By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
The City of Parsons met in regular session to discuss and administer the city business for the month.
During session, the City approved a motion to pay off two of the city’s vehicle fleet. Payoffs were approved on a 2019 Ford Truck in the amount of $11,316.56 and a Ventrac Mower in the amount of $10,794.73.
Despite the payoff of the Ventrac, during the maintenance report, it was revealed that the city is in need of a second mower in order to meet current needs. It was reported that the current mower is 27 years old and prone to break down.
The department has been borrowing equipment from the Parks Department when it is available. The City Council agreed to get quotes on a Kobota tractor and deck and revisit the issue at a later date.
Representatives from Thrasher Architecture, Engineering, Field Services reported on the Parsons Sanitary Sewer System Improvements and Parsons Water System Improvements Project.
In the Sewer Project, a funding application was approved by WVIJDC. It was also reported by the representatives that the estimated construction costs were $3,100,000 and a total estimated project cost of $4,010,000. A Facility Plan is being prepared by Thrasher for submission to WVDEP in April and a Design Plan is being laid out so that field work can begin, according to the representatives. Thrasher is also working on an easement list for the proposed replacement areas.
Thrasher also reported on the progress on the city’s Water Improvement Project. As was the case with the Sewer project, a funding application was approved by WVIJDC. It was reported that Region VII has submitted the application to the DWTRF Program. Estimated Construction Costs are estimated at $3,184,000 by the representatives, with a total estimated cost of $3,984,000. According to the representatives, an application for Earmark Funds was submitted on the project and Thrasher has begun work on an environmental review and layout of design plans.
In other city business, the ongoing petition of GS Millwork, LLC was discussed.
Timothy L. Auvil, Council Member Ward 2, said, “We don’t want to lose this company.”
Discussion included that due to a property owner’s objection, a section of Brooks St. between Davis St. and Elkins St. could not be abandoned as requested. As for the request from G.S. Millwork, LLC to purchase or lease the parking lot adjacent to their Pulp Mill Bottom facility, discussion included the issues from FEMA buyout land and the possibility of a long-term lease.
The Board also discussed the need for a round table discussion with the landowners in the area and the need for more information. The issue was continued until the next meeting.
The Police report attributed community support and information for the formation of suspects in a series of property destruction cases. The police chief, Kevin Keplinger, indicated that there are five known victims, but if any other individuals have been affected, they are to contact the police department.
There was also an incident of vandalism at the park down by the river, according the police. Keplinger indicated he is seeking video evidence from surrounding cameras. According to the police, a vehicle had driven through the area of the park that the city had just completed work on and done damage. The case is still under investigation.
The police also reported that the department received two AED’s that are currently being recalibrated. It was reported that this will allow the department to have one per vehicle. The department also received two short barrels to replace the current barrels on their service rifles. Keplinger reported that this will make the rifles more effective and easier to handle in the vehicles.
The police also reported that the Governor had issued a fire ban for the month the morning of the April 18. There are some exemptions according to Keplinger, but it is a strict ban and enforcement has been encouraged by the state.
The Council entered into Executive Session over a hiring issue. When the council reconvened in public session, the motion was approved to readvertise the Sanitary Equipment Operator Position for two weeks and approved the recommendation for hiring of Municipal Judge.