CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — The Town of Chapmanville Council addressed several issues — including the town’s garbage service — during the Monday, October 10, meeting.
During updates by various departments in the town, Fire Chief Cody Perry reported that the department had a normal month.
“We had 35 calls and roughly 101 man hours, that is a normal go each month” Perry said.
He also said he would like to get back to work in trying to get the department a new fire station.
“I’d like to get back on track on getting a new station. We got pushed to the side some how, some way,” Perry said. “It is in real bad need of repairs. We’ve got windows falling out and doors falling. To be the second highest call volume station in the county we’ve probably got the worse fire station to work out of.”
Mayor Raamie Barker questioned Perry on what was “off track”.
“When the town hall project — which was the police department, fire station — fell apart everything was shot with it,” Perry said. “Maybe, somehow, we can come up with another plan… maybe a metal structure to house our trucks in.”
Perry said no one had been working on replacing the station since the major building project was dropped. During the previous administration and council, a state-of the-art town hall, community center, and fire and police department building was planned and designed for the town.
Barker told Perry to work on coming up with a plan.
“Maybe we can come up with some plans to raise money for that,” Barker said. “I think it is a need and there is no use to wait.”
Council member Robin Adams Mutters reported on the beautification of the town.
She said that the repainting of the Chapmanville Police Department was almost complete, work on preparing the columns of the US 119 bridge for murals will soon begin and another cleanup date will be set for sometime November before the holiday season begins.
Council member Tony Robison suggested incorporating some of the town’s history into the design for the columns.
Miranda Robinette reported on the recently held Apple Butter Festival.
Robinette reported that more than $12,000 had been raised through vendors, grants and advertising sales in the program book. She said after everything was paid, including a $100 donation to the Chapmanville Regional High School Student Council, the profit made was $7,450.55.
“We’re going to put that into a festival account that way throughout the year, we can have more things for kids to do,” Robinette said.
Robinette said she was working on other projects, including a Trunk or Treat with the CRHS student council.
“Tentatively it is set for Tuesday, October 25,” Robinette said, encouraging everyone to bring their decorated trucks and give out treats.
Barker said that there some poachers who had booths that they hadn’t paid on the outskirts of the festival.
“If you are going to sell something in Chapmanville, you need to have a permit and a license or pay some type of fee,” Barker said. “The recent passage of our ordinance Hawkers and Peddlers we will have less of it. People are going to have to understand that we are going to enforce it.”
Town account Jeff Vallet updated council on the financial statements and an analysis of the garbage situation.
Vallet reported that the town had in their general account around $74,000.
“We’re showing a surplus for the year of around $75,000,” Vallet said. “Which is also not abnormal; I think last year we did about the same thing.”
As for the garbage, Vallet said that for the year ending June 30, 2016, the town took in $213,000 in garbage revenue.
“That’s not what we billed,” Vallet said. “If we didn’t get it, I’m not reporting it. If you take a look at that, we took in $213,000 and we spent $222,000. This is without a truck payment or anything replacing our garbage truck.”
Vallet pointed council to an item on the report for dump expenses.
“We took in $213,000 and spent $145,000 taking this garbage to the dump. Two thirds of what we take in we pay for dumping it to Waste Management,” Vallet said. “Did we make a profit? No, we didn’t… If everything stays the same, we wouldn’t have enough money to pay for a truck… If we were collecting 95 percent of what we are billing, we would have enough to make a garbage truck payment.”
Vallet said he compared Chapmanville’s dump bill to the City of Logan’s dump bill.
“Our dump bill is $3,000 more a month than the Logan is paying,” Vallet said. “That’s not from our residents we are billing because we have less residents… We’ve got a lot of heavy waste in our garbage bins.”
Vallet said he felt that Chapmanville wasn’t charging enough for their commercial customers.
Barker said there was a lot of money in delinquent bills and that the town was going to make a move to collect them.
“Even if we have to go to court to do it… It’s not something I really look forward to doing,” Barker said. “But it’s a responsibility we have to all those who do pay their garbage bills.”
Town Recorder Terilynn Wilson gave a report on the Tracy Vickers account. Vickers, who was a town resident and businessman, had bequeathed $1,000,000 at his death to the town to be used as a center for seniors. Wilson said there were currently three accounts — two were certified deposits and one a checking. Wilson said the total for the three combined accounts is $697,299.48.
“I asked Terilynn to do that because I want people to understand that there is a substantial amount of money in the Vickers bequest accounts,” Barker said. “It is my intention that this money be invested in land or property for the development of Vickers center before I leave office… I’m going to get this off our plate because there is speculation and rumors going around that this money has totally disappeared. It’s not what it was, or what it should be, but there is nearly $700,000 there in reserve for this investment.”
Martha Sparks is a reporter and can be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 1728.