By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
With the recent resignation of former Chief of City Police T. D. Roberts, a part time opening was left to be filled to aessist in the safety of Parsons. Fortunately, the right man for the job just happened to be ready to step in and serv. Jacob Kopec, former Corporal with the West Virginia State Police, submitted his application for consideration of the position. Of his 13 years experience within that department, he spent four years as a sniper on the Special Response Team (SRT) and the Search and Rescue Team. At the Tuesday night meeting of the Parsons City Council, Mayor Dorothy Judy swore in Kopec as the new Chief of Police. Kopec placed his hand upon the Bible as he took oath and received applause and many welcomes. “I’m happy to be a part of the team here in Parsons and am looking forward to protecting and serving the community,” said Chief J.E. Kopec.
Everyone except Kenneth Morrison was present at this meeting to address the agenda for the meeting. Audience and guests were addressed first with Melissa Sexton, owner of Hair Heaven and the other office buildings, was present to discuss the property lines between herself, a neighboring property owner, and the city of Parsons. Tammy Michael, Activities Director for the city, also addressed the council on the upcoming festivities planned.
Sponsorships for the “A Magical Christmas” parade have already began to trickle in, including $500 from Mountain Valley Bank, Citizens National Bank (CNB), and Hostetler Funeral Home, and $100 from Atlantic Broadband and Shop N’ Save. CNB is assisting with the “Breakfast with Santa” this year and are inviting the Grinch to attend. The breakfast will be held at the Senior Center on Saturday, December 14, and there will only be 100 tickets available. These tickets can be picked up at CNB from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, December 6 after the lighting of the tree in front of the Tucker County Courthouse. Pictures with Santa will also be available after he reads a story for the kids while they eat breakfast. The house tours will take place the following day on Saturday, December 7.
On the day of the parade, after the breakfast, a craft show will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Baptist Church gymnasium followed by a meet and greet with Santa from 3 until 5 p.m. There will not be pictures with Santa after the parade this year, so plan accordingly if you want pictures with the jolly fellow. The free hay and sleigh rides will be back this year from 1 until 5 p.m. and Michael is looking into securing an artist to do character drawings.
Free coffee, cocoa, popcorn, hotdogs, and s’mores will be around the fire pit while Christmas music will be played by DJ Daniel Barkley. Lineup will commence at 5 p.m. with check in between Shop N’ Save and Dollar General and is planned to go around D&W Lane. Contests will include the ugly sweater, a beard contest, ornaments, wreaths, and posters. For more information on these contests, you can contact the City of Parsons business office.
To conclude the guests’ portion of the agenda, Kevin White, OEM Manager, came forth to request permission to construct a carport like structure over their trailers stored at the Parsons City Garage. This will assist in leak prevention in the command center and other trailers stored on their lot. The city unanimously agreed to approve this request as long as it is not a permanent structure, and a memorandum of understanding will be compiled for both parties to sign.
The minutes from the October 15 meeting were approved followed by the approval to pay invoice one for $60,638.35 and invoice two for $565.83 with Councilman David Greenlief abstaining. Jason Myers, City Administrator and Treasurer, presented Monthly Financial Reports for the months of July, August, and September as well as Revenue control Reports for both the general fund and coal severance fund. Councilwoman Melissa Jones commented when reviewing the line items that the railroad walking bridge was in need of a few minor repairs and a power wash, both of which will be evaluated in the spring. All were approved by council members. A quote was also submitted to replace the back four tires of the trash truck with a total of $1,788, which Councilman Tim Auvil made a motion to accept with a second by Councilman Samuel Blosser.
Employee and committee reports followed with Auvil who brought topics from the Parsons Parks and Recreation Commission. While this was a lengthy meeting, he touched on the main topics of the meeting and noted there will be red, white, and blue lights wrapped around the new light posts at Mill Race Park during the Christmas holiday. The Thrasher Group will be contacted regarding an estimate for a prefabricated bathroom to be placed near pavilion one and to replace the one near the slew crossing. The grinder/pusher pump for the bathroom near the slew will be installed in the near future now that the Haunted Trail has concluded.
Wellness 24 currently has 272 active members and a new promotional rate is being implemented. For anyone wishing to purchase a six month membership, the cost will be $100 (price of five months, offering one month free), and a twelve month membership for $200 (price of 10 months with two months free). This promotional price is in effect now, as well as discounted prices being offered to all military, veterans, and fist responders. Their new price will be $15 a month or $30 for a family, and seniors will be $10 per month.
Myers followed up informing the council of the recent meetings that have been attended. Some of the topics discussed at these meetings were moving forward with Corridor H, potentially working with the USDA for grants for the future Industrial Park, and moving forward with the building on 199 Main Street that poses a public safety concern. Myers commented the Haunted Trail was a big hit with hopes to continue in the future and the Candy Walk served over 500 kids. Code Enforcement Officer Nick Gidley has been working on property cleanups within city limits and issues pertaining to non-registered vehicles. A meeting with Elkins Physical Therapy was conducted to discuss their needs when they begin offering serves after the first of the New Year.
Another meeting regarding the Tucker County Board of Education took place to discuss the potential of the city to take over the gymnasium under the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Tucker County Development Authority and Woodlands Development Group would revitalize the building where the top floor would be designated as apartments and the bottom utilized for commercial use. These ideas are in the preliminary stage and right now discussion is all that has happened, but it is hopeful this building can be overhauled into a new opportunity for the area. Myers also met with a fiber optic group which may be interested in securing a right of way through the area that could bring high speed internet to the area; however it is strictly for government use only initially.
Unfinished business was to consider the offers submitted to purchase the 2008 Chevrolet and 1999 Dodge pickups from the city surplus by Roger Murphy. His desire was to secure just one of the vehicles and prefers the 2008 in the amount of $3,200. The council agreed to accept his offer and is relisting the 1999 Dodge for $1,300 and the Sterling for $7,500.
It was suggested to have the city attorney contact the owner of the building on 199 Main Street to convince them to tear the structure down that is posing a hazard to the patrons nearby. Councilwoman Amy Wagner made a motion to move forward on this matter with a second by Councilman Sam Blosser. A safety Seminar is being held on December 10 in Sutton that Myers and two other city employees wish to attend, which was approved unanimously.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 6 p.m. As always, the public is welcome to attend the meeting which is held at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building situated on Second Street.