POINT PLEASANT — The Franklin Building was once again a topic of discussion at the most recent meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.
Councilwoman Janet Hartley said she had received complaints from the owner of a building adjacent to the Franklin Building on Main Street. This owner said due to the condition of the Franklin Building, which is owned by the city, ceiling tiles had fallen in their place of business, creating a hazard.
More recently, the city did some facade repair work on the front of the building to secure loose mortar and brick work. The city has also had people look at the building to possibly buy it, but the disrepair has not been a selling point. The cost to demolish the building was estimated at $340,000 by the city’s engineering firm Burgess and Niple.
Councilman Bob Rulen and Hartley both suggested asking local contractors if they would be interested in bidding on the demolition, hoping to get a better price than the estimate provided by the engineers. Hartley said if someone in the adjacent building would be injured by the disrepair of the Franklin Building, it would obviously be a major liability. Mayor Brian Billings agreed and said Main Street Point Pleasant Director Charles Humphreys had suggested he could find grant money to rehab the building, but he had not heard anything recently on the matter.
In other council discussions:
Billings updated council on the Pioneer Cemetery Committee and upgrades to the historic cemetery. Billings said he had spoken to a historian who said it would cost $2,800 to $3,000 to purchase an interactive kiosk, similar to the one at Fort Randolph, for the cemetery. This would have historic information and a listing of all who are buried in the cemetery. As for the stones, the historian said to leave them as they are but the wrought iron fence could be repaired and still maintain the historic integrity of the cemetery. The next meeting of the Pioneer Cemetery Committee will likely be in January.
Council approved City Clerk Amber Tatterson pursuing looking into a five-year lease agreement with Farmers Bank at 2.48 percent interest for the purchase of a sanitation truck. The lowest bid received on the truck was $153,600. Farmers had the lowest submitted interest rate.
Council’s lowest bid received on a special mower required to be purchased as part of the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project was $23,938. There is $21,003 in a specific fund to purchase the mower which will be used to mow the drainage channel.
The city’s Christmas party is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 14 and all city offices will be closed during this time to allow employees to attend.
Council approved its annual donation to the Sleigh Bell Ball for $1,500 which is included in its yearly budget.
Billings, Tatterson and all council member remarked on the city’s Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony as going well, and recognized those involved. Also recognized were those involved with the “Light of Christmas” tree project which placed smaller trees in Gunn Park for the lighting ceremony and for the entire Christmas season. Also recognized were the workers with the street department who assist in the decorating and lighting of all these special events and locations, including downtown and Krodel Park.
Attending this week’s meeting were Council Members Hartley, Rulen, Charles Garland, Rick Simpkins, Keith Sargent, Allen Moran, Elizabeth Jones, as well as Billings, Tatterson, City Accountant Shannon Pearson and Administrative Assistant Teka McCauley.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.