City Council, police to work together

A mutual assistance agreement that allows police officers from the Philippi Police Department and the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department to assist one another in a time of need has been approved by Philippi City Council.

It was the second reading of the mutual aid agreement that needed to be renewed. If either police agency is in need, the other will be authorized to assist because of the agreement.

“It’s a good thing for the Sheriff’s Department and for the City of Philippi Police Department,” City Manager Karen Weaver said at a recent meeting.

Another ordinance that addresses noise within the corporate limits of Philippi was approved on first reading. Mayor Jerry Mouser said the ordinance will give police officers a more scientific method of determining if a noise is in violation of the ordinance or not, by use of a decibel meter. He said that any violation of the noise ordinance will be treated as a criminal offense.

After hearing from the mayor of Clarksburg and its former mayor and councilman at a previous meeting, the city of Philippi also moved forward with its efforts to beautify the town through better control of vacant and derelict buildings. Council approved on first reading an ordinance that would allow the code enforcement officer to have more authority when dealing with derelict and vacant buildings. The ordinance provides for enactment of a vacant building registration program, Weaver said.

A fourth ordinance also surfaced during the meeting. City Council approved the second reading of a bond ordinance for the waste water treatment plant project. There will be a public meeting and a final reading prior to the enactment of the ordinance, Weaver said.

While officials introduced multiple ordinances at the meeting, they also tackled multiple draw down requests for various projects.

Councilmen approved a draw down request for the waste water treatment plant project in the amount of $3,575.45 to be divided between Burgess and Niple, Griffith and Associates and newspaper advertising for the project.

Another draw down was approved for the water treatment plant project in the amount of $112,102.45 for Burgess and Niple and Shook Construction for work on the project.

A draw down on the Cherry Hill project, although complete, also was approved in the amount of 83,490.37 for the work that was done by Sunrise Construction and Potesta Engineering. The Cherry Hill project involves the installation of new water tanks, fire hydrants and system upgrades. An additional waterline was added in northern Philippi, and a new fire hydrant was installed on South Main Street. Weaver said there may be one more draw down request on this project.

In other business, Mouser followed up on a request to add speed bumps on Park Street from a citizen who was concerned about the safety of children at play because of speeding in the area.

Mouser said the road was owned by the state and that he thought speed bumps would make snow plowing more difficult in the area. He said the children at play sign was faded and it would be replaced. Two additional signs of the same nature will be added at different intersections along the road. The speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour. To further deter speeding habits in the area, Mouser said that police soon will increase patrols in the area.

In the wake of winter, the city of Philippi is considering the purchase of a new street sweeper that is needed to keep dust and dirt at bay. No decisions were made about the purchase of one at the meeting, but Mouser said the topic could return for decision at the next meeting.

Dave Lewis also was appointed to the Sanitation Board. Councilmen Ed Larry and Terrence Boyd were unable to attend the meeting.