It was almost standing room only at Logan City Hall on Tuesday night when some local beauty queens were crowned prior to the upcoming WV Freedom Festival in downtown Logan.
“We have a full house tonight and we have a lot going on,” said Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti.
First up on the agenda was some good news from Bray and Oakley Insurance’s Ted Tomblin, who explained that because the city no longer owned the old parking garage on Main Street and because of trainings and other factors (including reduction of losses and accident prevention training) the City was set to save over $18,000 this coming fiscal year.
“When you implemented those things it made it easier for us to go to bat for you,” Tomblin said, noting that the majority of the savings came from the sale of the parking garage. Later in the meeting, Mayor Nolletti noted that the new owner of the structure hopes to have it opened up for business by the time of the Freedom Festival in July.
Some automated equipment has yet to be installed.
City Clerk Amber Miller Viars discussed the Freedom Festival noting it had grown over 15 years from being a three hour event with $2,500 worth of fireworks to being a three day festival with a $20,000 fireworks show. She thanked the many people responsible for pulling off the annual function in the town.
The Clerk pointed out that bigger events and musical acts have become a staple of the Freedom Fest and that all the shows were free — the only cost to the public being for food and other items purchased from vendors.
“We do this to promote Logan and show off the town,” she said, introducing Anna Butcher who has been a key part of the festival since she won the beauty contest in 2009. Butcher is now the pageant director for the event and an organizer.
She also introduced the reigning Miss Freedom Festival Alyx Stover — who had never competed before; Lexi Farmer, reigning Miss WV Associations of Fairs and Festivals; Teen Miss WV Freedom Festival Haley Mullins and Miss WV Freedom Festival Lindsay Ellis.
The local beauties were crowned by Farmer who will be at the State Fair. Farmer noted it is appropriate as she raises pigs. She also spoke about the Air National Guard, of which she is a proud member.
In other City of Logan News:
• Greg “Fuji” Williams received the oath of office as a firefighter.
• Council approved payment of $32,000 in bills. City Accountant Jeff Valet said $45,000 more in bills was expected. The city’s monthly bills are usually in the $70-$80 thousand dollar range. Valet also discussed final revisions to the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
• The first reading for proposed ordinances raising the Business and Occupation Taxes in the City of Logan and garbage rates were approved. The garbage rates will go up $5 to $24 a month for residential customers. City Attorney Kendal Partlow said residential rates will never be higher than rates for commercial business customers. The B&O rates will go up to a 12 percent increase. Currently they are at 80 percent of what the state allows. Partlow said that public hearings will be held for public comment on both ordinances and that if approved they will go into effect the first of August.
• Street Commissioner Kevin Marcum said the town’s old red street department truck needs to be taken out of service and replaced.