time consuming project. She stated it might be better to put the forms in with the water bills or to mail them out to each resident.
Pancake responded she thought it would be nice for the residents of each ward to actually meet the individuals representing them at council. She felt it would be a gesture that showed the community the council cares about the residents in their ward, and would also help eliminate some of the burden put on the Police and Fire Departments during catastrophic events.
No action was taken regarding the emergency contact information forms.
The next item was the first reading and action upon a proposed bond ordinance. The ordinance related to the betterment of the public waterworks system of the city. A motion was made to wave the full reading of the ordinance and to approve the first reading by title only. The motion carried.
Following this, the meeting was adjourned.