By Peggy Mackenzie
The Ronceverte City Council met online via Zoom on Tuesday, Apr. 21, to approve laying the 2020 levy as required by law.
Several other items in the meeting included:
- City Manager Reba Mohler thanked the Ronceverte Police Department and the Public Works Department for their continued efforts in maintaining city business during the COVID-19 quarantine, which included fluctuating schedules, longer hours and the difficulties of following the rules of social distancing.
- Business owners were alerted to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, just passed by Congress, which is now available to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. The program provides $349 billion for small business loans to cover qualified payroll costs, rent, utilities, and interest on mortgage and other debt obligations. The Ronceverte Library’s application has already been approved, Mohler said. Council member Kathy King, an officer of Premier Bank, urged business owners to get in on the second round of the $250 billion in loan plans.
- The Primary Election dates to remember were announced as follows: The Primary Election will be held on June 9, 2020. May 19, 2020 was the voter registration deadline. The County Clerk’s Office will begin sending ballots to absentee voters on Apr. 24, which will be made available through June 3 for those who do not wish to vote in person due to the coronavirus situation (go to sos.wv.gov for more information for voting an absentee-by-mail ballot). Early voting begins on May 27 with a deadline of June 6. Absentee votes must be received no later than June 9 to be counted.
- Mohler also reminded residents to be sure and participate in the 2020 Census. A quick and easy method to fulfill that obligation and avoid having a census taker come to your residence is by filling out a 10-minute questionnaire online.
- Mayor David Smith read a Proclamation denoting Apr. 24 as Arbor Day, which began in 1872 with the planting of one million trees in Nebraska as an effort to reduce soil erosion. The Proclamation went on to say trees brings many benefits, including clean air, many useful wood products, provide shade and bear fruit, lower CO2, and much more. They are a source of joy and renewal to people in communities around the world. In honor of Arbor Day, the Ronceverte Women’s Club will plant a tree on the empty lots where two blighted houses along Main Street were demolished.
- Smith had some updated information from the Greater Greenbrier COVID Task Force’s thrice weekly meetings, stating that of the 316 people tested in the county, 308 tested negative and four were positive and two are pending. The two remaining were not Greenbrier County residents. Schools in the county will remain closed to the end of the school year. The plans for graduation ceremonies are still under scrutiny, he said.
- Council approved a waste water resolution and two water resolutions related to the Phase I design to the upgrade project and for payments to vendors.
- Council member Barbara Morgan again affirmed the Ronceverte River Festival will be held on the second weekend in June.