POINT PLEASANT — An event a year in the making should take place this week — the paving of Mount Vernon Avenue.
The paving was discussed at the most recent meeting of Point Pleasant City Council. Engineer Mike Davis said the curbing work had been completed and now the paving, in the north and southbound lanes from 21st to 22nd streets will begin.
In addition, Mayor Brian Billings asked council for permission to seek paving bids for Third Street near the traffic light.
Billings then brought up general city concerns to council’s attention, which included the need for a new garbage truck, the disposal of grass bags and brush for residents, employee cost of living pay increases, the future of Harmon Pool (Councilwoman Janet Hartley spoke about being in contact with a company to inspect the pool to see what can be done to possibly repair it), repeated calls about dilapidated properties. Billings asked council to step up and help with these issues that are some of the most prevalent he and city workers are dealing with at this time.
Billings also announced he and City Clerk Amber Tatterson had recently met with directors of the street, water and sewer departments to discuss various issues. Out of this meeting a list of locations in need of hot patching was made and is being implemented (patched) now. Getting other minor street issues, like fixing manhole covers were also addressed. It was also announced the sidewalks in front of the cemetery along Jackson Avenue near 27th and 28th streets were basically done. This was funded with a state grant which provided 80 percent of the money for the project to replace the sidewalks.
Billings directed City Attorney R.F. Stein to draft a letter to the owner of property across from the Pioneer Cemetery, identified simply as Casey, to mow the grass. Council discussed multiple properties where this was an issue with Councilman Bob Rulen saying fines already in the city ordinance book should be enforced to get people to take care of their properties. Stein said the fine can be up to $200 and it is an offense for which a person can be jailed up to 30 days.
Billings also spoke about another issue that often comes before council: organizations asking for donations outside the city building on W.Va. 62. The mayor said recently there was an organization there, from Ohio, that was set up in the street on a Saturday during the regatta. They were asked to leave for safety reasons, including heavy traffic and children being in the designated area to ask for donations. Billings asked council to bring that subject back to the table to possibly vote on new regulations regarding this practice, including the organization only being able to do this once a year, it must be a nonprofit from Mason County, and any other suggestions that might come out of a discussion. There remains a gray area with this subject because the collections take place on a state route over which the city has no jurisdiction.
Billings reported there has been a break in at the utility building at Lone Oak Cemetery along Sandhill Road, and it happens in the daytime. Thieves broke into the building and stole a zero turn lawnmower, weedeater and push mower owned by the city. Billings said the Point Pleasant Police Department was investigating and looking over video footage from nearby Speedway. The tape shows the thieves backing up to the building and removing the items. Councilman Keith Sargent spoke about making the building more secure.
Hartley brought up hearing from residents about their concerns over the high rate of speed that law enforcement and emergency vehicles can reach when traveling through the city. Hartley said she realized they were on their way to an emergency but several residents were concerned the high rates of speed were going to create another emergency. Councilman Charles Towner said he had received the same complaints.