Philippi City Council to make plans for 2014

PHILIPPI – Philippi City Council members will meet during a special public work session to merge their goals and ideas for 2014 into a working plan.

The meeting will be an opportunity for council members to bring their ideas to the table, discuss how to achieve those goals and evaluate their progress, city officials said.

“We have a lot of things that we want to try to get ready for 2014,” Councilwoman Barbara Bryan said, adding that she would say more after the special work session. “We’re going to work on goals and try to change some things. We are really interested in changing.”

Bryan said she wasn’t sure exactly when the meeting would be, but that it could take place this month. Councilman John Green said City Council will determine the meeting date during the Jan. 21 Philippi City Council meeting. He and Bryan said it wouldn’t be a regularly scheduled meeting.

“This is going to be a working session, and we’re going to really work on it,” Bryan said.

Philippi Mayor Jerry Mouser said there are several projects he would like to see completed in 2014.

“I’d like to start doing the replacement of sidewalks,” Mouser said. “The main thing I’d like to do is attract some business in Philippi.”

Green agreed.

“We’re trying to get some new businesses,” the councilman said.

Mouser said he plans to have a marketing strategy meeting in the near future to which he will invite various business people. He said it would not be the same meeting as the proposed planning session. Mouser said he already has talked to about six or more business owners who indicated they were interested in attending such a meeting.

But the mayor’s hopes for 2014 don’t stop there.

“I want to see the highway department repair the Covered Bridge prior to the Blue and Gray Reunion,” Mouser said, adding that he would also like to “replace the guardrail on Maple Avenue and (Route) 119 which has been there since the 1940s” and is “all bent up.”

Reflecting on 2013, Mouser singled out several of City Council’s efforts and achievements.

“We moved the police department,” Mouser said. “That was the biggest accomplishment from my standpoint.”

The police department formerly was operated out of a residential building on Church Street owned by the city. The police officers are now operating from the Hu Myers Building on South Main Street. The police department now has a front lobby and a larger evidence room. Each officer has a room in which to conduct interviews with suspects or witnesses.

Mouser also said that in 2013, City Council completed its water plant project, opening a new plant. The city also began work on a new sewage plant in 2013. The project is ongoing.

Philippi is home to a new parking lot across from the Philippi Senior Citizens Center and Barbour County Magistrate Court. It is a newly paved and metered lot. Mouser also noted that the city rezoned Walnut Street, a 200-block area in the historical district of Philippi.

“I consider that an accomplishment, (though) some don’t,” Mouser said.

The rezoning of the area from residential to commercial allows businesses to develop, providing the possibility of economic growth for the city, he said.