NEW HAVEN — Problems plaguing the Town of New Haven were discussed when council members held their most recent meeting.
In attendance were Mayor Greg Kaylor, Recorder Roberta Hysell, and council members Roy Dale Grimm, George Gibbs, Matt Shell, Grant Hysell, and Steve Carpenter.
Todd Grinstead, who has been assisting the town with both the water and sewer departments as a consultant, was present. He suggested the town place a pump at the park to help with a wastewater problem until a permanent fix can be made.
He said a portable pump, costing $2,100 per month, will ensure 100 percent of the sewage will go to the plant, and eliminate it going into the river. Grinstead said the measure will also show the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection that the town is making progress on the previous violations the agency has issued. Council members agreed to get the pump.
In the water department, it was noted after having been without a permanent licensed operator, one was hired, only to reportedly quit the same day. The council agreed to hire Mason water operator Aaron Woolard as a consultant to take water samples for testing, as well as fill out the necessary paperwork. Woolard will also serve as overseer for an “operator in training.” He will be paid $1,200 a month on contract with no benefits.
After being questioned by a meeting attendee, it was brought to light that the town administration, as well as members of the former administration, received letters from the Internal Revenue Service that the town owes $49,349.26 in back taxes.
It was questioned how the town is going to pay the taxes, with the mayor saying the council is “exploring options.” One of those options, he added, is to possibly work with local lenders. It was noted the IRS letters said the mayor, recorder and council members will be held personally responsible if the taxes are not paid.
The first payment to the IRS is due this month, it was told. There is a possibility the town will receive a one-time forgiveness on the penalty.
Police Chief Dave Hardwick said officers in the town are going to start strictly enforcing state law in regards to ATVs. He cited a recent incident in which a 12-year-old was riding a dirt bike on Rt. 62 through town. The chief said the enforcement is not to be mean to children, but to keep them safe.
Hardwick said there are a number of ATV laws, including one that drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license. The chief said pamphlets are available at town hall listing the laws.
Shell gave a progress report on the municipal swimming pool, saying as of 2 p.m. Monday, over 600 people had been to the pool. Approximately $800 has been made on concessions. It was also noted a lot of private parties have been booked.
In other actions, the council:
Looked at photos provided by resident Ken Vickers, showing his yard and the lack of drainage on the roadway, causing damage to his property;
Approved building permits for John Manuel for a storage building, and Mae Roush for a garage;
Announced tires for the garbage truck were purchased at a cost of $2,375;
Discussed purchasing books for two classes at New Haven Elementary School from the police department at a cost of $325 (sponsors will be sought);
Agreed town employees, who are also members of the fire department, can leave work for serious structure fires and wrecks, after clocking out; and,
Discussed the farm animal ordinance and how to enforce it.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.