Powhatan council OKs VFD items

POWHATAN POINT – Several items for the volunteer fire department were approved Tuesday night by Powhatan Village Council, which also named a new chief for the emergency squad, authorized a contract with LBG, and heard reports concerning a waterline break and payment for the Ohio 7 South drainage project.

Mayor Mark McVey also named his 2013 committees, and council elected Sam Armann as council president pro-tem.

In the absence of Fire Chief Tom Nelms, Councilman Jerry Binni read a list of eight items submitted by the chief for discussion and/or approval.

Following discussion, Binni moved to authorize Nelms to pursue his requests. These include replacing the ventilation system in the fire station garage at a cost of $652.59, from McNear Cabinets & Hardware, Powhatan; two ladders for Engine 1 at a cost of $974.28, from Finley Fire Equipment of McConnelsville; and the contracting of grants writer Vera Gatchell to seek grants to replace fire and rescue equipment. According to Nelms, most of the fire equipment is more than 20 years old and can no longer be serviced. New rescue gear, turnout gear and air packs are needed.

In his report, Nelms said the 2013 Fire Marshal Equipment Grant requesting seven sets of firefighter turnout gear is completed. He said the gear is “a little over $17,000” and the grant is for $15,000. The VFD would have to pay the remaining amount should the grant be awarded.

Council entered into an executive session to discuss a recommendation made by Nelms, personnel with regard to hiring in the police department and front office and a water contract. The session lasted about 30 minutes. At the conclusion, Nelms’ recommendation to name Rebecca Bier as squad chief was accepted.

Additionally, Mayor McVey was authorized to enter into a three-year contract with LBG Land Services for the purchase of water pulled from Captina Creek. The contract negates a five-year agreement made in March of 2012. According to McVey, the reason for a new agreement is because the water withdrawal site has been changed from the haul road location to an area near the water treatment plant off Ohio 148. The village will be paid $5 per 1,000 gallons of water withdrawn from Captina Creek.

The untreated water is to be used for the purpose of drilling and exploration of oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and Trenton Black River.

With regard to another project, McVey reported receipt of $40,500 from Bel-O-Mar, representing a grant for the Ohio 7 South drainage project. The village is responsible for an additional $22,387 in matching dollars which will be paid from permissive tax monies.

McVey reported that a waterline break under the railroad tracks across Ohio 148 at Taylor and Water streets is currently under emergency repair by Ohio-West Virginia Excavating. Due to speculation there could be additional rail traffic moving through the village from Monroe County, the board of public affairs decided to replace 50 feet of water line. The 6-inch line will be encased in 10-inch casing.

Councilman Dave Walters brought to the table an article appearing in a daily newspaper concerning “preliminary plans” for the elementary school as reported by the Powhatan Point Revitalization Association. According to the article, plans call for the “village administrative offices, business and city council offices, a courtroom, and the police department” to move in. According to village officials, there is no interest in moving village offices or the police department into the structure.

During his report, the mayor mentioned Dan Young and noted Young has been recipient of many commendations recently. “He is worthy of all the accolades,” said McVey.

The mayor’s committees include the following, with the first named being the chairman:

Finance, audit, ordinance: Jerry Binni, John Mitchell, Sam Armann; grants: Dave Walters, Binni, Brady Dierkes; civil rights: Mitchell, Armann, Rob Caldwell; streets: Mitchell, Binni, Dierkes; sanitation, Caldwell, Walters, Mitchell; grievance, Walters, Caldwell, Binni; safety: Armann, Mitchell, Walters.

Building and grounds: Dierkes, Caldwell, Walters; fire and police: Dierkes, Binni, Caldwell; zoning: Binni, Dierkes, Mitchell; lights: Binni, Armann, Dierkes; insurance: Armann, Dierkes, Binni; fire dependency board: Caldwell, Drake Gust, Secretary, Casey Harrigan, Becky Bier, Mayor Mark McVey.

Records Commission: Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Armann-Blue; Solicitor Charles Bean, Councilman Binni, Doug Rush, Mayor McVey; Planning Commission: Mayor McVey, Rose Snively Jeff Haught, Bob Rush, Dave Walters; and Board of Zoning Appeals: Tom Modra, Mike Gregg, Curt Ingold, Kim Sisson, Dave Walters, Becky Bier.