Citizens Disgruntled Over Abandoned Alley; City Supports Turning the Towns Teal

Parsons City Council discussing the previous decision to abandon a section of Sugar Maple Lane.

By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate

                  Parsons City Hall was busier than usual with residents affected by the recent abandonment of a section of Sugar Maple Lane.  Following The Pledge of Allegiance and opening prayer, Mayor Dorothy Judy addressed the public comments and concerns.  She went through the sign in sheet one by one asking their desires of the alley, be it closed or remains opened.  Those for wanting the alley abandoned were Jeff and Dottie Wilfong and David Guy.  Against closing the alleyway was Connie and Teddy Collins.  The Collins’s also claimed to have letters from other residents in the area who were also against abandoning the section of Maple Springs Lane.  C. Collins informed the council they were unaware the alley was even being considered to be abandoned and they would have no way to access their back yard.

                  City Administrator and Treasurer Jason Myers informed the audience that calls were made earlier that day to all residents in that vicinity to gather their opinions on the potential abandonment of this alley.  Brief discussion commenced and the council agreed if there was any disagreement it should be left as is, which would have to be placed on the next agenda.  Myers noted, “If we’re going to open it up, we’re going to put gravel on it and we’re going to use it,” and the crowd noted it’s always blocked and impassable.  Councilwoman Melissa Jones informed if this happens, they need to contact their local law enforcement and let them address it.

Guests Roxanne Bright, Carroll Precht, and Jeff Miller with Parsons City Council with the signed proclamation to recognize September 2019 as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Bright will also be working on the Turn the Towns Teal initiative to help raise awareness.

Roxanne Bright requested a proclamation declaring the month of September 2019 as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Councilman Tim Auvil read the proclamation giving information on this deadly disease that Bright had in years past.  Also present was her mother, Carroll Precht and Jeff Miller supporting this cause.  The council unanimously agreed to sign the proclamation and will be participating in Turn the Towns Teal during September.

                  Parsons Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kevin White was also in attendance to request the use of the streets for May 17 through May 24, 2020 for the annual Homecoming Fair.  The fair will operate from May 20-23 but the streets are needed the additional days for set up and disassembly.  Judy asked how the fair went, with White’s response being, “Well I am very pleased with the turn out.”  “I think that our new layout worked out for all of the businesses in the area,” he added.  Having said that, the council agreed to approve the request of Company 10 and allow the use of the streets for this annual event.

                  Moving into the business section of the meeting, the minutes for the June 4 meeting was approved along with invoice list in the amount of $88,542.77.  Myers then presented the revenue control report and the budget control report for the general fund and the revenue control and budget control report for the coal severance fund.  He also presented the request for revisions to the approved budget.  Estimates and quotes were presented with the first being from Michael’s Electrical LLC in the amount of $1,200 for installation of new shop lights.  The same company has also quoted $1,550 for sewer overflow meters on Water Street and a third in the amount of $5,200 to install the lights at Mill Race Park.  All of these quotes were approved.  Another proposal was prepared by Hart Office Solutions for a new printer for the front office that has been having issues.  The printer in the back offices is still on lease; however, it was suggested to pay off the remaining balance on that item to lease the new printer.  A motion was made and agreed upon to move forward on leasing the new machine.  C.I. Thornburg informed the city of a three year lock in program they have designed that if it is agreed to purchase chemicals only from their company, which Parsons currently does, they will sell the chemicals at a discounted price, wave the shipping and handling fee, and also install a monitor so they know when chemicals are low and need restocked.  This too was voted on and agreed upon.

                  Employee and committee reports began with Chief T.D. Roberts with the Parsons City Police.  Taking suggestions from the last meeting to reduce the speeding on Quality Hill, officers have been patrolling the area more frequently.  They had also recently assisted with the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department, DNR, Preston County Sheriff, and WV State Police on an incident in the Licking Creek and Bull Run area.  It was still noted more signage is needed in areas of town and this will be further investigated to find what signs are needed within city limits.

                  Auvil provided the report for the Parsons Water and Wastewater System prepared by John “Red” Lipscomb, Chief Operator.  He informed of some areas of concern including a raw water pump that needs replaced for an estimated cost of $16,000. Being that this money was not budgeted, it was requested to be reallocated from the Spruce Street project fund.  Voting for reallocation of funds were Amy Wagner, David Greenlief, Bruce Kolsun, Tim Auvil, Kenneth Morrison, and Samuel Blosser.  In opposition was Melissa Jones.  Lipscomb also noted the vac truck is also in need of a new jetter hose in the amount of $1,800 and the need of considering bio friendly weed killer to be used near aeration basins.

                  Auvil continued with a report from the Parsons Park and Recreation Commission, highlighting areas of concern such as the need of a combination refrigerator and freezer for the new food stand trailer and the need of a bathroom facility nearer pavilion one to accommodate the elderly and ADA challenged patrons at Mill Race Park.  It is being requested to seek out grant funding to assist in the ability to potentially construct this new facility.  The agenda noted the new entrance should be paved by the end of June and will then be opened to the public.

                  Myers informed the Department of Highways was coming the following day to discuss the Corrick’s Ford Battlefield Project.  “We’ve been utilizing the Rubenstein Center cadets,” he also stated as they’ve been helping with weed eating.  Auvil questioned the completion of the dredging of the pond in Pulp Mill Bottoms, to which they discussed the overtaking of the lily pads still causing an issue.  Myers informed until the job is finished, the payment for the contract requirements will not be disbursed.

                  Unfinished business consisted of discussion of the Parsons Industrial Park Project that has yet to be finalized.  The Kingsford Sewer Extension Project is also currently in the design phase and hoping to go to bids this year.  Three of the seven applicants for the project have been chosen to participate in interviews, which are Thrasher, Dunn, and Robinson.  Another applicant is being considered for hiring pending the passing of his drug test, which is Zakary Freeman.  He was approved to be employed pending his results.

                  The only remaining topics under new business were to consider the re-appointment of David Lambert as a board trustee member until June 30, 2024.  It was also agreed to renew the partnership proposal from the Hach Company.

                  This concluded the meeting of the Parsons City Council.  The next meeting will commence on Tuesday, July 2 at 6 p.m.