Dunbar OKs sewer bond issue

By Marta Ree Tankersley
DUNBAR, W.Va. -- Dunbar City Council members unanimously approved selling bonds to fund the city's $12.5 million sewer renovation and expansion on Monday night.City Sanitary Department Director Ron Burnside said the city will finalize the legal documents on Jan. 9, and construction will begin by the end of that month, weather permitting."The Department of Environmental Protection and Public Service Commission have approved all phases and we are ready to get started," Burnside said. "We will start paying on the bonds once the project is completed, probably in January 2015."Mayor Terry Greenlee said the city is happy to proceed."We have been working on this for a long time and are ready to get working on this," he said.City Public Works Director Mike Williams reported that the city is ready for the winter weather. Originally the city had 80 tons of salt delivered to treat streets for ice and snow, but another 40 tons arrived Monday."We are stocked with salt and ready for snow," Williams said.Fire Chief Butch Ellis reported that the city will begin accepting applications for new hires beginning in January. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35 and complete a physical agility and written test, he said. Greenlee administered the oath of office to probationary police officer David C. Harvey who will attend the State Police Academy in January."David should be proud," Greenlee said. "He did a good job on his tests and will be a good police officer for the city of Dunbar.In regular business, the council approved an emergency measure to accept a business and occupational tax settlement from a business that recently filed for bankruptcy protection.Council accepted the no-match Governor's Community Participation Grant of $50,000 to $75,000 to revitalize the lower level of city hall. The space will be used for a new senior center and a shelter-in-place evacuation site, Greenlee said.Council approved a zoning variance for a treated lumber deck on 26th Street requested by property owners Zack and Christie McGinnis. They tabled a similar zoning variance regarding the construction of a pole building to be used as a large boathouse on West Virginia Avenue.
In a heated discussion, Councilman Dana Hayes questioned property owner John Herron regarding building permits, specific structural drawings and if construction had commenced. Herron excused himself from the meeting."I need to be excused before I have a heart attack," Herron said. "I have too much money invested in this."
According to Building Inspector Hugh Leishman, there is confusion about Herron's purchase of a small strip of land where only non-permanent buildings may be built due to underlying sewer lines.The sewer main runs about 20 feet underground along Kanawha Avenue. If there is a break, any building obstructing access would have to be removed, he said."Mr. Herron was specifically told not to build until council approved the rezoning," Leishman said. "We need more specific structural drawings and need to make sure all permits are in order before we can proceed."In financial matters, the city approved payment of invoices totaling $226,231.90.Whittington announced the winners of the Christmas Decorations contest: Ward 1, Keith and Beth Payne; Ward 2, Lonnie and Dorothy Martin; Ward 3, Patrick Wood; and Ward 4, Everette and Kitty Sullivan.Lastly, Greenlee expressed appreciation to Jo Ann Cornell for her work on the Christmas parade. He also presented Public Works Director Mike Williams and the city garage workers with a plaque in appreciation for building the Santa float for the Christmas parade.
"They are a hard-working team and do a good job every year," he said.    
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