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Sistersville City Council Meets

By Staff | Jan 20, 2021

Sistersville City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7 PM. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing the meeting was held by phone.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance a public forum was held. Amy Byrad called in to express her concerns about breaks in the sewer line behind her home at 232 South Chelsea Street, Sistersville. Ms. Byrad informed council that the sewer has been backing up into her basement and causing damage to her sump pump. Council is awaiting the results of bids that were sent out to repair or replace the lines. Fixing the problem will cost well over $25,000 and therefore must be sent out for bids. In the interim, the city agreed to do regular weekly checks and cleaning on the lines to see if they can manage the situation until it can be completely repaired. In addition she requested council increase the patrol on State Route 2 for speeding. The West Virginia Dept of Highways has lowered the speed limit to 25 miles per hour during the construction and installation of water lines along the route. The city police officers have upped their presence on that section of the road.

Next up council approved both the minutes from their meeting on December 17, 2020 and paying current bills.

Under department head reports, Jason Rice reported that the city has been having several problems with the river pump at the current water plant. A new pump was delivered; however, it had a bad valve and the company is sending a replacement pump that should be in place by Friday, January 15th.

Under the police report, Chief Rob Haught reported Patrolman Joseph Lederberger began training at the police academy in Charleston on January 11, 2021 and will be there for 10 weeks.

Under new business a second reading of the updated public nuisance ordinance was approved along with a water project draw down of $266,000.

Also reported was the lease of the EMT building to Marietta Memorial was ongoing and thus far the city has received four months of payments totaling $6056.

Regarding the water line project, S & S engineers reported that properties disturbed by the construction will be returned to their original condition by Litman Excavating. Councilman Chuck Heinlein pointed out that a lot of the dirt has not been contoured and therefore will not be easy for the owners if they have to fix it themselves. S & S engineers confirmed the contract calls for the properties to be returned to their original conditions. Council was also told portions of the downtown streets will be patched once the asphalt plants reopen.

The question was raised concerning the ongoing maintenance responsibility for the land that encompasses the Route 2 pump station. Mayor Rice reported that the city will be responsible for maintaining the property, and the city has been reimbursed $10,000 for the purchase of the land.

Councilman Chuck Heinlein asked Council to have the city crew cut the curb on South Chelesa Street to allow access from Urban Street. Council approved the request and the work is to be completed.

Council then had a discussion concerning leave related to current city employees stricken with COVID-19. The Families Corona Virus Response Act, which provides for paid sick leave expired in December, therefore, City Employees that are forced to quarantine, must use sick time or vacation time in order to be paid. If they do not have time left to use, the leave will be unpaid.

Under Old Business, Council agreed to pay between $500 and $600 to have a tree located along the walking trail, overhanging a pump station, removed. Work will begin once permission forms are signed by the landowner. The Park and Pool Board inquired about new pipes and fittings needed at the pool to allow for a successful summer opening for the 2021 season. Council reported that everything has been delivered and the work will begin when weather permits successful installation. Finally, Councilman Heinlein brought up the Little Sister Oil Well, located at the Ferry Landing. “That area is the first thing people see when they come across the ferry and we need to clean it up.” Mayor Rice said that he will have the city crew mow and maintain the grass and he’s hoping to work with one of the gas and oil companies to have the landmark repainted and repaired. Following the conclusion of this discussion the meeting was adjourned.

The next scheduled meeting of the Sistersville City Council is February 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm either by conference call or in-person at the Volunteer Fire Department.