By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Implementing an urban deer archery and crossbow season has been circulating among several municipalities within the state of West Virginia. The topic has finally made its debut in Parsons, as calls have been received requesting the season be acknowledged, in Parsons.
The option to hunt within city limits is only permissible if the city council approves acknowledgement of the season. Councilman Tim Auvil expressed concern for the dense population within Parsons City limits along with a lot of deer, when shot with archery equipment, do not drop instantly, but rather run. This will result in the deer crossing onto other individual’s properties or into the roadways. Due to the concerns, Auvil made a motion to not implement an urban archery season at this time with a second by Recorder Bruce Kolsun. The topic can return to the agenda and may do so in the future. Councilman David Greenlief voted in favor with Councilwoman Amy Wagner voting against.
The meeting also served as the third and final reading and public hearing of the proposed garbage rate ordinance. This increased fee is a result of the rate increase at the Tucker County Landfill. In addition to the regular garbage pickup service, two bulky items per customer will be picked up each month. It is the customer’s responsibility to call in at least two days prior to the pick up to be placed on the schedule. With no public present with concerns relating to the proposal, a motion was made by Kolsun to pass the garbage ordinance with a second by Auvil. All members voted in favor of the proposal.
Consideration of a lease agreement with Micrologic to construct a tower on city property was also subject to a public hearing. This tower would benefit all residents of Tucker County as it would increase the communication abilities with 911 and First Responders. Emiel “Butch” Butcher, President of Micrologic, was present via teleconference to ensure that all council members understand the terms of the lease agreement. “We’re interested in supplying service to other portions of your county as well as the city; and the 911 center, as I’m sure you all are painfully aware, has a lot of issues with communication to the tower site there by the high school,” Butcher said. This new location would serve as a link between their office and the tower for controlling the radios as well as an internet link.
After looking at the location, Micrologic is interested in constructing the new tower on Water Plant Road with the approval of a long term lease granted by the city council. The city would receive a maximum of seven, free internet accounts within the coverage area if the city purchases the radio equipment needed to receive it. In exchange, the property would need to be provided as well as a right of way to the tower. The structure would be 120 feet tall and free standing with no guy-wires needed. This could also lead to more internet coverage from Micrologic within the county in the future. City Administrator Jason Myers announced that the lease agreement has been reviewed by an attorney and has their approval. After brief discussion, Kolsun made the motion to approve as presented with a second by Auvil and all in favor.
An insurance renewal quote was presented by G.J. Garton Insurance Company Agent Nicholas Carr via phone. He highlighted the proposal, especially the cyber liability coverage. After review, a motion was made by Kolsun to renew the policy as presented with a second by Auvil. All members were in agreement with Wagner abstaining.
The minutes from the September 1 meeting were approved followed by Financial Director Danielle Sponaugle presenting the invoice list in the amount of $17,573.46. Auvil moved to approve the invoice list as presented with a second by Kolsun with all in approval.
City Police Chief J.E. Kopec has been working on grass and weed issues throughout the city with overgrown lawns. A common issue among the ordinance violations is the houses soon to be in foreclosure. Discussion also commenced relating to known drug issues within the area and options to remove the substances from the streets.
Myers took over the committee and employee reports and stated the baseball field drainage project is underway. Wagner suggested that the big ditch along the trail and Route 219 be cleaned to ensure the drainage pours into the ditch appropriately. Myers replied he would contact the Department of Highways to request that be put on their list.
“The Community Center is finished, we’re ready for reservations starting October 1,” Myers continued. Tables, chairs, and the final internet installation is all that the facility is lacking. The new expression swing was delivered to Mill Race Park which will replace the old swing set near Pavilion 1. He added, “The new swing set will have two expression swings, and two regular belt swings.”
The Parsons Parks and Recreation Committee will be advertising for professional services to develop a master plan for the parks. Auvil commented, “Basically the master plan is step by step over a five to 10 year period of the goals for the parks.” These plans can also assist the city and the PPRC when applying for grants. Public feedback will be sought on the future offerings of the city parks.
A two year contract has been signed with Elkins Physical Therapy which will come before the council for their approval at the next meeting. “They’re doing great over there,” stated Mayor Dorothy Judy. The Splash Park has been closed for the season and will reopen Memorial Day 2021.
