Rupert Council Discusses Ordinances, Announces Over $2 Million In Funding For Stormwater Drainage Project - West Virginia Daily News
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Rupert Council Discusses Ordinances, Announces Over $2 Million In Funding For Stormwater Drainage Project

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Rupert officials are getting serious about having residents maintain and clean their property.

According to Mayor Steve Baldwin, who spoke during the regular town council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 11, notices to clean property are going out to residents at this time.

Baldwin read from the town’s ordinance stating that “no one is allowed to have any vehicles which are unlicensed, untaxed, partially dismantled or junk sitting on their property for a period of more than 10 days.”

Baldwin and council members noted that they are willing to work with residents who are attempting to clean their property—as long as a noticeable difference is being made.

In other Rupert business,

-Rupert Police Chief Chuck Burkhamer stated that he is investigating a loud boom that many residents heard throughout the town the prior weekend around dusk.

He also stated that for those who cannot afford to pay for their citations, a few people have been given the opportunity to complete community service to help relieve their fees as per the municipal court judge.

“That’s part of the alternative sentencing by the judge,” Baldwin added. “It’s for an offender who can’t pay their fines. . .then, as opposed to a fine, you offer them public service in exchange for the fee.” Community service can include street sweeping, cleaning litter, etc.

Baldwin stated that total police department citations issued for the month of October amounted to $26,917. Of that, $7,764 has been collected. The total amount of citations fined for fiscal year 2021-2022 amounts to $84,434. The outstanding balance is $31,470;

-Baldwin announced that the town received a $2.6 million grant to complete a stormwater drainage project. Several months ago, Baldwin explained that the town had issued a grant request for the project.

“I got a call from the governor’s office last week asking if I could meet with the governor,” Baldwin said. “I went out to Alderson and he presented us with a grant in the amount of $2.6 million dollars.”

“That project we had was divided into 15 individual projects,” Baldwin said. The money will fully fund the stormwater drainage project. He added that engineers with E.L. Robinson will complete studies on the project this winter and that, hopefully, in the spring the project can get started;

-The town hired Greenbrier County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bethany Burdette to represent the town at the cost of $75 per hour;

-Council held the second reading of a proposed “Disturbing the Peace” ordinance that will limit the hours and days that fireworks may be used within town limits;

– Baldwin announced that the town has signed vehicle lease paperwork for a pickup truck for the water department and two new Ford Explorers for the police department.

“We have already taken possession of the Ford F-250 for the water department,” Baldwin said. “They are using it.” However, because of the chip shortage, the police cruisers may not be available until February 2022. “We do not have to pay for the Explorers until they are in our possession,” he added;

-Council denied a request for homeowners on Lewis Street to house chickens due to an incomplete permit application. Baldwin explained that, per ordinance, all residents within 1,000 ft. of the property that will house chickens must sign the petition stating they do not mind living that close to chickens. The homeowners were unable to receive enough signatures from residents living nearby. After some discussion about the appropriateness of the homeowners also owning ducks and geese, council said that they would need to research that law further.

The next meeting of the Rupert Town Council will take place on Thursday, December 9, at 6 p.m. at town hall. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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