Council pulls agenda item

Elkins City Council removed a resolution from Thursday’s meeting agenda that would have dedicated coal severance funds to the police and fire departments.

First Ward Councilman Bob Woolwine said the money may not be needed and the move could have potentially exceeded restrictions with the West Virginia Auditor’s Office.

The city already uses coal severance money to supplement the Elkins Fire Department for equipment, and the resolution would have extended that funding to the Elkins Police Department. Woolwine made a motion to withdraw the resolution from the agenda, and Councilman Tom Hensil, 2nd Ward, seconded the motion.

Councilman Carman Metheny, 3rd Ward, asked why the measure was being pulled.

“We may not need the money we are looking for,” Woolwine responded. “We are under restrictions with the West Virginia Auditor’s Office and we may exceed those.”

City Treasurer Lisa Daniels-Smith told The Inter-Mountain that West Virginia code states that no more than 25 percent of coal severance money can be used for personal services. She said personal services are defined as payroll or pension items.

“Once we found that out, it would have done no good to give it to the police department,” she said.

Council passed Woolwine’s motion to pull the item unanimously.

In other council news:

– Council also entered into two separate executive sessions during the meeting. According to the meeting agenda, the first was for a legal matter concerning street sweeper violations. Metheny made the motion to move the meeting behind closed doors and Hensil seconded. When council returned, Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott said no decisions were made.

The second executive session was for a legal matter concerning property on 11th Street. Woolwine made the motion and Hensil seconded. Talbott announced no decisions were made when council returned to open session.

– Elkins City Clerk Sutton Stokes provided council with a list of nominations for poll workers for the 2013 municipal election. Stokes said the list will need to be approved at the next council meeting slated for 7 p.m. on Jan. 17.

– Council approved a sign permit for John Miller at 501 Davis Ave.