MASON — A shortlisted group of engineering firms will be interviewed later this month for a proposed water upgrade project, it was told at the most recent meeting of the Mason Town Council.
Present were Mayor Donna Dennis, Recorder Harley Stewart, and council members Sarah Stover, Becky Pearson, Steve Ohlinger, and Sharon Kearns. Absent was Councilman Marty Yeager.
Dennis said roughly 10 engineering firms expressed an interest in being hired for the Clifton water upgrade project. The upgrade will replace antiquated water lines to the residents in the Clifton area.
The mayor continued that from those 10 firms, five were chosen to be interviewed on March 24, including Triad, Thrasher, Ghosh, S&S, and Stantec. A recommendation will be presented at the April 8 meeting for a vote on which one to hire, she said.
The council members approved the purchase of six new firearms as presented by Police Chief Colton McKinney. The weapons will be Glock 9-millimeter handguns that will match ones carried by other local law enforcement agencies.
The chief said by trading in the present guns Mason officers are carrying, along with some older ones, the total cost for all six firearms will be between $400 and $700. Also included in the deal will be holsters, mag pouches, and lights. McKinney said the trade-ins will save the town about $3,000.
Among other police issues discussed were the recent striping of the new cruiser, the nearing graduation of one officer from the academy, and the status of new hire River Griffith, who is doing ride-alongs with other officers at the present time.
The community room at the town hall will soon be open to the public for rental, the council decided. It will be determined how many people can attend any one function in the room, given the 75 percent capacity regulation now in effect. Dennis cited the town has lost $3,000 in rental fees since having to close the room due to COVID-19.
Jill Nelson approached the council asking for permission to pursue donations and volunteer labor to improve the stage at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. She mentioned upgraded electrical outlets nearer the stage, along with a more permanent fix to keep the sun and rain out. Presently, there is plastic surrounding the stage.
The council agreed to allow Nelson to work on the project, and to come back to members with more specific plans. Nelson said it could become a community project with various volunteers meeting to work on it.
In other action, the council:
Heard from resident Larry Daniels regarding potholes that need filled, and four-wheelers and golf carts with no licenses;
Was asked to write a letter in support of keeping Lakin Hospital open, with Dennis inviting individuals to contact their legislators instead of writing a corporate letter;
Set May 3-7 as the annual town clean-up with the cost being $25 per truck load;
Agreed to have the Easter egg hunt at the park on March 27, noon, with 4,000 eggs to be hidden;
Approved the renewal of the West Virginia purchasing card; and,
Agreed to advertise for the hiring of a full-time laborer.
The next meeting will be March 18 at 6:30 p.m.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.