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New Martinsville Ministerial Association Plans To Combat Heroin Addiction

January 16, 2019

Under guest speakers, Bruce Taylor, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Steelton, appeared before New Martinsville City Council on Jan. 7 at council's regular scheduled meeting to inform council members that the New Martinsville Ministerial Association, in which he is a member, is working on a plan to address the heroin problem in New Martinsville, and the surrounding area.

According to Taylor, the ministerial association will be showing a film at the United Methodist Church on Jan. 15, 7 p.m. Taylor said the movie, Pathway to Hope, is just a start in fighting the drug problem. He said he wanted to personally invite city officials to the event. It is Taylor's hope that everyone can come together and come up with a community solution to the drug problem. Taylor added it's a major battle that can be won if everyone comes together.

Other guest speakers included East Thistle resident Ed Knowlton, who questioned council concerning the sewer project on East Thistle. He said he was basically checking to see what all has been accomplished, and what's left to do. He asked about the size of the new sewer line and wondered if there would be individual connections for each customer. He was also concerned that everyone be smoke tested to see who's not in compliance.

Water department superintendent, Pat Durant, said all the homes were smoke tested, but the violators have not been contacted because the city still needs to lay a storm sewer line next to the sanitary line. He said once that's complete, the driveways will need to be fed into the storm sewer. Once that happens, any violators will have about 90 days to comply. Durant also said the new sewer line was the same size as the old one.

Mayor Steve Bohrer told Knowlton it wouldn't help to make the line larger. He said the old line bellied out; otherwise, there wouldn't have been a problem.

Knowlton also asked about the insurance claim residents have for damages uncovered by their homeowner's insurance. He was told by Recorder Kim Whiteman that the city has turned them over to the Wetzel-Valley, and they are waiting on the engineer reports.

John McCulley, who - along with Knowlton - has attended several council meetings in the past months, said he wanted to congratulate the residents on East Thistle for getting the help they need to correct their sewer problems. He also asked about testing lines near his home. He wanted to know what was going on near his home on Paducah; he questioned whether it normally takes this long on insurance claims. McCulley was given the same assurance as Knowlton.

Durant said the department would be conducting testing and camera work to check for problems at McCulley's home. He noted the camera was never used near McCulley's home when the department was doing camera work on Paducah and Meadow Drive.

Councilman Steve Pallisco contributed his thoughts, stating he would like to compliment Pat Durant and the water department on a job well done, while working out in all kinds of weather.

Ida Lou Martie also spoke to council. She said she basically had the same questions as Knowlton and McCulley. She wondered when the city would be working in her neighborhood on Greenbriar drive. Durant said it would depend on the weather, but hopefully the following week.

In another matter, Michelle Parker approached council with a request to continue a lease she has had with the city the past five years, for a vacant lot on North Main Street. She said the lot is used by kids playing ball, and she maintains it. She asked to renew the lease. Councilman Pallisco stated he felt the council should discuss the matter and decide what it wants to do with the lot. He mentioned previous discussions had considered converting the lot to a parking lot.

Recorder Whiteman said Councilwomen Iris Isaacs' committee is still working with Enterprise and the budget. Councilman Joel Potts, chairman of committee number two, reported that David White was absent, and there was no electric department report. Potts noted the Hydro Plant has been making good electric, but there is a mechanical problem with the crane that keeps the debris free from the plant. Potts said the maintenance department is working to get that corrected. Potts also mentioned getting a lot of good feedback on the snowflake holiday decorations that were refurbished.

Councilman Pallisco, chairman of committee number three, said cold patch was being used to fill potholes, and occasionally, when available, hot patch is used. Pallisco also mentioned there are still a lot of leaves to be removed, which will be addressed.

Councilman Jeff Geiseke asked for permission to open bids received for a seized Chevy Cavalier. There were two bids received - one from Warren Howell for $480, and another from Jane Hafer for $600. Council will contact Hafer.

Chief of Police Tim Cecil addressed council concerning the hire of a new police officer. He said he had three applicants and would like to hire Miranda Haynes. Cecil said she has been an employee of the city for 15 years and has shown a lot of loyalty to the city, and will continue to be loyal if hired to the police force. Mayor Bohrer also spoke on her behalf, as an excellent employee. There was a motion and second, and it was by unanimous vote to hire Haynes as a city police officer.

Ryan Yost, over committee number six, reported the fire department is still waiting on an air compressor.

On a motion to adjourn, the council voted unanimously.



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