WEST LOGAN — Most of the February meeting of the West Logan Town Council was spent discussing a recent automobile accident which saw yet another car crashing through the fence of longtime resident and current councilmember Ruby Moore.
Late in January a vehicle driven by a man who had reportedly fallen asleep at the wheel collided with the West Logan Police Department cruiser and went on past the cruiser into the fence. Moore told The Logan Banner that she has actually lost track of how many times her fence has been knocked down by sleeping, drunk or bedrazzled motorists, but admitted it had been more than eight times.
“There have been three big crashes in the past five years, ” Moore said, noting some had happened while she was on vacation.
One new councilmember asked about reinforcing the area as it is right next to the former West Logan Post Office. Another resident said he feared somebody would get killed one day considering how many accidents have taken place in that part of town. For years, residents of West Logan have had to deal with out-of-control motorists careening off the roads and into yards, fences and porches in both directions along route ten where a straight stretch turns into a curb. The last major catastrophe was last summer when a young man struck an apartment building a few blocks down from Moore’s wall.
Residents had contacted the West Virginia Department of Highways in the past to see if rumble ridges or speed strips could be put down to cut down on the rampant speeding, only to be told by the DOH that such would not be allowed. The state actually did a study and admitted that the number of speeders on that stretch of road was significant. Increased ticketing was tried to cope with the issue, but as the West Logan Police Department found out, as soon as they pulled one motorist over for speeding other motorists would blast past as they were writing a ticket.
Moore said she felt it would be nice if the DOH would allow the ridges to be placed on that dangerous stretch of road.
“If we had something like that, it could wake somebody up before they crashed,” she said.
“We have a governor from Logan County in office right now,” another resident said. “Maybe this time it could be different. Sooner or later, somebody is going to get killed.”
West Logan Police Chief Robert Ward said Mayor Darren Akers and he had been dealing with insurance companies in the wake of the accident and that he felt the cruiser — which had been donated to West Logan a few years ago by the Logan County Commission and Logan Sheriff’s Office — was a total loss as the frame was badly bent. Ward said the insurance would probably not be enough to replace the vehicle with one of similar quality.
“We would like to get another vehicle surplus if possible,” Ward said, noting that the vehicle had been an exceptional gift to the town of West Logan from the county.
West Logan is currently utilizing its older Chrysler cruiser for patrol duties. The older car has random acceleration problems, he noted. Mark Mareske said the Logan County Commission had been contacted about the matter with a request for assistance.
In other West Logan news:
• Minutes from the January meeting were read and approved. The financial statements from January were approved. Town Clerk Mark Mareske said the expenses for this month were about the same as last month. He noted that city fees were a bit up as some people paid their fees annually around tax time. Mareske said there was a bill for $2,000 for repairs to the city’s salt truck.
• The safety committee report was read and approved. Chief Ward noted that the street department had been scraping and salting the streets during the worst of recent winter weather storms. Ward said a wall that is collapsing on Route 10 by a local church is becoming problematic and needs to be shored up. He said there were some overhanging branches along Route 10 that also needed to be trimmed. Some street lights are also out. City Attorney Sabrina Deskins asked about the street behind American Beauty being scraped and salted. Mareske said he would check into the matter. Council Member Mary Randan noted that at one point part of that street had been closed due to a landslide in the area. Another resident pointed out there was more hillside slipping into that road over the last weekend. Chief Ward said he would speak with the street department about making sure that area was scraped and salted.
• New Councilmember Tim Granger said he had some complaints with residents in his district who needed to clean up their property. One yard is full of aluminum drink cans, noted Chief Ward, who said he would talk with people about the matter. Ward said if folks did not comply they might face a ticket and fine. Council Member Doloris Murray said she was being inconvenienced by a flooding problem caused by a landowner who had property next to her home. Council members discussed having Murray contact the attorney for the property owner.
• Mareske said a special budget meeting for the upcoming year needed to be held soon.