The Lewisburg City Council considered vandalism, police and street vehicles, CARES Act funding, the sidewalk project, and more during its Tuesday, Oct. 19, meeting.
During her comments, Mayor Beverly White called for citizen action in keeping the parks clean and safe.
“I’m asking our citizens [who are] aware of anyone who vandalizes our parks [to report it]. This continues, unfortunately, to be a problem in the city,” White said. “Our public works department has worked tirelessly to clean up the vandalism after each incident. The man that said that it’s fun shows the lack of maturity on so many levels. Our own children especially should not be subjected to such uncaring individuals who lack respect for themselves, our citizens, our parks and our bathrooms. We provide our parks and bathrooms for our citizens and visitors, and we pride ourselves on being kept in the best position possible. I wonder how these individuals would feel if someone vandalized their homes. I’m sure it would not be a good feeling. That’s how I feel each time this happens. It saddens me that it continues to be a problem. I appreciate our public works department for their care of our streets and parks. And I appreciate our police department for investigating these incidents. So if you hear any chatter, please call the chief because it really does need to stop. We take a lot of pride in what we’re doing, our upgrades, and we would appreciate any help.”
City Manager Misty Hill highlighted some new efforts on behalf of the city to stop any vandalism that might occur in the future, “We did have security cameras placed at Dorie Miller and at Hollowell Park, they have arrived. We have internet in those areas now so they will start installation next week. Dorie Miller will be first, then Hollowell Park will be second. … Unfortunately, Dorie Miller’s vandalism was quite large, but Hollowell has been getting vandalism as well. It’s really sad, but having security cameras will hopefully deter some of the violence, but also be able to catch people in the act.”
Hill also shared a warning, “I have explained to a lot of people that the expense keeps continuing to rise, and it doesn’t take much to have a felony charge of $1,000 when you vandalize something like that. It’s just fearful but it’s also a lot of money that we’ve put into our parks.”
In other business:
– Engineer Roger Kennedy provided an update for the sidewalk repair project along Route 219 and Lee Street. For more, see “ADA Noncompliance Reason For Continuing Lewisburg Sidewalk Work” in The West Virginia Daily News.
– Hill provided a massive update on the CARES Act funding projects approved in July. For more, see “Over $700,000 Worth of Lewisburg CARES Projects Continue” in The West Virginia Daily News.
– Councilmember Arron Seams gave the Finance Committee report, which included a number of items, “the first being …a change order for the repairs to City Hall. That change order was in the amount of $1,900 to complete work on the restrooms that are adjacent to the city hall and also get them ready for winter.” The change order was approved by the council. A pay order totaling $86,638.10 was also approved for Schleiff Construction.
|Crews work on Lewisburg City Hall on October 21.|
– Council approved a lease/purchase agreement with Enterprise FM Trust for public works and water department use. Seams explained this is for “five vehicles—two for water distribution, one for streets and water, another for streets and the fifth for streets, specifically for snow removal. … Because of the way that some of those public works vehicles are used by both the public works and streets departments, [we could] split the payment between the water fund and the general fund. The total amount for the first year, including the down payment, on the equipment is $110,221.01. The breakdown for that [is] $31,710 will come from the water department and $29,446 from the general funds. For the lease payments, … $26,702 will be coming from the water fund and $25,608 [from the general].”
– The newly leased vehicles for the Lewisburg Police Department were also approved. Seams explained “It was somewhat of an unusual situation with some of the supply chain issues. We were not able to purchase the 2022 Chevy Tahoes that we planned on, but we were able to get five 2022 Ford Explorers for slightly less. A part of bringing those vehicles to our fleet means that we have to equip them with the necessary equipment and instruments that allow them to operate as emergency vehicles for our police department. The cost of equipping those five vehicles, which includes one K9 unit, is $85,760.59.”
– White highlighted two month-long holidays during her comments, saying “[we] participated in a candlelight vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness Month on the First Friday. We also recognize October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And we continue to support these programs that assist women, children and men in these crisis situations.”
– After a vote from council, the city reporter and the assistant city administrator received new titles that “more accurately give a picture” of what tasks those positions perform, Seams explained. The new titles are City Clerk and HR Director, respectively.