City Streetscapes project discussed

Parsons City Council discussed issues concerning the First and Second Street Streetscapes Project on Tuesday.

During their first meeting of 2013, council members heard from Jason Myers, Parsons city administrator, about which local authority was responsible for the pouring of concrete for sidewalks outside a portion of the county courthouse annex.

Myers said the Tucker County Commission has agreed to pay for 27 feet of sidewalk that stretches along the annex. The pour will be the responsibility of G.A. Brown, the contractor the commission hired to complete the annex, which is still under construction.

“We want it to look the same as what the city has already completed,” said Myers, who desires to have the work done by Brown match the existing sidewalk completed by the contractor employed by the city, Huffman Contracting.

He said the style of the 27 feet should match the existing sidewalk, down to the shade of concrete and manner in which the pour is brushed before it has completely dried.

– In other news, Councilman Tim Auvil, a member of the city’s water/wastewater committee, said the main sewer line running behind Sheetz and McDonalds, on First Street, was cleared out Dec. 17.

The line was full of grease, council documents said.

In addition, on Tuesday the main sewer line going to the Walnut Street Lift Station was unstopped for the same grease-related problem.

To remedy the issue, letters have been sent by the water/wastewater committee to all local restaurants. He said any business that prepares fried foods needs to properly handle their oil and grease so it doesn’t collect in sewer lines.

– As part of the Pulp Mill Bottom storm drainage improvements project, council has submitted an intent to apply document to the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The intent letter is the first step in seeking the WVDHSEM Hazard Mitigation Grant.

The project concerns the installation of storm drains throughout Parsons. New lines would connect with old lines, and the entire system would be upgraded to keep water from backing up into streets through storm drains.

Council documents state a project estimate was provided by Thrasher Engineering in the amount of $500,000. This estimate, along with other details, have been provided in the application sent to the WVDHSEM.

The intent to apply will be reviewed by the WVDHSEM, council said, and they will receive a separate application for the Hazard Mitigation Grant if they meet the requirements for the grant.

– Auvil also read the minutes from the Parsons Park Board meeting, wherein he said the Park Board recommended that council dismiss Kelsey Gilbert from her employment with the Parsons Wellness Center and hire Heather Clower as a part-time employee at the center.

The two recommendations were voted on, and passed, by council.

– Lastly, council has agreed to send a letter to Congressman David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Sen. Bob Williams, D-14th District, concerning emergency correspondence following Superstorm Sandy.

During the storm, the Tucker County Office of Emergency Management was charged with delivering emergency supplies to those in need of assistance, Auvil said.

During this process, the OEM attempted to gather addresses of MonPower customers who were without power. MonPower was unable to provide addresses, Auvil said, and this greatly limited the OEM’s ability to locate people in need.

The letters being sent to McKinley and Williams address this concern, urging them to consider passing legislation which would make it easier for emergency responders to gain access to information that would allow them to locate citizens who are without supplies.