LOGAN, W.Va. — Three more dilapidated structures have been removed from the city of Logan in the past few weeks. This and ongoing projects and problems were discussed Tuesday evening at the October meeting of the Logan City Council. The trio of houses was removed thanks to the hard work of many city employees Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti and Fire Chief Scott Beckett explained.
One of the abandoned structures had been burned down by a fire and one had begun to collapse upon itself, Beckett said. Liens on the properties have been filed to help pay for their removal.
Code enforcement fees were utilized to help pay for that project, noted City Clerk Amber Miller Viars.
“We have a lot going on,” Mayor Nolletti said, adding that he had some more good news; although the city’s employee insurance premiums had gone up, it was not by much. About $6 per employee, to be exact.
“We got our renewal on our insurance premiums and as we expected it went up. However it was only by a very small amount. 1.22 percent,” Mayor Nolletti said at the start of the Oct. 11 meeting. City Accountant Jeff Vallet had not arrived by that point as he was attending the Town of Man’s October Council meeting which was taking place at the same time.
Former Mayor Tom Esposito, who has been working with the city closely on several relief projects from major storm damages from 2012 and 2015, had the latest news on those and other long term projects. Esposito said Logan Bank and Trust has offered to work with the city on financing for some of the projects, however nothing had been heard back from officials in Charleston.
He noted that one project should be ready to start soon — the removal and rerouting of some power lines and installation on a newer and taller power pole.
“Some of the contractors thought it was too small of a project for them,” said Logan Fire Chief Beckett, who explained that one local contractor had put in the lowest bid by far and should be able to start on the project if his bid were to be approved. Deadline on the project is Nov. 10.
Mayor Nolletti said the city is not going to give up on its biggest project — a major paving plan that has been delayed throughout the course of the year due in no small part to hurdles from authorities in Charleston.
“We know it won’t happen this year,” the mayor said. “We understand that the asphalt plants will be closing soon. But we are not going to give up.”
The city recently had a meeting with engineers and Dept. of Highway officials about Phase I and Phase II of the Main Street and Stratton Street paving project. Mayor Nolletti said that environmental impact studies would be part and parcel of any kind of projects taking place in Logan in the future. Currently the city is waiting on Environmental Clearances to get temporary easements for the proposed sidewalk project. If funding for Phase I and Phase II can be found there may be a Phase III to expand that project. Mayor Nolletti noted the city will have to find matching funds for any grants it receives.
He and City Clerk Viars discussed the assistance the city had received on these important projects from Cindy Daugherty from the W.Va. Division of Transportation.
Viars discussed an upcoming meeting on Wednesday in Huntington in order to help communities find and go after grant funding.
When Vallet arrived at the meeting he had some good news; the city’s finances are up this month in a big way.
“We had a good month with property taxes,” Valet explained. “We got over $100,000 in property taxes — which was needed. It was good news for us — the best we have had in awhile. It is a positive thing to report.”
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.Reach