Bath Council names new member
David Bowers was sworn in as the fifth member of the Town of Bath Council prior to the Tuesday evening, September 6 meeting.
Bowers, 52, has been a resident of Berkeley Springs for the past 15 years. He is a paramedic with the Morgan County Rescue Squad and has worked in fire and rescue for 35 years, the last 20 as a paramedic.
Another town resident, James Vincent (Vince) Kidwell applied for one of the two remaining council seats at the meeting. Kidwell said he would like to see more activities in town for children.
The council may chose to fill those seats at a later date or leave the seats vacant.
Larry Lower told the council that if not for the recent bad weather, the contractor would have already completed Streetscape work on Mercer Street.
He said there were two items unfinished, the pavers on the corners and a safety rail behind the Sheriff’s building because of the drop off there.
Lower said the Division
of Highways will be installing Stop signs and painting stop lines on the roadways at the intersection of Mercer and Independence streets to form a four-way stop.
Bath Police Chief Craig Pearrell said the new Stop signs will be strictly enforced. “No California stops,” Pearrell said.
Two parking spaces will be added in front of the Masonic building on Fairfax Street. A left turn lane for vehicles coming down the hill and turning into Mercer Street will be painted on the recently repaved portion of Fairfax Street.
No parking will be allowed on Mercer Street across from the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department. This is necessary to allow room for fire engines to turn, Lower said.
Pearrell suggested leaving a couple of parking spaces for the Sheriff and one for The Morgan Messenger along the west side of Mercer Street and metering the rest of the parking spaces.
Lower suggested as an alternative that the council revisit the Parking Study competed in 2009 before making a decision on what to do with parking on Mercer Street.
There is not enough money left in the current grant to install streetlights. Lower said the Streetscape Committee is waiting to hear from the state on this year’s grant request. He said the committee is also working with Region 9 to “reprogram any leftover funds” for the streetlights.
The committee is also working on a grant to buy trees to be planted along the new sidewalk.
Police win awards
Mayor Webster, Chief Pearrell and Patrolman Lance Marshall attended the annual conference of Eastern Panhandle chapter of Mothers against Drunk Drivers (MADD) held in Martinsburg on August 27.
Marshall was presented two awards; one for making more than 10 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and a second award for outstanding performance in policing impaired drivers.
Pearrell said the department also won an award for the best designed police cruiser at the Richwood, West Virginia Cherry River Festival.
Officer T.J. Johnson drove one of the town’s new Dodge Chargers at the festival. Police cars from all over the state were entered in the contest.
The Bath police cruiser won the awards for Best in Lighting and Best in Show, Pearrell said.
At the request of a town resident, the Council is looking into the ownership of a bridge on Coughlin Street. The bridge, which goes to one home, is in need of repair and the homeowner has asked for the town’s help to maintain the bridge.
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer said she will research the deed to see if the town owns the bridge.
Bowers said if the town does decide to repair the narrow bridge it will have to conform to current standards that allow passage of fire and rescue vehicles. This will necessitate the construction of a new bridge.
Governor appoints mayor
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed Bath Mayor Susan Webster to the Regional Substance Abuse Task Force. Tomblin has created six regional task forces throughout the state.
The task forces report to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and will provide the Advisory Council with recommendations regarding innovative solutions to combat substance abuse.
New meeting times
The council held the first reading of an ordinance to change the meeting time of the second council meeting each month from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A second reading and vote to pass the ordinance will take place at a special meeting scheduled for 8 a.m. on September 21. The council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. The new meeting time for the second meeting will take effect in October.