Myers also stated that the 2020 CRS recertification review was approved. He has been working with Rodeheaver and Associations on the PSC reports that will be submitted by the end of the month. Both DOH grants have been submitted for Corricks’ Ford Battlefield and Poplar Street for consideration.
Wagner brought up the one way street on Sunnyside Lane between First and Second Street that was recently implemented, stating, “It isn’t working.” She said during a normal day it isn’t so bad, but during church services and food pantry days, local residents cannot get home due to the congestion. While she agrees it should be a one way street, it has since been discovered that the traffic flowed better when it was a two way street.
The common wall with MR Pizza and the recently demolished building is being secured. This wall will be sealed to allow an artist a better canvas to paint a mural on that wall. The booklet and strategic plan is nearing completion and the design group will be meeting soon to work on a design for the pocket park.
PRO OnTrac received a bid from a local contractor for the first floor improvements to the PRO Plaza Building, which Myers stated; “This quote is within budget,” except some logistics need to be discussed such as heating and air conditioning. “That will be submitted to the board later this month for approval,” he said.
Myers explained the restrictions on the upcoming fall cleanup set for October 26 through 30. “One truckload per household,” he stated. Houses within city limits will be picked up only one time during the cleanup event.
The pond restoration project is still ongoing as the city is awaiting the design of the pillars for the bridge. The city has been decorated for Fall with new flowers and banners hung. The banners for Veterans Day are still being sold and consideration for the Veterans Spaghetti Dinner to be offered via delivery are being made. The dinner is not serving as a fundraiser; this is a free thank you effort for the Veterans and their families from the City of Parsons.
Auvil also shared a concern discussed by the PPRC about the new entrance of Mill Race Park not being wide enough to accommodate large trucks that may be making deliveries. It was designed to have a concrete curve in the center of the two lanes, though it is being discussed to omit that partition and install the lights on the outside of the entrants. Another piece of equipment is being considered to assist in the mowing, especially along steep grades. “It’s a multi versatile piece of equipment,” Auvil stated. More information is being collected to bring to the council.
Progress is being made on the Parsons Sewer Extension Project as ditches are being made to lay the new line. To date, 893 feet of eight inch gravity has been installed, 700 feet of two inch force main installed, five manholes, the tie in to the existing manhole is being done, eight inches of gravity sewer pipe has been installed from the existing manhole at ball field to manhole number four, and two inch force main has been installed from manhole three location to the second clean out across from the last house on the right. A map was provided to highlight what has been done for the council.
Kolsun spoke on behalf of the Parsons Industrial Park, stating a meeting was recently held to discuss clearing the land and a road project. The city will be working towards a grant for a two lane road suitable for 18-wheelers to the top of the property.
G.S. Millwork initially told the city they needed five acres of property within the Industrial Park to build their new facility. More recently, they have said they need 20 acres, to which Myers stated, “There’s nowhere in our Industrial Park anywhere close to that.” A meeting will be held to discuss this with the company to determine what has changed since the initial request of five acres.
Wagner brought up the idea of using the land as a cemetery if businesses or residential plots are not utilized. The slope of the land could present an issue for that type of a development, though more research would have to be conducted on that specific utilization. She also suggested consideration of a jail which would not only create jobs but revenue for the county. “Boy you’d stir up a bees nest though wouldn’t she,” laughed Judy. “I agree with the jobs,” said Judy, “but what people are going to say is they don’t want prisoners here.” Chief Kopec added, “Yea, I mean Tygarts Valley Regional Jail is absolutely packed.” Myers stated, “We’re open to any industry.” Kolsun stated he too felt that the citizens would not approve of a jail being put in Tucker County.
Myers also announced that Mayor Judy signed a proclamation for Constitution Week, which began September 17.
A resolution was proposed by Myers to reconcile a contested area on Fitness Lane. He explained that a bordering lot is being sold and a survey crew discovered some discrepancies in the line where the old railroad right of way was. A map was provided to show the contested area and a deed will be developed to show the boundaries. A motion was made to approve by Auvil with Kolsun making a second and all in favor.
The Parsons City Council will meet again on Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m.