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From Fred Knoop

October 10, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

To the Editor,

Many home owners attended the Oct. 1 New Martinsville council meeting, because there was concern the city would not honor its verbal agreement of a year ago, to accept Northgate Drive as a city street if Northgate owners would pay $35,000 for the asphalt - labor.

We heard from Steven Pallisco that liability issues with doing work on private property and the fact that the local asphalt plant was closed, and the city did not have trucks to haul asphalt from Moundsville. He indicated the added time and cost for long haul was too large. Council, without any discussion, voted to cancel a legally binding contract to pave Northgate Drive.

Northgate board members have worked with the city for more than a year, had collected money from Northgate owners, and presented a check to the city, which they cashed. With everything I know, when two groups verbally agree to terms for a mutually beneficial agreement, shake hands, and transfer money, you have a binding contract.

The condition of Northgate Drive is horrible. Property values have fallen nearly 40 percent in the last few years in our city. Our streets and roads are the worse I have seen in more than 50 years here. The Cracker Plant near Moundsville will likely be announced year and will bring thousands of workers into our area, all who will be looking for homes and rentals. We need to make New Martinsville as inviting as possible.

I think our street superintendent understood before his illness, that we had the manpower and equipment to pave Northgate Drive.

After the vote to not pave the street, Northgate board member Charles Wright, presented a solution to council for doing the paving work. The asphalt plant was willing to lower cost and Litman Construction was willing to haul the asphalt to the work site from Moundsville. Councel would not consider the solution or reschedule a vote.

Many families in Northgate are working folks and retirees on fixed income. Many of them have made sacrifices to provide their payment for the street. The city would have utilized their employees and equipment to help improve the appearance of our town. I believe there was a hidden agenda that council was unwilling to discuss before the public. Mostly I appreciate the work of our council members, but an emergency working meeting with the Northgate Board needs to be scheduled ASAP to get this project completed before cold weather this year.

Sincerely, Fred Knoop

New Martinsville, W.Va.



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