The Davis Town Council met for the first time since early December to address business and move forward with municipal projects.
By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Davis Town Council met recently for the first time since before Christmas due to an outbreak of Covid-19. All members were present to hear from newly elected county officials, Prosecuting Attorney Savannah Hull-Wilkins, Sheriff Jake Kopec, and Commissioner Mike Rosenau.
Wilkins began by stating she and the others, “Wanted to be a presence.” They attended Thomas City Council last month and plan to make rounds throughout the county to be accessible. Rosenau stated in addition, he wishes to become more familiar with projects going on in Davis such as the sewer project. Kopec added, “We are here as a resource for you.”
Mayor Doug Martin offered an opportunity for the Council or other guests to ask questions to the county officials. Councilman Al Tomson responded by acknowledging the drive-thru vaccine clinics being held in Parsons and how well they are coordinated. Rosenau commended OEM Director Kevin White, James Snyder with the Tucker County Health Department, and the numerous volunteers for their work on the event.
Town Clerk Joni Felton asked Rosenau for a time to meet where they could discuss concerns pertaining to the EMS Building in Davis. Rosenau stated he would be happy to do so, being that much of that business occurred between his terms as Commissioner. J. Felton explained that there was a rock wall built on the side of the building where the restrooms are that was intended to be used as a concession stand for when the ball field was in use. “We wanted to close that in and we were told no because it would set off the fire alarm,” said J. Felton. The Town agreed to purchase and install roll-up doors to enclose the area that would be rolled up with air circulating while in use. Rosenau said when he comes for the meeting, he would bring Maintenance Director Joe Long so he could evaluate the situation. “They didn’t even ask us what we were putting in there,” said J. Felton. “Who made the decision?” asked Rosenau. “Terry Silk and Lowell,” she responded. “Well, anyway,” said Rosenau before several erupted in laughter. The goal of the Town is to make the facility useful to the citizens and offer more opportunities.
Karen Peterson thanked Sheriff J.E. Kopec for his attendance with him responding, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed a greater police presence up here, it’s because I’m mandating two-hour patrols on the mountain per shift so four hours a day.” He said he has noticed quicker response times for requests for service with officers already on patrol in the area. “It’s just utilizing the resources we have better and more efficient to better serve the community,” stated Sheriff Kopec. He shared some of his plans and resources for training the officers which include an active shooter course.
Rosenau then mentioned a small park area with a basketball court that he had concerns over the condition of that could lead to an injury. He stated when he meets with the Council he would appreciate the opportunity to be taken around and shown other areas of concern to help him become familiar with their municipality needs and assets. Finding funding to help provide improvements for that park was something he would like to assist with, mentioning the Parks and Recreation Committee may be a place to start. J. Felton stated they had done so in the past, however, they were denied because “They didn’t feel it was worthwhile.” They were also told it was because they didn’t have enough children in the area to warrant spending the money. Rosenau suggested if communication is improved and teamwork is implemented, “you will see a difference.”
Wilkins stated she and Rosenau have been looking into the county boards and their bi-laws to ensure all requirements are being met to best represent the entire county and carry out the mission of that board.
Tomson made a motion to return to the regular session with Councilman John Felton making a second. The minutes from the December 9, 2020 meeting were approved unanimously before moving into Committee Reports. The accounts payable were provided within their packets which Martin explained he received a request for a waterworks payment in the amount of $283,931.88. Tomson made a motion with Councilwoman Jeannette Tekavec Ware offering a second with all in favor.
Councilman Terry Helmick provided a list of jobs completed since December 6, 2020, stating, “The guys have been busy.” He commended them on doing an excellent job keeping up with the snow removal throughout the town and keeping the roads passable. The contract for Sewer Operator Dave Smigal for $1,000 per month from January 13, 2021, to January 12, 2022, was up for approval. After a brief discussion and a request for monthly reports to be submitted to Town Hall on paper, the contract was approved pending changes agreed upon.
The Davis Town Council went into an Executive Session to discuss personnel and returned stating no decisions were made. The Parks and Recreation Committee is looking for funds to upgrade the playground equipment and parks. Any citizens with concerns or suggestions are urged to contact Town Hall.
Martin received a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection requesting a status update on the feasibility study. He contacted Region VII and asked for an updated schedule, which they provided and was forwarded on to the DEP.
Two building permits were submitted to build two homes on Fairfax Avenue. The permits were approved with a motion from Tomson and Felton with all in favor. Extreme endeavors documents outlining what is needed to fully utilize the project two years ago for the new water valves. The total came to $8,900 and was unanimously approved.
A document titled Set Back and Yard Requirements was offered to the Council for consideration which is made to require spacing between buildings within town limits. This proposal came about due to an issue that arose within Davis. The suggestions on the document are three feet between buildings and 10 feet in the back and front. Council will review the suggestion and discuss it at the next meeting.
A request to replace the front door to include a storm door and new awning on the front of the Town Hall was submitted. Martin agreed these upgrades are much needed for the building. Helmick and Ware motioned to seek out quotes for the project with all in favor.
The Highlands Trail Foundation is seeking interested members with applications available at the Town Hall. A motion was made to pay the bills and the meeting was adjourned. The Davis Town Council will meet again on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 6:30 p.m.