By Adam Pack
The Ronceverte City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 3, at 7 p.m. in the new City Hall building on Edgar Avenue. Dan Withrow and Alex Degraff addressed the council with plans, itineraries, and logistical considerations for the upcoming food truck festival in May. The festival, which Withrow and company foresee bringing in several food trucks, will take place on Edgar Avenue on May 11, 12, and 13, and will require the partial closing of the street on May 11 between 5 and 9 p.m. for a band to perform a show, and on Friday the 12th from 12 p.m. all the way into Saturday the 13th at 10 p.m.
After delivering this request Withrow briefed the council on the plans he and his associates have for the festival. “We plan on having trucks out here just in front of the City Hall, with a stage up the street. We also have plans for a children’s area with a bounce house and other games.” Withrow has been doing a great deal of background work, discussing the festival with business owners in Ronceverte, and reported that, “all of the business owners here on Edgar are good with it.” The council had already approved the closure of Edgar Avenue for the above times on the 12th and the 13th and had before them the approval of the times listed for the 11th. The council approved the closure of Edgar Avenue from the intersection of Edgar Avenue and Frankford Road to the Day Report Center unanimously.
In other news, council also heard Withrow’s request for an outdoor seating arrangement for the Sportsman Tavern. Withrow described the outdoor seating as, “A wooden deck, measuring 12’ x 20’, sanded very finely and stained, ornamented with flower baskets, and wire for the balusters. It’s going to be a very visually appealing structure. It will be attached to the street, so it won’t be able to be moved or move around, but can be taken up within half an hour or so, and will probably remain there from, weather dependent, anywhere between March and May to anywhere between September to October. The deck will stop short of the street, depth-wise, and won’t impede traffic. It should seat around 20 people.” The council approved Withrow’s request and work will begin immediately.
The city also reported that though there was no current business on dilapidated buildings, officials are working diligently to learn more about the legal avenues available to them to deal with both commercial and residential buildings which pose what City Administrator Pam Mentz described as, “an imminent danger to public health and safety.”
The city also read a proposed change to the ordinance related to the increase in fees collected via citations. Current Ordinance 2012-02 would be changed by Ordinance 2023-02. As previously reported, the Ronceverte Police Department requested an increase in citation fees from $15 to $25, and a request to increase the fee for a police report from $20 to $30 per report. The citation fee increase is an inflation-based raise to help with police equipment funding. The latter request is based on the fact that it takes a considerable number of man hours to generate reports. Police reports are generated as part of vehicular accidents, as well as all criminal investigations and or arrests, and on responses by officers to citizen reported crimes. The ordinance to raise citation fees was placed on first reading at the last meeting of the council, to be read the second time at this month’s reading. Upon second reading the citation increase was passed by the council unanimously.
Anthony Brown, representing the Thrasher Group, stated to Council that Thrasher engineers are going to be doing walkthroughs in the town to finalize their work on the city’s sewer upgrades, with designs to be submitted to the council soon. Brown also relayed to the council that he had contacted the earmark agencies of Senators Manchin and Capito and Congresswoman Miller regarding a complete rebuild of the Ronceverte bridge, but had not heard back from them. However, he reported that “we typically hear back from congressional earmark agencies within 90 days or so.”
The bridge rebuild would create a new bridge in place of the old, dilapidated bridge, and be capable of handling foot and vehicular traffic. Brown is confident that the bridge could be funded by congressional earmarks, especially when taking into account that, “putting it in the language of the proposal that the bridge could be essential for flooding evacuation will be a really good selling point.”
The city also proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month, and Apr. 14 as Arbor day in the City of Ronceverte. City Administrator Mentz also presented an updated Floodplain Ordinance. According to state law, the Floodplain Ordinance must be updated due to the possibility of river course movement. “We have been doing some research lately, to see what’s changed, whether or not any elevations have changed; nothing has changed from the last flood ordinance, but we are still mandated to adopt the new one,” said Mentz. Mayor Deena Pack moved to consider the ordinance read by reading of the title only, and having read the title, the city considered the ordinance read for the first time. The ordinance will go to a second reading at next month’s city council meeting.
The Ronceverte City Council will meet again on May 1, at 7 p.m. in the New City Hall Building on Edgar Avenue. The public is encouraged to attend, and to call ahead first at 304-657-5455, as times and or dates are subject to change.
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