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Sistersville City Council Approves Budgets

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | May 5, 2021

Sistersville City Council held a public hearing and special meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. The purpose of the hearing was to allow discussion and give citizens an opportunity to express their concern over the proposed increase of 6.2% to the current sewer rate. Luke Peters, Mid Ohio Regional Council, explained the increase is necessary for the city to become eligible to apply for any grants in the future. He explained that adding the rate increase needs to be in place before testing of the existing sewer lines can begin. The initial cost is anticipated to be in a $300,000 range although the first bond will not exceed $500,000. The increase will put the city over the required 1.5 percent threshold of the city’s medium annual income which the city must attain in order to apply for grants.

Also several citizens in attendance shared their concerns regarding the current water project and the condition of the city streets and Route 2. Mayor Rice explained that Litman Excavating, the company handling the water project installation, is responsible for restoring all property to its original condition. At the conclusion of the project, the company will be presented with a checklist the citizens will compose before the final draw down is paid.

The water project manager from S&S Engineers shared one of the problems causing many difficulties are the existing maps. The locations of the valves and waterlines are not accurate, and it makes it difficult to know what valves to shut off to which lines. Luke Peters explained that the maps are being updated as they go along so that the problem will not exist in the future. A “hot tap” system, that allows Litman to tap into the waterlines, without shutting off the water, was requested at a price tag a price tag of $85,877.

Following the public hearing a special council meeting was held at 7 PM. During the meeting, council approved the 2021 opening of the Sistersville pool, approved the Lay the Levy for their annual budget, and $19,405 requested by the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a foam system and a set of OnSpot tire chains.

Following these approvals, the meeting was adjourned. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Sistersville City Council will take place on Monday, May 10, at 7PM.