By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Jenny Newland with Downstream Strategies, a consulting firm, attended the Davis Town Council meeting to speak on behalf of funding resources for parks and recreation. She spoke of a federal funding source called Land Water Conservation Fund that recently increased their budget which will assist with land acquisition for public use, maintenance of existing public parks and planning for improvements. Each state determines how the money should be spent with W.Va. working on a five year priority plan with the number one priority being to acquire and develop basic, local parks and playgrounds.
“This one requires 50% of the project cost be provided by a non-federal source, so it will cover up to half of a project cost,” explained Newland. There are also long term guidelines that must be followed when conducting a project through this program, such as the land must remain as a public use location. Newland will be sending a link to Recorder Andy Snyder that will outline the source for the Town Council to be aware of when considering future projects.
Robin McClintock spoke briefly on the Planning Commission and the goals of controlling the growth and development in the county.
The minutes from the October 28 meeting were reviewed and approved with a motion by Council Members Jeannette Ware and Al Tomson with all in favor. A statement listing the accounts payable were in the packets of the council members with Mayor Doug Martin stating the town is considering utilizing a “Gov Card” that would allow residents to make payments in multiple ways for the town utilities. It will not be required to use this option, but Tomson stated, “This will give people more options to pay their utility bills to the town and it’ll be that you can do it through your computer, security is provided in the system, and it doesn’t keep any of your credit card information on file.”
Tomson explained if $1,500 worth of payments were made through the program, it would be provided at no charge to the town, but if that threshold is not met, the fee would be $49 per month. A processing fee is also associated with using the electronic payment method, which is $1.75 for bills under $60 and 3% for those that are over. Tomson continued saying that the Davis Town Hall Office Staff spoke with the City of Parsons about the program they use for a similar service, stating, “Parsons is using a different system and they are paying $600 a month just to be able to use it, and they’re thinking about switching to this system, which was actually recommended by the municipal league that was mentioned to the ladies in the office.”
Martin proclaimed he doesn’t foresee the $1,500 minimum being an issue with Blackwater State Park and the Air B&B’s all wanting to pay by credit card, which would eliminate the monthly fee for the town. Councilman John Felton stated he felt it would be a welcomed option to several customers and it would be well utilized.
The Water Improvement Project is complete from Blackwater to Fourth Street, though issues have arisen locating the last section of water line. The section of the project at the Water Plant will likely not begin until after the first of the year. Councilman Terry Helmick provided a list of other completed projects relating to streets, alleys, and waterways.
Town employee J.D. Kennard took the final two Water Treatment exams and passed, which led Martin to say, “As far as Water Treaters go we look pretty good here for the town now.” The handbook is still in progress and will soon make its way to the council.
A building permit was received for a one story house to be constructed on Thomas Avenue. Ware and Felton made the motions to approve the permit with all in favor. Motions were made to pay the bills as presented before Councilwoman Cindy Robeson made a motion to adjourn with all in favor. The next meeting for the Davis Town Council will be Wednesday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m.