GRANTSVILLE RAISING WATER AND SEWER RATES - Money Needed For Sewer Repair, Brown Resigns From Council

Taken from Council Minutes April 5

Mayor Neil Blankenship advised the town council that water and sewage rates need to be increased.

Currently the town's minimum fee for water, sewage and trash is about $40, after which it increases based on water usage.

Blankenship had sewage department operator Ralph Campbell speak to council regarding the need to make repairs to the town's sewage system.

Campbell said $8,000-$10,000 in revenue for the sewage system has been lost because of the relocation of the high school, bus garage, board office and houses being torn down.

He said there are two lift stations over 30 years old with two pumps needing replaced at a cost of $3,500-$4,000 each. He said the system is being damaged by cloth and grease. He has asked local restaurants to install grease traps and keep them operable.

The town could be subject to minimum fines of $1,000 if the system is not kept in compliance, indicating other necessary repairs. He said a full-time operator has been placed at the plant to operate it 24/7, an amount not included in the town budget.

Campbell told council he is approaching retirement, and they should be thinking about obtaining a new licensed operator.

The proposed rate increase would cover repairs and the salary of an operator.

Keith Smith made a motion to increase the water and sewage rates, with the motion passing unanimously. The issue will be presented for a first reading on April 20, following study by town attorney Kevin Postalwait.

It was not determined what the increase would be.

Mayor Blankenship presented a proposal to increase the commercial rates for trash. The matter was tabled for later.

Blankenship said he was sorry the town could no longer provide trash service outside town, indicating the town did not have money to refund trash stickers if they were not used by the deadline. He advised Jo Ann Staub he would refund her money personally if she would return her stickers to the office.

An issue of regulating mobile homes in Grantsville was placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Nancy Bremer wanted to know who had the authority to hire and fire a city employee. Kevin Postalwait, the town attorney, advised the mayor, but it usually fell to the mayor and council.

Bremer complained that state licensed vehicles were not getting parking tickets. The minutes said Police Chief Ron Gordon reported that state vehicles were exempt. She also discussed recycling in the town, and Mayor Blankenship said he was working on this.

Recorder Phyllis Maze reported the town's budget had been sent to Charleston.

Attorney Frank Venezia indicated the town's request to obtain money from the legislature did not get in on time to be included in the upcoming year.

Venezia said it was important to work toward obtaining $2,000 in donations to do a study on a proposed town hall. After the money is obtained, Venezia said he would meet with Tim Meeks of the MOVRC with temporary plans for a building to look at funding options. Jim Morris is composing a letter to approach businesses and individuals requesting donations.

Charlie Whipkey replaced Mike Wilson on the town hall committee.

Council went into executive session to hire a swimming pool manager. After returning to regular session, they hired David Trippet by unanimous vote.

Councilwoman Bonnie Brown tendered her resignation on council. Mayor Blankenship thanked her for her service to the town.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m.