MAN — A local resident came forth at the August meeting of the Man town council to lodge her complaints about local youths on side by sides, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.
Sherry Johnson said that in addition to the youngsters racing back and forth and being a noise nuisance she was concerned that sooner or later one of the young daredevils was going to get struck by an automobile due to their reckless darting around traffic in South Man.
“I don’t even know if they are insured,” she said. “If they are not insured who is going to pay if there is an accident?”
Councilman Roger Muncy said there was supposed to be a curfew for ATVs, dirtbikes and side by sides and that they were supposed to stay parked after dark. Johnson said the curfew was being ignored by several local youths.
“And these are locals,” she stated. “Our visitors who come to ride the trails have more sense… one of them came around the corner the other day on two wheels… Someone is going to get hurt.”
Council members discussed having the youths ticketed and fined heavily.
“That will get their parents attention,” said Muncy.
Mayor Jim Blevins told Police Chief David Walls and Sgt. Danny Brown of the Man Police Department to start cracking down on youthful joyriders in South Man.
Residents also said that another bear is loose in and around Man.
“It is twice as big as the other one,” said one woman at the meeting.
Town Water Works Supervisor Dwayne Mounts said it was believed that strip mining activity in the area had scared some of the bears out of the hills and into more urban environs.
“There was a lady in South Man who was putting out food on a plate for it,” said Walls.
In other Man news, prior to the meeting some council members discussed a request from last month, where a local petroleum vendor had asked for a copy of the town’s Business and Occupation Tax Ordinance.
“Have they been paying it?” asked Muncy.
Councilmember Mavis Toler said she thought the company had, but that it had not been paying B&O taxes on its Huff Creek location.
“The business and occupation taxes have not been raised in many, many years,” noted Town Accountant Jeff Valet.
The ordinance, which Marathon Oil had asked to see, was passed in 1978.
• Minutes and financial statements from July were read and approved.
• The recent Man street fair was a success according to the council. Mayor Jim Blevins noted it was the best he had seen and that the streets were full of people on both Friday and even late on Saturday night.
• Councilman Jon Fekete said the old railroad trestle has been reopened for ATV and UTV traffic in the area. Access had been shut off due to work on a sewer line near the 7-11. Fekete said locals can utilize it for travel, but not for cruising back and forth.
• Muncy was officially sworn in again for another term on the Man Town Council.
• Fekete noted that Blevins had been appointed to the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Municipal League and was the first board member from Man.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.