A proposed water treatment project for the Stollings area took a major step forward Tuesday night.
A public hearing on the matter was held as part of the March meeting of the Logan Town Council and a representative for the project was on hand to answer questions. John Stump told councilmembers that a public hearing was required to move the project forward and asked if anybody had any questions about the proposed extension of services to 25 customers in the Stollings area.
Ironically the only questions were those asked by local reporters who wanted to know the cost of the project and how long it would take to complete. Stump said the build phase would take around 90 construction days and the “total cost for everything” would be in the $825,000 range.
“Over 50 percent of that is being paid for by grant funding,” Stump added.
Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti said 12 of the customers would be businesses while the other 13 would be residential customers. Following the discussion a third reading of the ordinance for the project was read and approved.
“On the 26th of March, we will be back for a meeting on the loans and we will be able to show you what the debt service on this project will look like,” Stump said, explaining the ordinance would go into effect after that meeting, at 1 p.m.
“We will sign the closing documents then,” Stump said.
As has become a ritual at the council meetings City Building Code Enforcement Officer Ray Perry had an update about various FEMA projects around Logan in the wake of last year’s major storms. Perry and Nolletti said the city had met with FEMA officials and contractors and engineers about three slip repairs in the city which should begin soon. Perry said the first one scheduled is a repair on Charles Street which could begin on Monday. Two of the projects will consist of pile walls while the last will be a lag fence.
“We will try to get these projects done with a minimum of inconvenience to the citizens on Mountain Lake Park,” the mayor said.
He and Police Chief E.K. Harper noted that traffic snags and delays have become a part of daily life in Logan with several projects going on at the same time.
Nolletti said a survey was completed on the Central City Walk Bridge project and the next phases in it will be a core drilling followed by an architect’s design.
“They will come up with different styles of bridges and bring them to the council to see which one we want,” Mayor Nolletti said. “Then we will obtain a contractor to build it.”
The mayor said the new bridge should be in place within the next ten months.
Nolletti and Chief Harper had more good news for the city.
Construction work on the long awaited improved trail connector between the world famous Hatfield-McCoy Trails and the city of Logan has begun.
“Hatfield-McCoy has been working on this new connector for the past three weeks,” Nolletti said. Ironically the new connector, which will allow residents to ride from Bearwallow trail into Logan, will actually be closer to the original design several years back, which had been radically downgraded. In time the connector will reach the hotel at the FountainPlace Plaza allowing riders to get to the trails from both hotels in Logan without having to haul their ATVs or UTVs in trucks to the trailhead.
Harper had some more good news for the council. For months the Logan Police Department has literally been swamped with shoplifting calls from Walmart at the FountainPlace Plaza. It has not been unusual for officers to be taking a suspect to city hall to be processed, or the jail to be booked when they were called back again on another shoplifting complaint. This has become a tremendous strain on the Logan Police Department’s manpower and morale, to say the least. The Logan P.D. has also been tied up trying to help ease the flow of traffic around major construction and demolition projects in the town at the same time.
“The good news is that Walmart has brought back the door greeters and that has cut down on some of the shoplifting attempts and it is helping us out tremendously,” Harper said.
Harper also thanked those present, including Nolletti and several local businesses for their part in a television ad showcasing the city of Logan, made for SuddenLink Television. In addition to local figures and businesses the commercial also features several tourists from Canada who were visiting Logan that day. Funds from the town’s hotel and motel Convention and Visitors Bureau tax helped pay for the commercial.
Perry said that a group of out of state college students had done some major cleaning up in town recently and that another group of art students had expressed a wish to pain a large mural in town on one of the previously graffiti strewn walls. Perry said he would like to see a mural showing the history of Logan from Pioneer Days to tourists riding the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.
In other City of Logan news:
• City Clerk Amber Miller Viars discussed the minutes of the Safety Committee Reports and how the project has saved the town thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and other costs.
“Also, of importance is the news that Ron Gaiter who has been of major assistance to our town, was in the hospital recently but he has been released,” she added. “Most of you know Ron and are aware of the hard work he has put in with helping the town with beautification projects through the community service workers at the Logan Day Report. In recent weeks, they have been helping Richard Ojeda and LEAD with removing tires from creeks and streams. He has always been a friend to the residents of Logan and has been somebody we could all depend upon when we needed help for clean ups. Our prayers go out to him.”
Street Commissioner Kevin Marcum, a longtime friend of Gaiter, agreed noting that Gaiter had worked hand in hand with the street department and other organizations to help get things cleaned up all over Logan County.
“Mr. Gaiter doesn’t just supervise things, he rolls up his sleeves and works on projects too,” Marcum noted. “He and the people at the Day Report Center who do community service has really helped us a lot over the years and I was shocked to find out he had been in the hospital. He’s a good person and a good friend to the city.”
• Council approved $80,000 in monthly bills to be paid.
• A representative of the nearby Town of West Logan brought a message of thanks from that town’s council, mayor and police chief for assistance in changing out the traffic light at the Peach Creek Bridge. The herald noted that when the lights were out, it created a dangerous situation and the Logan Fire Department worked quickly to replace them. Over the years the Logan Fire Department has responded to several major accidents in that area to provide first aid and assistance.
• City Accountant Jeff Valet discussed the upcoming budget for the next fiscal year and a special meeting to make changes. “We operated in the past 12 months with a major surplus,” Valet said, noting the city was not always that lucky. Valet said some changes will include vehicles that had been paid off, and grants that had been utilized.
• Street Commissioner Kevin Marcum said the city had not had to purchase any new salt, due to recent warm weather and that the street department had been getting ready for spring by cutting vegetation and repairing storm drains.
• Councilman Basil Ken Lee congratulated the Logan Lady Wildcats for their excellent performance in the recent state championship tournaments. “It was not the first time they went, but it was the first time they went and won a game, and we are proud of them,” Lee said.