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Paden City Council Requests Funding

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | Jul 21, 2021

The Paden City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 12, to discuss the future of sewer upgrades, as well as listen to resident’s concerns.

Mayor Steve Kastigar began by commenting on payment of the sewer upgrades with money through the Rescue Act, which can be used for water, sewer, and other infrastructure projects. More discussion on the sewer project that occurred later in the meeting included the process of obtaining a $1.5 million dollar grant from the Army Corp of Engineers, along with a half a million dollar infrastructure grant. Council is also asking for a three way split with the Wetzel and Tyler County Commissions. The grant will cover the construction costs, however, $450,000 is required for soft expenses like project accounting and planning, as well as potentially fixing smaller issues with the water project. Mayor Kastigar and council are asking Wetzel and Tyler County Commissions to pledge $150,000 to fund the expenses to avoid passing the costs to citizens. Wetzel County has already agreed to the pledge but Tyler County has not. Mayor Kastigar believes they will know how to proceed by the end of summer or early fall.

The sewer is currently using drying beds that are not efficient due to the fact that they are outdated; repair parts are difficult to source and the cost is expensive, so upgrading to a belt press would be a much better improvement.

After Mayor Kastigar finished speaking about the sewer project, a few residents came to voice their opinions and requests to Council. Linda Hendrickson, representing the Paden City Church of God, requested handicap parking spots for the Church on the corner of South Third Ave. and Robinson Street. Council discussed that the spots could be marked for handicap use during church hours and free for anyone to park when church is not in session.

Resident Eleanor Young then voiced a few concerns, beginning y asking for consideration of a spring and fall city cleanup. Mayor Kastigar mentioned that the cleanups have not continued due to the fact that they are cost prohibiting. Josh Billiter, from the city’s water maintenance department, added that he is unsure of the actual reason, but Solid Waste services will take most anything that is out on the curb. It was mentioned that there are places where trash and large items are being left on the sidewalks and part way in the streets. Young then questioned whose responsibility it is for the maintenance of the sidewalks in front of the Dollar General, she said it is full of trash and weeds. Kastigar and council said sidewalks fall under the responsibility of the property/business owner, leaving the responsibility to the Dollar General. There were also concerns about trash being left out on the curbs all the time rather than the day of trash pickup.

Young also talked about the storm drains being blocked with debris and unable to drain properly, and asked if there was an ordinance against throwing grass clippings on the streets and sidewalks. She requested that the ordinance be enforced.

Under water project discussions, Billiter mentioned that there has been about 600 feet of lines put in so far. Mayor Kastigar brought up the issue of the water lines being put under too much pressure, springing leaks throughout Paden City. “We had three guys who spent two days chasing five main water leaks around town, we had water running freely in the streets for a night or two. We didn’t have any other choice but to let it run or shut everybody’s water off, so they did a good job getting that fixed,” he announced. Council approved a new hire for the maintenance department.

The new employee was set to start employment the following day. A second new hire is still being considered and was tabled until the next meeting. Council approved the third draw of the large water project and authorized Mayor Kastigar to sign the draw.

Resident Sam Smith expressed concern to Council about a large tree in the alley behind 142 N Sixth Avenue. He requested that the city cut the tree down, or at least trim it down to remove the risk of falling

. He told Mayor Kastigar that he is willing to help cover the costs.

There was also a request for a stop sign to be added/replaced at the intersection of Madison and South Second Avenue for the safety of the children in that area. Fred Fox also requested that holes in the alley leading to his house be filled in; he said the potholes are so big in the alley, it is difficult to pull into his driveway.

In addition to the previously mentioned sewer upgrades, Billiter expressed concerns about the water lines running through the sewer; he wishes for the sewer to be put in during the water project as well to avoid any potential issues.

Finally after discussion with Council, the pay raise of $100.00 for the sewer board that was proposed during the meeting on June 7, was approved.

Paden City Police Chief Anthony Lauer made a request to purchase a new 2021 Dodge Charger police cruiser. He mentioned that the fleet is getting old, and the newest vehicle is a 2014 with 75,000 miles. He worries that he will have to replace all of the vehicles at once, so purchasing a new one soon is a good idea. He also requested to switch 911 dispatch service from Wetzel to Tyler. Lauer said, they are having issues with communication with Wetzel County dispatch. It was brought up that the Tyler County Commission will pay to outfit the last cruiser so it is able to communicate with the Tyler County Dispatch. Calls that would be made to Wetzel dispatch would be transferred to Tyler County. This request was for police only, so fire and EMS would not be switched with them. Council approved the request with the switch to occur on September 1.

As for unfinished business, the siding for city hall was approved and Council is looking into air conditioning for upstairs. Council then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Police Chief Lauer also provided police citations and department report for the month of June. There were a total of 14 citations issued, including two failures to obey traffic devices, four for speeding, one for left of center, one for following too close, one for no seat belt, two for no insurance, one for cell phone usage while driving, one for expired registration and one for tall grass.

The Paden City Police Department report listed a total of 90 records. Some of those incidents include: One breaking and entering incident, one fireworks complaint, two domestic violence incidents, one fight, one intruder, two pursuits, two reckless drivers, one property damage incident, one shoplifting incident, two stolen property incidents, six suspicious persons, one suspicious vehicle, one vandalism incident and one wanted person.