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Belington Council supports groups, water proposal

July 12, 2012
By Anna Patrick - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Two Belington community organizations received support in the form of two $5,000 donations presented at the Belington City Council's July 5 meeting. Directly following the session, the Belington Council entered into an emergency meeting to approve a resolution to support interconnecting waterlines within Barbour County.

Mayor Jody Haller announced the presentation of two separate checks to the Belington Emergency Squad and the Belington Board of Parks and Recreation.

"The city of Belington just felt that we needed to donate to these different boards in the county," Haller said.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Anna Patrick
Belington City Councilman Max Grove, representing the Parks and Recreation Board, accepts a $5,000 check from Councilman Sonny Moore. The funds, donated by the city, will be used for improvements at Belington City Park, Belington Civic Center and Laurel Hill Park. To see more photos, visit CU at cu.theintermountain.com.

Representing the Parks and Recreation Board, Councilman Max Grove received Council's donation from Councilman Sonny Moore. The Belington Board of Parks and Recreation is responsible for operating Belington City Park, Belington Civic Center and Laurel Hill Park.

Grove said a portion of the donation will go toward the purchase of new basketball rims and nets for Belington City Park. The money will fund the expansion of the Laurel Hill pavilion, as well as the placement of snow and ice retainers on the civic center's roof.

"We needed something to bridge us from April until November," Grove said. "We didn't have funding. This creates the bridge that we needed to get across. It takes the pressure off. It's been a long time coming and I have to give mayor and Council all the credit."

Moore also presented a $5,000 donation to Joey Bolyard, president of the Belington Emergency Squad.

"The squad has been operating at a loss over the last seven to nine months," Bolyard said. "The check couldn't have come at a better time. We've actually been looking at every way we could to cut costs. Our call volume isn't large enough to support the expense of 24-hour coverage seven days a week. So far, we have been able to maintain it.

"On behalf of the emergency squad, I would like to thank everyone for making that possible because we really needed it," he said. "We have a lot of outstanding bills right now and that $5,000 is going to go toward our fuel expense."

Council decided to enter into an emergency meeting following the regular meeting's adjournment to approve a resolution regarding the Barbour County Commission's efforts to interconnect waterlines in the county.

During the regular meeting, water commissioner Don Harris said after the June 29 storm Belington was fortunate to not suffer a water crisis because generators were already in place to power the city's water treatment plant.

Although Belington maintained water, other towns in Barbour County, such as Junior, did not fare as well. To prevent future water loss problems, Harris said the Barbour County Commission is leading an effort to interconnect waterlines within Barbour County. This would allow a town with water, such as Belington, to pump to another location in the county without water.

Council discussed the matter, but agreed that it would have to wait until an emergency meeting to pass a resolution because the matter was not placed on the Council's regular agenda.

"Since an emergency meeting does not require any notification to the public, we could actually do a one-item agenda and run it at the end of the meeting," Grove said.

During that emergency meeting, a resolution was passed to "support the Barbour County Commission and the Water Boards of surrounding towns to connect the town's water system for emergency purposes."

"It was my understanding too that the County Commissioners received a go from the governor due to the state of emergency and he has already approved this," Haller said. "If we can make it happen, I don't see anything wrong with it ... I think it needed to be done a long time ago myself because you never know when Belington may have to benefit from it.

"There is a contractor waiting to dig dirt as soon as this engineer has provided him with the information he needed ... . It is also my understanding that the County Commission is footing the bill for this and hoping to get reimbursed."

Haller attended a meeting for the water connection efforts in Barbour County Friday. He said the meeting determined that the connections will be done in phases and the northern end of Barbour County will be the first area to receive the work.

In other business:

City Council honored Belington resident Joe Weese for the restoration and beautification of a section of the Tygart Valley riverbank. Since spring, Weese has been working to mow and trim approximately 500 yards of the riverbank outside of his home in Belington. Haller thanked Weese, and Grove presented Weese with a certificate of appreciation for his outstanding volunteer service during the meeting.

Belington Street Commissioner Johnny Williams announced that the city received a $250 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a city cleanup.

"We did get the grant for the trash cleanup that we usually do, but that only covers the advertisement and fuel cost and we're working to try and get the landfill cost covered. We are hoping to do the cleanup at the beginning of August," Williams said.

Belington Police Chief Keith Rowan reflected on Belington's response to the June 29 storm causing the town to go without power until July 1.

"Belington was really fortunate compared to some other places around this county ... . I would just really like to thank all the residents for being patient and working through this and helping each other out. And I also want to thank our officers for stepping up and working overtime," Rowan said.

 
 

 

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