By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
It was a rather brief meeting of the Parsons City Council on Tuesday, October 15. This meeting time had to be altered to 10 a.m., therefore some council members were unable to attend due to work schedules. Those in attendance at the meeting were Councilmen Samuel Blosser and Tim Auvil, Mayor Dorothy Judy, City Administrator and Treasurer Jason Myers, and Councilwomen Amy Wagner and Melissa Jones.
The meeting opened with The Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer by Judy. There were no public comments and the prior meeting minutes were approved pending necessary alterations. Myers presented a list of payments for approval in the amount of $20,627.38, which was passed. He then presented a request for revisions to the budget where money needed to be shifted between line items to the council. He also noted a request made by CJ’s Pizzeria to install a video lottery machine which was honored by the city. Auvil made a motion to approve the budget revisions with Jones making a second.
Myers produced two quotes, one from Big L Tire Pros and one from Glotfelty Tire Center for tires for the garbage truck, small dump truck, and a spare steel wheel. Big L’s quotes came in more favorable, therefore a motion was made by Auvil with a second by Jones to accept their quote to make the purchase. The final estimate that was presented was from Dave’s Tree Service for the removal of trees that are damaging the sidewalks, around the parks, and at the cemetery. Brief discussion commenced regarding a few additional trees needing addressed that were not included in the quote. Therefore, Jones made a motion to accept the quote for the cemetery and parks; however a new quote is being requested for the streets to include additional areas not quoted. Auvil agreed and made a second to the motion, which carried.
Moving into committee reports, Myers began with an update on the street paving projects that have been completed or will be done soon. He also informed the council that the current sidewalk construction is not part of the city’s projects; it is with the West Virginia Department of Highways who are going around towns and ensuring all sidewalks are ADA compliant.
Regardless if they are, which Parsons do meet ADA standards, they are redoing them. These projects are taking place along all state right of way bordering sidewalks and will take a couple weeks to complete.
Myers also met with the State Hazard Mitigation Officer regarding the purchasing of the old shoe plant factory. He was informed the project will soon be entered into the system which will assist in moving forward with the buy out to relocate these businesses to the new Industrial Park location. Wagner asked Myers if the current tenants of the shoe plant were approached about potentially relocating to the new Industrial Park and Myers assured they were contacted and in agreement with the proposal. “This will get them out of the flood plain, too,” Myers added.
The Blueprint Community Committee recently developed and agreed upon a vision statement that Myers presented to the council. There have been two events held to obtain public input on what they would like to see brought to Parsons. A third and final event is scheduled for November 14, a Chat and Chew, to be held at Piccolo Paula’s from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
According to Myers, from the first two events, the top two desires of the citizens have been downtown revitalization and a community center, separate from the current community center in Pulp Mill Bottoms. Wagner expressed the need to focus on businesses coming back to Parsons, though this Blueprint Community group focuses on what the town desires.
Myers alsostated that PRO has recently reduced the monthly rent on the PRO owned apartments that was formerly listed at $800 per month. Credit will also be given to the tenants who moved in a few months ago and have been paying full amount. The hope is the reduced rates will assist in tenants moving into the apartments.
Unfinished business followed beginning with the review of a deed of easement and sewer line agreement to be proposed between Kingsford and the City of Parsons. This will allow the city to install the necessary equipment and to gain access to the property, though anyone doing so must abide by Kingsford’s safety rules and regulations.
There is a concern with the survey on the Parsons Industrial Park Project with a border discrepancy that could amount to a large section of land and marketable timber within. Once the surveyor has completed their work, these matters will be addressed with the bordering National Forest.
A lease agreement was proposed between the City of Parsons’ Wellness 24 Fitness Center and Elkins Physical Therapy. The agreement has been reviewed and approved by Attorney Pat Nichols and was left up to the council to approval. The therapists will be set up in Wellness 24 two days a week for the first year with hopes to expanding in years to come. This will cater greatly to the local population in need of therapy services instead of having to travel to Elkins or beyond.
There were also bids submitted for the city vehicles that were determined as surplus. Four bids came in on the 2008 Chevy Silverado, which was valued around $6,000, and one bid for the 1999 Dodge. Unfortunately, Jones had to abstain from voting, therefore there wasn’t a quorum for voting. Due to this technicality, the agenda item was tabled until next meeting.
Moving into new business, a proclamation declaring the week of November 24 through 30, 2019 as Christian Heritage Week was presented. “This is something the city has been doing for a long time,” allowed Judy. Jones made the motion to approve with a second by Blosser.
There was a unanimous agreement to approve.
The resignation letter from Chief T.D. Roberts also required a vote, therefore with regret; it was moved to accept his resignation. This concluded the business for the Parsons City Council. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5 at 6 p.m.