By Peggy Mackenzie
During the Lewisburg city council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor John Manchester announced the names proposed for approval by council for reappointment to the Lewisburg Board of Zoning Appeals. Tia Bowman and Darrewll Hughes were approved to three-year terms. Manchester also announced that Janice Cooley will step in and finish John Francis’s six-year term on the Lewisburg Parks Commission to it’s completion in June 2015. The council approved unanimously.
The mayor offered thanks to Shannon Beatty, as overseer of Lewisburg in Bloom, for her efforts with the beautification and decorations of the downtown area. He also thanked the public works crews for dressing the streets with holiday lighting.
Police Chief Tim Stover commented on the retirement reception held for office receptionist Janet Johnson, who was with the department for 28 years. Johnson was a valuable co-worker and colleague the entire force will sorely miss, he said.
Fire Chief Wayne Pennington gave the year-to-date incident activity report for the Lewisburg Volunteer Fire Department. Noting that 42 percent of the calls have been for the rural areas of the county, Pennington said the department is now a first responder for traumatic and life threatening events. Of a total of 726 calls, one-third (293) were responses to traumatic and life threatening events.
Council member Mark Etten, in reporting on the finance committee meeting, said the radio read water meter project is finally making progress. Ever since the radio read meters, which features a radio frequency transmitter for use with walk-by or drive-by automatic meter reading systems, were installed by C.I. Thornburg Co. throughout Lewisburg and completed in 2012, there have been numerous meter failures caused by a “design defect.” 175 meters were replaced last September and many more will also have to be replaced. Thornburg has agreed to replace most of the meters that have already been installed when weather permits in the spring.
Etten went on to say the state has uncovered $125,000 in additional funds to be applied to the L&R Trail project. Those funds come with a 20-percent match from the city, which would amount to $31,250. Council is considering how to provide the matching funds so that the project can progress from Holt Lane on to K-Mart.
Lewisburg Public Works Director Mark Carver stated that a crosswalk will be installed at Lee Street and Greenbrier Avenue pending further administrative discussions. The concern, he said, is for the volume of WVSOM student pedestrian traffic at an intersection where awareness and visibility of pedestrians is poor as vehicular traffic approach the intersection.
Council member Joseph Lutz reported that at a public safety meeting held earlier this month, city officials addressed safety issues in connection with the increasing numbers of visitors attending Lewisburg’s many year round festivals and events. A contengency plan was put in place to manage and direct emergency situations involving multi-hundreds of people.
City Hall will be closed on Christmas Day and Dec. 26, as well as Jan. 1-2, 2015.