Filing begins for town election
The filing period to run for one of the Town of Bath’s elected offices began on Monday and runs through January 26. An application is available at the town office and there is a $5 filing fee.
The positions of mayor, recorder and five council seats are up for election. The general election will be held on Tuesday, June 11. The early voting period will run from May 29 to June 8.
Cornelius Avenue trouble
Larry Davis, who lives at the end of Cornelius Avenue, appeared before the Town of Bath Council at their Tuesday evening, January 8 meeting to discuss a continuing problem caused by faulty GPS mapping.
People driving on U.S. 522 trying to get to Route 9 west are being sent up Cornelius Avenue instead of directed by their GPS systems up Union Street.
Cornelius Avenue dead ends into private property with little turnaround space and does not connect through to Route 9.
Recently, a tractor-trailer was directed by its GPS system up Cornelius Avenue and had to back all the way out of the street, knocking down three mailboxes.
Davis said he helped direct the driver while he was backing up and the process of getting the truck back out of the street took several hours.
He said he has contacted the manufacturers of several GPS systems and explained the problem, but it will be years before the maps are corrected.
Davis gave the council a suggested design for a sign to be placed at the entrance to Cornelius Avenue warning drivers that their GPS systems are wrong and the street is not a through street.
The council acknowledged the problem and turned the issue over to the town’s Police Committee to requisition an appropriate sign from the state.
Mayor lobbies for town
Mayor Susan Webster was in Charleston Monday, January 7 to pick up the $380,000 Streetscape grant award from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
“Whenever I go, I try to pack in as much as I can for whatever hours I’ve got. One of the things that I thought would be real important to do was to touch base with the funding agencies we will be working with on Phase III of the waterline replacement project,” Webster said.
She talked about the upcoming water project with Bob Decrease of the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health. Decrease is the manager of the Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Fund.
Webster then met with Chris Jarrett, the Executive Director of the West Virginia Water Development Authority, a division of the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.
“Both of these gentlemen were glad to be apprised of this project before it is even applied for,” Webster said.
She also met with the Governor’s legislative director Jason Pizatella about funding for the damage caused to Liberty Street by the September 1 flash flood.
The town had to front $12,000 from the street repair budget to repave the street and replace the asphalt on the bridge to Berkeley Springs State Park after the flood.
The repairs to the bridge and street depleted the town’s entire yearly budget for street repairs. Since then, state parks have repaid the town $4,900 for the portion of Liberty Street inside the park.
Pizatella told Webster there would be $5,000 more coming from the Governor’s office to help pay for the repairs to Liberty Street.
Webster met with Robert Pennington of the Division of Highways about the plans for revamping Fairfax Street. Pennington said the project is on the state list of road projects for 2013 and was currently in the design phase.
He told Webster he would let the town know when they are coming to begin construction.
Webster said she also met with West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and asked for her assistance with the upcoming June election.
Streetscape Co-Chair Larry Lower spoke to the council about the continuation of the Streetscape Project now that a new grant of $380,000 has been awarded.
He said it will take six months before all the state agencies concerned with the project sign off on it.
“I think it will be mid-summer before we get a notice to proceed,” Lower said.
At that point, a design engineer can be selected. Lower said construction would not start until the spring or summer of 2014.
The project continues the work on Mercer Street from the corner of Fairfax Street past The Morgan Messenger office and firehouse to Congress Street.
Work is also planned for the cross streets of Congress, Independence and Union from Mercer to Wilkes Street, he said.
The $475,000 project requires a 20 percent match from the town or $95,000. One of the main challenges for the Streetscape Committee and town is to find sources of funding to make up the difference, Lower said.