Dunbar takes up sewer, ATV ordinances
DUNBAR, W.Va. -- After a busy day of acting as mayor, seventh-grader Timothy Singletary said, "I don't know if I did a good job, but I'm tired."
Singletary served alongside sixth-grader Michelle Zhu and eighth-grader Breanna Hensley as honorary mayors for the city of Dunbar.
The three Dunbar Middle School students, winners of the "If I Were Mayor for a Day" essay contest, also presided over the City Council meeting Monday evening.
They shadowed Mayor Terry Greenlee beginning bright and early at 8:30 a.m. They met city department heads, visited the police station and fire station, Wine Cellar Park and generally learned about how city government works, Greenlee said.
Councilman Doug Fleshman echoed the other council members when he thanked the "young adults for helping the mayor out" and urged them to keep up the good work in their schooling.
"They did a fantastic job," Greenlee said.
In other business, council passed the first reading of a $14.5 million bond ordinance for the construction of extensions, additions and improvements to the Dunbar public sewage system.
Attorney John Stump of Steptoe and Johnson said the expected expense is closer to $12 million, but "if there is an overrun, we don't have to go through the ordinance process again."
The terms of the bond are set at a 0.5 percent interest rate for 30 years, Stump said.
The second reading of an amendment to the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ordinance prohibiting their use on city streets passed unanimously with a roll-call vote.
This ordinance mirrors that of the state regarding ATVs on city streets, said Councilman Everette Sullivan.
Other action included approval of a resolution for the Jag Grant, which funds the prevention resource officer at Dunbar Middle School.
Patrolman Adam Mason was promoted to corporal and sworn in by the mayor with the help of the three students. His promotion is effective today .
Dunbar is accepting applications for new police officers until 4 p.m. Oct. 11, according to Police Chief Earl Whittington. The "new hire test" will be on Oct. 19.
The city accepted a letter of intent from the Kanawha County Commission for $25,000 to purchase a new police patrol vehicle.
Whittington also announced a special meeting of the neighborhood watch on Oct. 17 at the Bingo Building, 2605 Charles Ave., from 6:30-8:30 p.m., with a guest speaker from the Charleston Police Department on drug awareness.
"We don't want dealers or users in this town," Greenlee said. "And, word is getting out."
Sanitary Department Director Ron Byrnside reported that 21 contractors attended a pre-construction meeting regarding Phase 2 of the $12.5 million storm drainage construction project set to begin January 2014.
"Hopefully the bids will be very competitive," Byrnside said. "Legally we must accept the lowest bid, provided it meets all the requirements and the paperwork is in order."
In financial news, the city voted to increase police and fire department funding. They also approved payment of invoices totaling $68,718.25 for workers' compensation, garbage truck payments, legal fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Public Works Director Mike Williams reported that 100 tons of salt have been reserved for treating the city's roads during winter.
"We don't know what kind of winter we may have," he said. "If we need the salt, they will deliver it as needed."
In other new business:
* Council voted to replace a storm pipe at 25th Street near the Nationwide Building for $3,740.
* Council members adopted a new contract with Republic Services for trash disposal.
* Trick or Treat night was set for Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.
* The annual report of the Policemen's and Firemen's Pension Fund was approved.
* The Boy Scouts were recognized for attendance at the meeting in order to earn merit badges for citizenship in the community.
* It was announced that due to Columbus Day, trash pickup next Monday would be delayed until Tuesday, then follow the regular schedule.