Town receives donation for sign, gets new police car
The Town of Bath Council accepted a check from Rick Kesecker, president of the Mountain State Cruisers classic car club, as a donation for a new sign to replace the old weathered sign on the Municipal Center building at 271 Wilkes Street.
The club originally pledged $500 toward a new sign, but decided to pick up the entire $765 cost at their successful car show on Father’s Day.
Kesecker said the show drew 110 classic cars from all over the area. The cars were displayed in Berkeley Springs State Park and on the west side of Fairfax Street adjacent to the park.
Mayor Susan Webster asked Kesecker to bring the car show back to the town next year.
Bath Police Chief Craig Pearrell said a new police cruiser ordered as part of a planned program to phase out older police vehicles has been received from Chrysler and is at the garage.
The police radio and lighting system are being installed and the lettering and town logo are being painted on the cruiser.
The new Dodge Charger cost $23,900 and is replacing an older Ford Crown Victoria.
Pearrell reported the CAPs (Citizen’s Auxiliary Patrol) program has been certified by the U.S. Department of Justice and accepted into their Volunteers in Public Service or VIPS program.
This allows police to submit applications for federal grants to help fund the CAPs program. Pearrell said the 11 CAPs members worked a total of 565 volunteer hours assisting police last year.
Sewer board responds
Webster read the response from the Warm Springs Public Service District board to the town’s complaint filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the sewer board’s new billing policy.
That policy would have started billing owners of vacant structures connected to the sewer system the full cost for sewer service each month starting July 1.
The town filed the complaint with the PSC on Friday, June 22. The sewer board met to discuss the complaint on Thursday, June 28 and decided to review the billing policy.
In their formal written response to the PSC, the board said in part, “The board agreed to review the billing policy at a future regular meeting and suspend the implementation of the policy until further notice.”
Train depot roof leaking
After the severe storm on Friday, June 29, it was discovered the roof of the train depot was leaking again.
The state has awarded the town a $304,264 transportation enhancement grant, but the town is unable to proceed with the rehabilitation of the building until the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) signs off on the cleanup of the CSX lot behind the depot.
CSX has promised to cede the lot to the town. The town needs to use the fair market value of the lot for matching funds required by the grant.
The lot cannot be transferred to the town until the DEP issues a “no further action required” letter to CSX for their cleanup of the site.
Webster said she wrote to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin about the slow pace of the project, hoping he will intercede with the DEP on the town’s behalf.
“We don’t want to waste taxpayer’s money on more damages,” she said, referring to cost of repairing the leak caused by the recent storm.
Last summer, all the roof tiles were removed from the train depot in order to repair the roof, but that grant did not cover replacing the tiles.
Town Clerk Debra Peck said the town office is in the process of installing new payroll and billing software.
She reported the town has received $4,900 in insurance for the truck that was stolen from the Myers Street water facility last month.
Water leak adjustment
Webster said the Water Committee granted a leak adjustment to a homeowner on Wilkes Street.
The leak at the home went unnoticed because it occurred underneath the town’s sidewalk and could not be seen.
After the owner received a $400 bill, the leak was discovered, fixed and the sidewalk repaired.
The committee agreed to adjust the bill back to the normal amount.
Councilwoman Elisabeth Skinner submitted an application for a West Virginia Community Tree grant of 12 free trees to be planted at Greenway Cemetery.
The council accepted the resignation of Kristine O’Brien and appointed Norman Dean to replace her on the board.