CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Being the third person to fill the mayoral seat in the town of Chapmanville since May 2016, Raamie Barker’s first full council meeting agenda held September 12 was filled with items to address in the old and new business part of the meeting.
The first item was suppose to be the third reading and passage of the Town of Chapmanville Water Ordinance. The item was table due to a public hearing has to be held prior to the third reading. A public hearing was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 10, at Chapmanville Regional High School Auditorium. A council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. for the third reading and passage of the ordinance.
Town attorney Robert Kuenzel updated council on several items including the East Chapmanville Grade School building. A new elementary building is being constructed near the West Chapmanville Elementary School that will house students that attend East Chapmanville Grade. During the council meeting held in August, there was a discussion on the possible acquisition of the building after it is vacated for use as a town hall and Tracy Vickers Center.
“I did attend a board meeting and ran it by the board about coming up with some agreement on East Grade School,” Kuenzel said. “The only thing I have to check into is a possibility of some type of reversionary cause… that it goes back to the prior land owner in the event it is not used as a school. We do have some time on that because it is going to be some time before the school is closed.”
Kuenzel told council that minor boundary adjustments could be done by agreement if the land owner wants and as long as they are touching on town property.
“We have sections in the community that are growing in the town and they are not in the town, per se,” Barker said. “We do need to work on that and potentially an overall look at annexation.”
Although not on the agenda, Kuenzel updated the council on the third and final reading of the “Hawker Bill.” The ordinance would require hawkers and peddlers to obtain a license/permit before selling within the town limits and will include yard sales in school parking lots. Each license/permit would be for seven consecutive days and must be displayed visible to police as they monitor the activities.
Barker asked Kuenzel to amend the Hawker ordinance to allow the town to promulgate the administration of locations and set limits on any other rule that might be addressed as the town advances with the ordinance.
The final reading was approved and passed.
“This ordinance is now law in the Town of Chapmanville,” Barker said.
New business included a request for a donation to the Chapmanville Public Library. The request was tabled for this meeting.
“We would like to help the library, but we have other obligations that come before that,” Barker said.
Next item was the repair of the garbage truck and police cruiser.
“We have had so much trouble with the garbage truck… so much so that the man that drove the truck quit,” Barker said. “Every meeting that I have attended, we have been paying $400 to $1,000 a month on repairs. We cannot continue to do that and it is only going to get worse and worse.”
Barker said that there are complaints about overflowing bins and attributes that to people from out of town bringing their garbage in and dumping it.
“With all the money out there that is owed to us, we could buy a new truck if we had the money,” Barker said, referring to the balance of $400,000 that residents and businesses are in arrear in payments.
Steve Savage informed the council on costs for purchasing a new truck versus what repairs to the current truck would be.
“Cost of a new truck would be anywhere from $130,000 to $140,000,” Savage said. “A lot of the repairs on the truck has to have done right now will go up to $6,500… that’s with tires, electrical and the bed with all the holes in it.”
Savage said that with the holes, the Department of Environment (DEP) could stop the truck.
“They can stop the truck and tag it right there and it will not be moved until the corrections are fixed. Same with the tires, the tires are bald.” Savage said.
Barker said the town was paying Waste Management in the vicinity of $10,000 to $12,000 a month to haul garbage from the town after pickup.
“It’s a problem that we are going to have to take a serious look at right away,” Barker said. “We are going to take a concerted effort to collect the debts that are owed to us in order to raise that cash. There’s enough there to buy a new truck if we can get it in.”
Barker said the town would also look into getting private firm to do garbage collection in the town. Council also approved the hiring of Mark Adkins as a garbage truck operator.
Hours at town hall were rescheduled, alternating employees lunch time so the office would not be closed for lunch. The office opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.
The limit on petty expenditures was increased from $50 to $100.
A workshop was scheduled for Monday, September 19, to work on collection of delinquent garbage, fire and B&O taxes.
There was a lengthy discussion on traffic congestion during the school dismissal times. Barker said it was an issue that he will continue to look into.
The next council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday, October 10, at Chapmanville Regional High School Auditorium. A public hearing will begin on the water ordinance at 6:30 p.m.
Martha Sparks is a reporter for Civitas Media and can be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 1728.