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Sistersville City Council Addresses Concerns

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | May 19, 2021

The Sistersville City Council met for a Public Hearing and a Regularly Scheduled Meeting on Monday, May 10. After the Pledge of Allegiance, a public forum was held.

A resident concerned about street sweeping fees on Cemetery Hill spoke up requesting the street be swept, as it has not been swept despite paying the fees.

The resident said, “It just seems like nothing is getting done and it seems like the people of Sistersville are afraid to voice their opinion.” Mayor Bill Rice replied that people should not be afraid to voice their opinion, and that he plans on purchasing a proper street sweeper once the funds are available. Mayor Rice also said he wants people to come to the council meetings to express their concerns.

The water project was then brought into discussion, as the resident stated, “the project doesn’t just look bad; it looks horrible.” Mayor Rice replied, “The people of this town should be very very happy with the dirt that they’re living in right now because of what the alternative was… The alternative as to where we were going was going to be no water; it wasn’t if, it was when, so we have to go through this.” He then promised the resident this summer that their street would get swept.

The resident then voiced their concern about a possible water leak, their water meter is unreadable and it took over 30 minutes to get it serviced. Mayor Rice said he usually sends someone to run chlorine tests on the water meters, and it will get checked in the morning.

Another resident, Nathan Baker, spoke about a new sewage issue that appeared after Litman Construction had dug under Route 2.

He placed new pipe from his house to Route 2 and discovered water running back from the street. Jason Rice, who is in charge of the city’s sewer and water, said he would request a crew to scope out the sewers to find the issue.

It was also mentioned that this could have been caused by the heavy rainfall over the last week. After the sewer and water concerns had been discussed, council member Rose Hamilton spoke about the road shifting on Stewart Lane, causing the underneath of vehicles to drag.

Sistersville Ferry Captain, Bo Hause, brought to the attention of council that there are braces on the oil derrick by the ferry landing that have come apart. He requested a structural survey to ensure the safety of residents. Mayor Rice replied, saying he will try to find someone to look at it.

Mayor Rice then spoke about the third Bond Ordinance for additions, betterments, and improvements to the existing sewerage system of the city; council approved the adoption of the Ordinance, as well as the bills.

Council moved on to discuss a problem with water at the pool; there is no water at the park, and the hydrant has not been tapped into. Mike Yandrich from S&S Engineering mentioned that any serious water issue such as this one does not have to wait for a council meeting to be reported.

Under Department Reports, the Park & Pool committee announced that a manager and assistant manager have been hired. They have also hired lifeguards, two who will go through training and three who are already certified. The committee is hoping to open the pool on Memorial Day. They also requested more police presence in the park.

Under New Business, council held a discussion for the drawdown for the water project. Council member Chuck Heinlein thanked Litman for removing the fire hydrant from his property and grading it. He plans on ensuring any sunken areas in other resident’s yards along Route 2 are taken care of before the end of the project. As for the drawdown, the total request is $357,06.16, which Council then approved.

Council approved the Sistersville Planning Commission Spring Cleanup on Monday, May 17 through Saturday, May 22. It is for Sistersville residents only, and participants must bring a water bill. Items not allowed to be thrown away are paint, batteries, tires, or big appliances.

Mayor Rice spoke with the Department of Highways for the paving project, and they are waiting on approval by CSX to repave the road by Bell Chevrolet. The plan is to currently pave 90% of the road, excluding the road around Bell Chevrolet. There is no set date for the project, and Mayor Rice said it could happen anywhere between now and Fall. Council member Heinlein suggested writing a letter to the Governor, Delegates, Senators, and the Department of Transportation in Charleston.

Council then went into executive session to discuss employee issues.