POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant City Council passed the article to increase compensation of municipal officers and employees during its meeting on Monday evening, though those increases for municipal officers will not go into effect until after July 1, when the next administration, which will be determined by voters in May, takes office.
As previously reported by the Register, Article 165.02 will increase all full-time, hourly employees’ wages by 35 cents per hour. The new rates will be given to those who have been employed with the city for at least six months. The article will also increase the compensation of municipal officers by 10 percent. These positions include water and sewer manager, city clerk, city attorney, street commissioner and chief of police. Also, council’s annual pay will go from from $660 to $850. Monday night marked the third and final reading of the article after an open public discussion was offered.
The city council members present at the meeting were Patricia Sallaz, Gabe Roush, Elaine Hunt, Jerrie Howard and Judy Holland.
In his report to council, City Attorney Joe Supple said the property on the 700-block of Main Street was recently sold. Supple has been working to contact the owners of the property, which was burned in a fire in September. Council said the homeowners are breaking city ordinances because of the unsightly debris. Supple said the new owner has 30 days to clean the debris or they will start to receive fines. The site is supposed to be cleared by Feb. 20.
Supple also updated council on the new Point Pleasant River Museum process. The two buildings purchased by the museum board have been demolished, but the wall remains with the building beside the lot. Supple said the wall is about six inches thick and is actually on the deed to both properties. The engineer estimates about two to three inches of space between the remaining wall and the neighboring building. If the neighboring owners want the wall removed, it will have to be taken down by hand and Supple said the owners will need to sign a contract to assume responsibility for what their wall will look like. If the wall remains standing, it will need to be anchored for safety. Supple said the neighboring owners want the wall to be removed. The museum board is waiting on the engineer to write his report before moving forward.
In her report to council, City Clerk Amber Tatterson said she will be attending a workshop for the 2020 budget on Feb. 26. The budget meeting period is March 7-28 and council will need to set a time to meet and discuss the preliminary budget.
Tatterson also said the BrandJRNY team will be coming to town Feb. 20-22. BrandJRNY in Point Pleasant began in 2019 as a way to re-brand the city. Students at West Virginia University are working on the project to create a new brand, logo, slogan and marketing materials. During their visit, they will be at the Lowe Hotel on Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. to record stories from residents. On March 3, the BrandJRNY team will have a launch event at the board of education office.
In his report to council, Mayor Brian Billings said he wants to send a letter to Amherst to ask if they will provide a barge for the Liberty Festival fireworks, as the company did last year.
Billings also said he has contacted the state road superintendent about the traffic light at 22nd Street and Jackson Avenue. Billings said the timer is reportedly not correct at the light and it is causing congestion and people are running the red lights.
In his report to council, Street Commissioner Randy Hall said they are taking bids for mowing cemeteries until March 2. Hall also said that upgrades and repairs to Krodel Park and Fort Randolph are at a standstill until the weather changes.
Council member Gabe Roush gave a report for the 2020 Bikes, BBQ, and Bluegrass event, which will be held June 12-13 on Main Street and the Riverfront. Roush said there will be bike rides, barbecue contests and music. He hopes to have amateur and professional divisions for the barbecue contests. The committee will be looking for sponsors to get entertainment. Roush said all proceeds will go to next year’s event and to the parks and recreation department.
Council member Jerrie Howard said there are many potholes on 13th Street. Hall said they now have the material to patch the holes, but have to wait on the rain to pass.
The next Point Pleasant City Council meeting will be March 9 at 6:30 p.m.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.