By Adam Pack
The Ronceverte City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the new City Hall building. The council dealt with several public works issues, taking up matters relating to water, wastewater, and stormwater, and also discussed entertainment and recreational opportunities for Ronceverte. But before that, the city had to deal with a major issue facing the Fire Department; the soon to expire air packs utilized by the department.
Also known as a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (or SCBA), air packs are the apparati that firefighters use to breathe when entering homes with high concentrations of hazardous gasses, smoke, and or ash. It was reported by Chief Mike Campbell that those air packs are near to expiring. If they were to expire, “The fire marshal will be forced to shut the building down.” To avoid this, Chief Campbell and his staff took the initiative to place an order before Oct. 31 in order to “avoid paying about $22,000 extra,” and secure the vital equipment. Furthermore, Campbell brought a rough estimate from a manufacturer regarding the financing of the air packs to the Ronceverte City Council. The financing options Campbell presented represent “just a rough estimate” but amounted to $2,200 over five years.
Those numbers, however, are up for negotiation with the manufacturer, with the opportunity for the fire department to negotiate better terms. Campbell brought these rough numbers for presentation before the council to ask for any potential assistance that they could provide. The fire department has until the arrival of the air packs in January to finalize a payment plan. As such, the council decided to table discussion on the matter until their next meeting to give members of the council time to review the options before them and coordinate with the fire department.
The council also reviewed and approved the final change order associated with E.L. Robinson’s work in the city. This particular change order relates to pavement trench repairs on Brier Hill Addition Road. This, as well as payments associated with the construction of water system upgrades, were approved.
An update regarding the wastewater project was given to the council, as well. Eric Cartwell of Dunn Technical Group and Clay Riley of the Thrasher Group were on hand to inform the council that work will soon begin on all wastewater lines south of the railroad, as well as the replacement of “a few manhole covers and things like that in town itself.” The two were also informed the council of the ongoing merger between the two companies, in which the Thrasher Group acquired Dunn Technical, and that Thrasher will be integrating Dunn staff, equipment, and assets into itself in the coming weeks and months. Afterward, the council approved payment for the designs of the aforementioned sewer repair project. The council also relayed that they had completed the search, review, and interview process for selecting an engineering firm for upcoming work on the Stormwater Rehabilitation Project and selected E.L. Robinson Engineering.
In miscellaneous matters, Mayor Deena Pack informed the council and public that a company by the name of Gateway Construction approached the city inquiring about their interest in having a miniature golf course. As the rest of the council shared her interest in the project, the council voted to authorize City Administrator Pam Mentz to enter into talks with Gateway to explore the idea.
The Ronceverte City Council will meet again on Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the new City Hall building. The public is encouraged to attend.