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Sistersville City Council Discusses Construction Issues During Meeting

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | Apr 21, 2021

Sistersville City Council met on Monday, April 12. After the Pledge of Allegiance, a discussion was held.

Council Member Chuck Heinlein spoke on behalf of himself and other residents concerning complaints about Litman Construction. He began by asking if Route 2 will be repaved from county line to county line.

Mayor Bill Rice responded, saying, “I don’t know about county line to county line, but I do know Rt 2 here in town will be. I assume as we finish up on Route 2 the DOH is going to be informed by the contractor and our guy from S&S, and at that time they’re going to start the paving project.”

Heinlein then brought up removal of the lowered speed limit signs. “Apparently, still yet, even though the speed limit had been reduced to 25 because of the construction, it has caused damage to homes throughout the southern part of my district, my ward, and particularly speaking for myself, my house, with cracks through my plaster in my foyer and in my living room.”

He stated that the DOT is not following their own state code, which states a speed limit of 25 in a business or residence district. And the city’s own code also states a speed limit of 25.

Heinlein then brought up the issues he and other residents have with Litman. He began by asking if the city’s residents will have to clean the sidewalks.

He also talked about houses on the southern side of Route 2 being covered in dirt from construction. “This isn’t a criticism of the water project; we needed that. But, now these homeowners are going to have to probably hire someone to come in and pressure wash their homes, because I don’t think Litman will do it…”

He also brought up that Litman is expected to put the property back to the condition it was prior to construction, and he believes they are not doing it correctly, and that these problems need re-addressed before the final drawdown.

Mayor Rice said that he is planning on going door to door and hand-delivering letters to residents to file complaints. He also said that Litman should be out of the community by the end of the month, because there are concerns of them being in the way of Tyler Consolidated High School’s Prom this year.

Mayor Rice then went on to say that he received a phone call from Dominion Hope stating they will have to work on the streets of Durham, Florence, and Chelsea later in the year after they have been repaved. They will also be working under some of the sidewalks, which will need replaced when they are finished.

A representative from S&S said he would make Litman Construction aware of the sidewalks and any other issue that comes up. He also stated they will put asphalt down on the roads when the asphalt plants reopen. Mayor Rice also brought awareness to the brick sidewalk that was taken up for construction and wasn’t replaced correctly. It was also stated that a year after completion, Litman will walk through and look at every water line and trench and will repair anything that needs fixed.

After the public forum, the minutes from the last three meetings were read and approved, as well as the bills.

Under Department Head reports, it was reported that a couple of streets will be closed for prom from about 5:00 PM to about 8:00 PM, since students will be shuttled from the park to the ferry landing. There was also a request for 25 gallons of paint to repaint the walls of the city pool. There are plans to open the pool on Memorial Day weekend, but council will vote at the next meeting for approval. As for the docks, they have been primed for painting, and should be ready by May.

The Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department presented an estimate for repairs for their new fire engine; it included the installation of a Huskey 3 foam system and Onspot tire chains. There is also a fire hydrant that needs replaced on the corner of Graham Avenue and Route 2 that was taken out.

Under New Business, a “Children at Play” sign has been approved for Wiley Avenue. Positions for Police Chief, City Recorder, City Judge, City Physician, and City Attorney were appointed, and the Sistersville Planning Commission and Sistersville Urban Renewal Authority term was renewed for member Terry Wiley for three years. Rose Hamilton was appointed to the fourth ward seat. It was also brought up that for future vacant council seats, there should be advertising on social media and local newspapers. Council then began discussion of a Covid-19 Bonus, but did not make a final decision until the executive session.

Steptoe & Johnson gave the first reading and act upon a Bond Ordinance entitled: “Ordinance authorizing the design and other pre-construction services for the additions, betterments and improvements to the existing sewerage system of the City of Sistersville…” The ordinance allows up to $500,000, but the amount should be about $395,000. Council approved the reading of the first ordinance, and there will be another reading at the next council meeting.

During the executive session, Council decided to move an employee from full time status to part time status, effective immediately. Council also approved of a $400 bonus for all city employees who work more than 30 hours a week.