Point talks river museum, ARP dollars

By Beth Sergent - [email protected]

POINT PLEASANT — An update on the river museum, opioid litigation and possible use for some American Rescue Plan dollars were all discussed at the most recent meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.

Council approved the second payment to Persinger & Associates for construction on the new river museum. The payment was in the amount of $48,250.

After meeting with stakeholders in the project, City Clerk Amber Tatterson reported the “substantial completion date” remains Aug. 31.

Mike Davis with the city’s engineering firm Burgess & Niple, addressed water pressure issues affecting homes in the Fairgrounds Road area. Davis felt an upgrade for the water pumps would fix this issue with a part which would allow the pumps to ramp up when operating, as opposed to starting operation at a higher rate. Cost of the part is estimated at $30,000 and there are three pumps which need upgraded.

Davis suggested using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) which will be allocated to the city to pay for this expense – these funds can only be used for specific projects, including infrastructure needs.

“I think this will be a perfect project for this to correct this situation,” Davis said.

Council approved Davis moving forward with collecting more information and pricing on the improvements, as well as other possible infrastructure projects which would qualify for the American Rescue Plan dollars.

As previously reported by the Register, the city will receive $1.69 million.

City Attorney Joe Supple updated council on a property on Lincoln Avenue which reportedly has rubbish in the area and vegetation. Supple stated a certified letter was sent to the property owner, giving them a time-frame to remedy the situation. Potential penalties are reportedly $200 a day and possible jail time, according to Supple. Council approved Supple moving forward with litigation if the situation is not remedied.

Supple also updated council on opioid litigation similar to a class action suit the city is involved in, as are other communities affected by the opioid epidemic. Supple said the judge presiding over the suit recently ordered parties attempt to come to a settlement through mediation. If any settlement is agreed upon, it would have to be approved by council.

Council approved the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year at $3.4 million, with $12,500 in the coal severance fund. Council recessed until 6 p.m. last night to officially approve the budget, which has been termed “laying of the levy.”

Tatterson announced the citywide cleanup day has been set for 9 a.m. – noon, May 8 with a rain date of Saturday, May 15.

Council approved reduced additional garbage pickup rates for the week of May 10. Prices are $35 for a dump truck (this fee is normally $47), and $25 for a pickup track (this fee is normally $33). This does not include dump fees billed to the customer which is based on the weight of the load.

Tatterson announced Point Pleasant In Bloom has set the city-wide yardsale for Saturday, May 1. Council approved waiving the $5 yard sale permit fee that day.

Tatterson also noted four security cameras have been installed at the water office building for additional security. Upgrades are also planned for the municipal building.

Council approved advertising for bids to purchase a replacement garbage truck.

Street Commissioner Randy Hall updated council that mowing has begun at city cemeteries with a private contractor for $1,700 per mowing.

Hall also spoke on addressing promotional signs placed in cemeteries, finding their placement “disrespectful,” a sentiment echoed by Mayor Brian Billings. Supple said he would revisit any of the existing ordinances relating to this topic and would draft an amendment if needed based upon how council wished to address it.

Hall also asked council to consider addressing issues with garbage pickup within the city in regards to some residents who have, what he deemed, excessive amounts of trash. Hall said some households had 25-30 bags of trash every week. He asked if there was a way to review the existing ordinance to reflect a “reasonable amount of trash” for people to set out for pick up and suggested six large trash bags, not to exceed 35 pounds a piece per household.

Councilman-At-Large Gabe Roush updated council on news from the Harmon Park Committee, saying it had a proposal/quote from an engineering firm for survey and design services. It was suggested the city advertise for similar proposals and then council could vote on moving forward with approving a proposal. Roush said having a proposal will allow the committee members to present to council a “true itemized listing of what this is going to cost us.” Roush said this would be a major update for the park.

Attending this month’s regular meeting in addition to Billings, Tatterson, Supple, Hall and Roush, were councilman-at-large Robert McMillan, council members Corrie Fetty, Paul Knisley, Leigh Ann Shepard, Nathan Wedge, Judy Holland, Diana Hall, Dylan Handley. City Accountant Shannon Pearson and Administrative Assistant Teka McCauley were also present. The meeting was held virtually via the Zoom platform.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Beth Sergent

[email protected]

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.