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Sistersville City Council Discusses Water Projects

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | Sep 22, 2021

Sistersville City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 13, to discuss ArtsLink, sewer and water projects as well as road paving.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Bill Rice read the Twin Kennedy Proclamation proposed by ArtsLink. Mayor Rice declared Tuesday, September 28 as Twin Kennedy Day, as they will be performing in the Gaslight Theater. ArtsLink presents Twin Kennedy, who will bring a combination of folk, jazz and Celtic musical genres to the Gaslight Theater in Sistersville on Tuesday, September 28, at 7:00 pm.

Mayor Rice then opened the meeting for public comments. Amy Byard who resides on Chelsea Street addressed council with multiple concerns about road paving and Litman Excavating.

Mayor Rice first mentioned he called Kelly Paving and was told that in order for paving to begin, 260 feet of line must be put in; the type of line was not communicated with the Mayor. Byard said Litman had used her driveway to dig with an excavator and she has pictures of them up by her porch. She then asked for the dirt to be cleaned up from where they had dug up the road as the debris from passing vehicles has put “dings” in her vehicle.

Mike Yandrich, of S&S enginering spoke about how the project was rushed at the beginning of August and the concrete poured in the road was only supposed to be temporary fill, which he said is essentially the base for the asphalt. Adding it was not meant to be driven over for long periods of time as it is a low-strength concrete.

Bryad expressed concerns to council of trucks speeding through town. In regard to those concerns Officer Alex Northcraft replied that his cruiser is equipped with radar and offered to let her sit in the cruiser, however she declined and said, “You can’t offer that to people, that’s a liability on the city to have someone in your police car.”

Mayor Rice mentioned to Police Chief Rob Haught they might want to order wireless radars for two other cruisers in the fleet as it will be “Game on” after Route 2 is paved.

Officer Northcraft brought up a recent chase in Pleasants County involving a Halliburton truck who was charged with a DUI, to which Byard responded with the road conditions here an someone driving under the influence there’s potential to cause a massive accident.

Council member Chuck Heinlein then reminded Mayor Rice that the discussion had passed five minutes, so the Mayor continued on to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and the payment of the bills.

Under Department Head reports, Jason Rice gave an update on the new water lines and smoke testing. The water loss percentage has dropped from 24 to 19 percent; the state requires a minimum of 15 percent water loss, so the water project has already shown improvements. As for smoke testing, the Downtown area was to be completed this week and then testing would move down Route 2 and towards the river.

The Park & Pool Board was present and announced they are applying for grants, including one for the roof and spouting on the big shelter.

Under Old Business: Issues with the sewer were discussed again, as water has been backing up into houses. Jason Rice mentioned that he is looking into backflow prevention. He also said he has reviewed data that has been collected regarding the rain amounts over the past couple of years, and has found that instead of a steady rain over a couple of days, there have been torrential downpours in a couple of hours. He said this has been overwhelming the system.

Mayor Rice gave an update about how the price for the street scape project which includes removing old sidewalks and replacing them with new, plus installing new street lights, has increased from about $180,000 to $312,500 for the left side of the road leading from the City building to Rt 2. He mentioned that the city could receive a grant from the government for $250,000 to help cover the cost. He then said that council needs to make a decision to move forward with the project at the next meeting.

It was then brought to the attention of council that a resident on Russel Avenue has installed a fence which blocks of the city access to a lift station. Council discussed working with the resident to resolve the issue, before turning it over to the police to deal with.

Repairing or replacing the soffit and fascia on the cith building was also discussed. They are deciding between using aluminum and vinyl, with the goal to preserve the original look of the building while making the necessary repairs. Council approved grant submission for the project.

Yandrich gave the final report of the evening, with an update on the water project. He said Litman’s electrician has been waiting for equipment that should arrive soon and they are expecting to be on-site to finish the installation of the booster station in the next week.

One of the final topics of the evening included council members mentioning that Delegate David Kelley released a statement that paving on Rt 2 through the town will be completed in October.

After discussing an issue with garbage pickup, council moved to executive session to discuss personnel matters. Following the executive session council approved a motion to raise water/sewer, garbage and police department employees pay by 15 percent.

The meeting was then adjourned with the next regular council meeting set for October 11, at 7 p.m.