Nitro considers comprehensive plan, home rule application

By By Marta Ree Tankersley
For the Gazette

Nitro City Council considered Tuesday ordinances to adopt its comprehensive plan and submit its municipal home rule application at a meeting Tuesday.

The comprehensive plan is “a clear vision for the city to act in a fiscally responsible manor” as it moves forward for the next 20 years, Mayor Dave Casebolt said.

The plan covers land use, housing, natural resources and recreation, cultural and historic resources, economic development, community facilities, infrastructure and transportation issues, according to the document prepared by the Nitro Planning Commission.

It was “created through a participatory process…to establish a future vision for Nitro,” it reads. An implementation schedule is also included in the plan.

The home rule application addresses the collection of unpaid and delinquent municipal service fees, enforcement of administrative regulations regarding the collections of delinquent taxes and fees, B & O taxes, reduction in roadway speed limits, and establish a procedure for selling city owned property by a means other than auction.

“This gives Nitro a certain amount of freedom to decide its own future and move forward,” John Montgomery, councilman at-large said.

Both measures will be brought to a vote at the May 20 City Council meeting. Once approved, the comprehensive plan will be delivered to the Kanawha and Putnam county clerks, as the city spans both counties. The home rule application must be submitted to the state Municipal Home Rule Board on or before June 1.

In other business, council declared an emergency purchase for a dump truck because their old truck “blew up,” Casebolt said.

“This is an essential piece of equipment we need to haul gravel and do other work within the city,” Director of Public Works A. J. Hill said.

Council approved the $8,500 purchase of a 1991 GMC dump truck from Nitro resident Walt Taylor. Robert Schamber, president of the Senior Citizen Advisory Council, made a $500 personal donation to assist with the purchase; bringing the city’s expenditure down to $8,000.

The new dump truck has a “beautiful new engine with a warranty” and has been examined by a mechanic, Hill said.

“The mechanic said we are crazy if we don’t buy it,” Casebolt said.

On Tuesday, council also:

Unanimously approved a Public Safety Resolution to express support for the safety levy that provides funding for KRT, police, fire and ambulances and comes to a vote May 13.

Discussed the enforcement of a state statute allowing city courts to prosecute residents with delinquent municipal fees by suspending driver’s licenses.

Discussed ways to assist the Nitro High School girls’ softball team with field maintenance and upgrades.

Discussed ways to dispose of excess city property.

Announced the City Pool Party, which will be Saturday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m.

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