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Pine Grove Votes To Lease Ball Field to BOE

December 19, 2018

Pine Grove's city council held it regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Byrd Center. Mayor Richard Price and council held discussion over whether to renew the town's contract with Joey Barker for taking care of the ball field.

It was mentioned that Barker wanted a decision made at that night's meeting. After weighing the pros and cons of the matter, it was decided not to renew the contract with Barker, and instead, to lease the field to the Wetzel County Board of Education.

Council members expressed it would be better to lease the field to the school to maintain. A motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to proceed with a lease agreement with the board.

Mayor Price asked council to approve letting the town proceed with direct deposit, so the USDA can conduct direct withdrawals from the town for the sewer bond. He said it would keep the community in compliance and save on late fees and interest. After a motion and second, council unanimously approved the mayor's request.

The mayor also asked council for approval to have municipal court fees set up, so the state fees can be paid electronically from the police fund. Council unanimously approved a motion to make the change.

Council gave Mayor Price approval to proceed with the purchase of a John Deere 17G compact excavator from Bridgeport Equipment in New Martinsville, at a cost of $23,300 - pending a test opinion from the town.

Council also unanimously approved a request from Price to sell the town's Ford Crown Victoria, with the option to refuse any bids offered.

It was determined the car is in good shape and should bring at least $4,000. Price said the town still has the two-wheel and four-wheel drive SUVs, and the two-wheel drive SUV will be used by the town's part-time employees. He then presented council with a proposal to purchase a brand new, never-titled and fully equipped all-wheel drive 2016 Ford Police Interceptor. The vehicle is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and is available for bid on E-Bay. Price said he has been in contact with the dealer and believes he is able to purchase the vehicle for $19,500. He said it lists for more than $30,000. Council unanimously approved the purchase, if the mayor can acquire the vehicle for the above-mentioned price.

In other business, council agreed to send Mayor Price and council member Larry Huggins to Charleston to lobby for funds for the town's water system. Price and Huggins were given permission to spend the night and return the next day, with expenses paid. Price was also given permission to make up to two trips to Charleston. Price said he believed he could knock on some doors and let the delegates know what condition Pine Grove's water is in, and maybe get some help. He also mentioned trying to get on the agenda to address the legislature.

In other matters, council approved the purchase of another breathalyzer for the police department, along with First Aid equipment and blankets for the police cars.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Tim Flint updated council and the mayor on the water condition in town. He said there were some residents who experienced some discolored water, but it was not unsafe to drink. He said he is working on the problem, and if given a couple months, he will have it crystal clear, and it will be good tasting water without any color or chlorine taste. He jokingly said it would be clear enough to make moonshine.

Flint is also one of the town's police officers and will be going to the State Police Academy in April, along with the other officer. That will leave the town with only the chief, so council is considering bringing in an officer from another agency to help during that time.

Police Chief Clay Lunceford gave the following monthly police report:

Animal at large, 1; animal complaint, 1; auto accident rollover, 1; breaking and entering in progress, 1; child custody dispute, 1; DNR complaint, 1; home confinement, 1; investigate-misc., 1; mental hygiene, 1; report-theft, 2; shoplifter, 1; traffic stops, 132. Total for Pine Grove: 144.



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