Council Disburses Annual Harman Fund

At the rescheduled city council meeting held on March 25, the city council received the requests for contributions from the designated beneficiaries of the William Mahan Memorial Fund.

Robert A. Burns, Executive Director of the Tucker Community Foundation, which oversees the fund, notified city treasurer, Jason Myers in a letter dated February 10, 2014 that the William Mahan Harman Memorial Fund would have a distribution of $871,000 for 2014. The letter went on to state that these funds would be available through the usual draw down methods.

This fund is to be used for the Parsons City Cemetery, Five Rivers Public Library, Parsons Park Board, and to Benefit the Citizens of Parsons.

Parsons City Cemetery requested a draw of $69,000 to be used for maintenance, equipment, payroll, insurance, supplies, and miscellaneous administrative costs. Council voted unanimously to approve this request.

The request from Five Rivers Public Library was for $97,700 to be used for extended services, books and materials, programming, laptop/tablet, ancestral library database renewal and maintenance/improvements. Council voted unanimously to approve this request.

The Parsons Park Board requested funding in the amount of $204,000. These funds are to be used for Mill Race Park, River City Park and the Wellness Center for building and ground maintenance, repairs and upgrades; utilities, payroll, training, insurance, equipment, and administrative costs. Council voted unanimously to approve this request.

The Benefit of the Citizens of Parsons Committee originally requested $651,000. As this amount was unavailable, after the other requests were approved, the committee looked at cutting amounts in some areas. After much discussion and looking at alternate proposals, the committee arrived at a revised request of $500,300. These requested funds are to be used for the purchase of the new Maintenance Building, water/sewer line maintenance and repairs, raw water motor and pump repair, street paving, and storm drain improvements, payroll for police department, Parsons Volunteer Fire Dept. equipment grant, beginning work on a splash park, a pirate ship and basketball court addition to the playground equipment at Mill Race Park, building a half pipe addition to the skate park, Parsons On Trac program, Fireman’s homecoming, and the Christmas Parade, Corrick’s Ford Battlefield development, as well as various equipment repairs. Council voted unanimously to approve this request.

The next William Mahan Harman Fund draw will be available in 2015.

In other business, council approved/accepted the financial reports and the paying of invoices as presented by the city treasurer, Jason Myers.

Lois Arbogast was in attendance to state that the citizens, that had signed and submitted the petition asking council to remove the all way stop signs from Main Street and returning it to its original state with stop signs on Fourth Street, are not in favor of any speed bumps on Main Street.

Arbogast was asked by Councilman Greenlief if speed bumps on Fourth and Fifth Streets and the removal of the stop signs on Main Street is what they want. Arbogast replied, “That is exactly what the people are asking for. They were asking for the stop signs to be removed, but if there are going to be speed bumps, they’re all saying, they should be on Fourth and Fifth coming in both directions.”

Greenlief made a motion to install speed bumps on Fourth and Fifth Streets and remove the stop signs from Main Street. After some discussion the motion received a second from Councilman Auvil and council voted unanimously to pass the motion.

City Administrator, Jason Myers, stated that he would see to the removal of the stop signs on Main Street.

Council held some discussion regarding amending the ordinance prohibiting the use of all-terrain vehicles upon public streets and alley and sidewalks within the city limits. Utility use of said vehicles such as snow removal would be exempt. This item will be further discussed at a later date.

Council was notified that in the future Parsons ON-TRAC and PRO will be merging to be known as PRO, A member of the West Virginia ON-TRAC Program.

Parsons received the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s grant of $4,000 for the Parkwood Lane Canoe and Kayak Access Site. This will be used at this location to help with making it handicapped accessible and parking.

Myers notified council that the city was planning to place legal advertisement and accepting sealed bids on some surplus property owned by the city and asked for approval to go ahead with said plans. Council gave unanimous approval.

Council voted to approve the hiring of Terry R. Queen as the interim Chief of Police.

The next Parsons City Council meeting will be held on April 1, 2014 at 6 p.m., in the council chambers, located in the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building.

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