By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Mayor Dorothy Judy welcomed everyone to the City Council Meeting before reciting The Pledge of Allegiance, opening prayer, and call to order. Roll was called with everyone present either in person or via conference call with the exception of Councilwoman Amy Wagner. There were no public comments and the previous meeting minutes from February 5 were approved.
The invoices, financial reports, and budget revisions were discussed with adjustments made to the total to be paid out, altered from $160,970.10 to $87,375.29. Councilman Tim Auvil made the motion to approve with changes and second by Kenneth Morrison. Auvil followed by giving a brief overview of the funds left in the Harman fund that was allocated for projects. He presented a proposal for $13,210 for a project to upgrade the chlorine and sulfur feeder that they are down to only one of. Auvil stated “If it goes down we will be pumping raw sewage straight into the river”. After explanation, Auvil made the motion to approve the proposal with a second by Councilman Sam Blossar. The second quote for $9,500 Auvil proposed was for sewer camera system. This device is four hundred feet and can be sent down an obstructed water or sewage line to determine what the issue is and pinpoint where it is so the crews know exactly where to dig to correct the problem. “Again, this money is in place, it’s already been allocated”, reiterated Auvil prior to making a motion to purchase the equipment with a second by Morrison. The third proposal Auvil presented was for $12,000 for a zonescan apparatus. “The lifespan of loggers are about ten years, which is about what ours are”, he noted. Jason Myers, City Administrator and Treasurer, explained “What this does, is if there is a leak on Long Street, he goes and puts these apparatuses on meter leads on the line, and he can correlate where that leak is just based on the sounds from this”. These are very accurate and precise measuring tools, and the motion was made by Auvil to approve the purchase and second by Morrison.
Moving into employee and committee reports, Auvil continued with quotes coming in for replacement equipment to be purchased for Wellness 24. New items would include rubber coated dumbbells, treadmills, weight trees, an additional crosstrainer, an elliptical, and a tricep machine. The company is working closely with the city by providing discounts and allowing trade-ins of the old equipment to help with the overall price of the products. The total amount for the equipment comes to $32,295.58 and will be spread out over a three year lease, amounting to $991 a month. Myers explained the annual maintenance and repairs have been costing the city approximately $10-11,000, so the same money could be going into new equipment requiring minimal upkeep maintenance. Auvil made the motion to approve the quote and purchase the new equipment with a second by Blossar, motion carried.
It was mentioned the dance floor at Wellness 24 also is in need of attention; however, the total to repair came to $9,700. It would also require a two week shut down of the facility to complete the work. The decision was made to place a hard vinyl cover over the hardwood for long term sustainability. The estimate for the exterior revamping of the facility came to $4,200 for pressure washing and staining.
Updates were reported to the council regarding the community center quote for repairs coming in over budget at $192,000. Therefore, the main necessities will be addressed for now, which includes addressing the soft spot in the floor, making the facility ADA compatible with a ramp and bathroom amenities, and install air conditioning. A seasonal worker is going to be hired to keep up with the mowing at the parks.
Travis Roberts gave a Police Department report, stating, “Everything seems to be going pretty well”, and they have been preparing a new hire to attend the academy hopefully in April. Myers commended the crew working on the Mill Race Park Slew project and Blossar noted they are about three weeks ahead of schedule. Auvil requested that prior to completion the railing be added to each sides of the bridge crossing the slew. Discussion commenced about the new entrance construction going into the park and the cooperation with the Department of Highways. The council members briefly mentioned their resolution of support for the proposed hydro facility, Myers stating “City Council based their support on information they had available. The city is going to benefit because the county is going to benefit”.
Construction is on schedule with BFS and the contract has recently been awarded to a company to work on the canopy and interior of the facility with all energy efficient, LED lighting. “They are looking at a $120,000 improvement to the actual store”, Myers announced. Little Sandy’s Express will be the food served. It is an on the go version of their Little Sandy’s Restaurant in the Bruceton area and there is only one other Little Sandy’s Express, which is in Cheat Lake BFS. “He made it clear, they are not coming to town to run anybody out of business that is not his intention he wants to compliment what is here”, he reiterated. The menu Myers posted to social media was that of the restaurant which is not exactly what will be offered at the new convenience store, but similar. This is not a franchise or chain of restaurants; it is owned and operated by BFS. Myers also stated the store would boast a $12,000 coffee bar that grinds fresh coffee beans for every pot. He also confirmed the food would not be offered twenty-four hours as of now, though he suggested that detail be reconsidered. It is still the goal of BFS to open in April.
City Council received a letter from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), congratulating them of their approval of application for $350,000 towards the $700,000 project to extend the Parsons sewage system to Kingsford and eventually tie into the future Industrial Park. Kingsford has allocated $250,000 toward this expense, requiring the final $100,000 to be supplied by the City of Parsons. Auvil said, “This won’t trigger a sewage increase right away”. Councilman Steven Sponaugle made the motion to agree to the terms and regulations set forth in this letter and Blossar second.
Moving into new business, recommendations were considered and approved from the Fleet Management Committee and minimum bid suggestions on equipment the city plans to sell in the near future. The idea of establishing a fund with the Tucker Community Foundation for the River City Park Baseball Field Lighting Project was the next order of business. Robert Burns stopped by to answer questions and explain how the project would work. The city also proposed to host a 2019 City of Parsons Annual Spring Clean-Up Week to take place Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Auvil made the motion and Morrison second.
Prior to Judy adjourning, Myers noted he received a correspondence from WV Municipalities informing him that Tucker County, which is in a pool of other municipalities, has seen a decrease in the unemployment rate from 2.5% to 2.25%. With no further discussion, Judy adjourned the meeting, noting the next to be held on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.