Mason looks at ‘needle’ ordinance

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON — A new ordinance restricting the possession of hypodermic needles, without a prescription, passed a first reading during the most recent Mason Town Council meeting.

The ordinance was presented to the council by Police Chief Rich Gilkey, who stated it was modeled after similar ones in Huntington, Charleston and Winfield.

The ordinance prohibits the possession of hypodermic syringes or needles, or any instrument adapted for the use of habit forming drugs by injection, unless authorized by the prescription of a physician. It also calls for anyone lawfully using the syringes or needles to destroy them prior to discarding, by breaking them into at least two pieces, or otherwise rendering them inoperable.

Those found in violation of the ordinance will be cited and taken before the municipal judge. The ordinance will have two additional readings before it is passed by council.

Mayor Donna Dennis said construction on the sidewalk project is set to begin June 1, and will continue for 45 to 60 days. Sidewalks will be placed from Bob’s Market corporate office to Foster Street, then in front of Advance Auto with a crosswalk across the entry of the Walmart plaza, she said.

In other action, the council:

Hired Shawn Coleman as a full-time, uncertified police officer, effective immediately at $10 per hour;

Agreed to hire a seasonal, per diem employee to mow grass;

Agreed to purchase 78 street signs at $25 each, with payment to come from coal severance funds;

Reported a new sound system was purchased for the senior citizen center;

Agreed to purchase three picnic tables for the park;

Voted to allow Mid-Atlantic Construction to use project contingency funds to purchase two pumps at the park;

Agreed to begin the next phase of the wastewater project, which would include the rehabilitation of the wastewater collection system;

Heard a report from the mayor that a lawsuit has been filed against the town in the amount of $30,000 by a Clifton resident, who is claiming damage was done to her property by the town;

Held the third and final reading of the junk and refuse ordinance;

Approved end-of-the-year budget revisions;

Denied a trailer permit due to the age of the trailer;

Agreed to table police officer and municipal judge pay raises;

Agreed to revise the police budget after July 1; and,

Announced town clean-up dumpsters had to be placed outside the wastewater plant fence, but security cameras are aimed at them to record unauthorized use.

Attending were Mayor Dennis; Recorder Christy McDonald; and council members Becky Pearson, Emily Henry, Marty Yeager, Sharon Kearns, and Ricky Kearns.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at