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Sistersville City Council To Address Nuisance Properties

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | Jun 30, 2021

Sistersville City Council met on Monday, June 21 for a regularly scheduled meeting. Linda Henricksen from the Olive Branch began the public forum by explaining a program she would like to implement regarding TNR, which stands for Trap, Neuter and Release, for stray cats around the city of Sistersville. Her idea is to start in a small ward and invite as many residents in that ward as possible to hold a meeting and educate everyone on what they can do to help with the stray cat problem. The two biggest needs that they have are transportation to the vet for neutering and return for release; they would also need central feeding stations.

Linda went on to explain that if cats are fed in a general area, they tend to fend off other cats trying to come around to eat. For this reason, each set-up should have a feeding station with designated residents feeding the stray cats. The Olive Branch has a pet food pantry to help supply dry cat food. Meeting times and dates will be released in the next couple of weeks for the educational meetings, which will begin in the Third Ward.

Several residents were present to express their concerns about flooding in their basements.

One of the solutions offered was to have residents remove their gutters if they are connected to the sewer. It is recommended to cut them off short of the ground, cap the sewer line and have the water run into their yards; this would help the situation tremendously.

Tommy Gray, a resident of McCoy Heights, presented council with pictures of graffiti and other vandalism going on in town and asked for it to be cleaned. In addition, Tommy thanked Mon Power for the new polls that have been installed at the entrance of McCoy Heights and along route 18.

A special thanks was extended to Jeff Moore from Mon Power for his assistance getting this done. Mayor Rice encouraged any citizen to notify either him or their council member as soon as possible when they notice any damage or graffiti caused by vandalism in the city so that it can be addressed.

Council member Chuck Heinlein suggested to City Council that we look into holding a city wide yard sale and invite residents to bring their merchandise for sale to downtown Sistersville.

The plan would be to close streets from the post office red light to the bank and have vendors set up their booths all along Wells Street.

Planning is underway and the city is in discussion with the Sistersville Service Organization.

Police Chief Rob Haught presented council with results of the research he has been doing on nuisance properties that need attention. Each council member is now asked to provide Haught with a list of properties in their ward so he can begin inspecting them. The city will then send out the letters asking the owners to clean up their properties.

Council approved the purchase of a street sweeper that would cost between $20,000 and $25,000. Mayor Rice will begin looking for potential sweepers that the city can purchase for that amount. Council also approved the purchase of a new software billing system for water at a cost of approximately $60,000.

The software will streamline the billing process and maintain records more accurately.

Concerning the McCoy Heights property and the city takeover of that property, the city is identifying the parcel numbers so that they can find a surveyor to mark the exact boundary lines prior to the transition from Bill McCoy to the city of Sistersville.

Under old business, state delegate David Kelly released a statement to the Editor of the Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star News that says “I have been in touch with the Governors office as well as Department of Highways in Charleston concerning the current condition of West Virginia route two in Sistersville. There were other projects that required completion before paving could begin and those projects are now complete.

Additionally the state has ended any further negotiation with CSX concerning right away issues. As it stands, the work is scheduled to go out for bid in July or August and both offices have assured Mr. Kelly that the project will be completed this year.” Council was also informed that the boat docks have now been reinstalled with new decking and walkway and currently seven boats are occupying spaces on the new docks.

The next meeting of the Sistersville City Council is July 12 at 7:00 PM at the City Building.