LOGAN, W.Va. — Extensive thunderstorms, time and bureaucracy have delayed several projects in the City of Logan.
Logan Street Commissioner Kevin Marcum discussed his agency’s recent works and repairs with members of the Logan City Council on May 11. Marcum said the recent citywide Spring Cleaning turned out to be a huge success with over 55 tons of garbage picked up and about $4,000 in tipping fees at the county dump.
“We have also put down about 21 tons of paving doing patches and road and street repairs,” Marcum said, noting that nearly daily rain showers had put a damper on those projects as well as weed and grass cutting in Logan.
“This rain has been killing us,” Marcum said.
Marcum said repairs to Cassock Street were just one example of projects delayed by the weather.
The city’s street department has not been the only agency hampered with major repair projects, however.
Former Mayor Tom Esposito who has been working with the city for the past year on Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief projects gave the council members a FEMA update.
Some of the projects go back to 2012, Esposito noted explaining that since then the town had been struck by other major disasters which in turn had lead to repair projects under the supervision of FEMA.
“The fifth draft of a contract was recently approved for one 2015 project,” Esposito said. It has been signed by Summit Engineering.”
Esposito said another long term project that had been delayed had finally come to fruition and that the town had been reimbursed, which will make the next project possible.
“We recently got $16,000 dollars to blow the drains out and clear the lines,” Esposito said noting the funding was expected to come in a few weeks, but wound up taking a couple of months instead. A check for another project dating back several years was received, he added.
Esposito said the city had received bids on a paving project from several companies including Triple A, Streamline, Facett Supply and others.
“It has been a busy month,” current Mayor Serafino Nolletti noted.
The mayor said that a permanent repair job that was supposed to be done to the Water Street Bridge by the Department of Highways had been put on hold thanks to the $400 million dollar hole in the state’s budget. Lawmakers in Charleston were dismayed last year to realize that President Obama’s “War on Coal” had brought a major downturn in funding via taxes and coal severance tax funding and every city and town in the state were hurting because of the funding loss.
“It is affecting everybody in the state right now,” the Mayor said of the downturn from the loss of 11,000 coal mining jobs in the state over the past few years.
Earlier this month the Mayor and Fire Chief received statewide attention when the city sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign team asking her not to come to Logan in the wake of comments she made about putting a lot of coal miners out of work. Many people at City Hall felt Clinton’s statements were heartless in the wake of such a huge economic downturn that the state has felt as thousands of miners lost their only form of income.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.