At the Monday night council meeting, Ronceverte’s City Administrator Reba Mohler presented a copy of a letter published in the Mountain Messenger in which the author alleged that the waste water plant was pouring raw sewage into the Greenbrier River.
Dunn Engineering consultants Eric Hartwell and Fred Hypes said with authority, that no raw sewage is being spilled into the river. The author also alleged that a foul odor was coming from the plant. The engineers stated the odor is from turkey manure pellets, which has a high ammonia level, had recently been applied to area farm fields.
“If he was interested in getting accurate information, I wish he’d called City Hall,” said Mayor David Smith, “instead of posting a letter in the paper.”
The waste water project is steadily making headway toward completion, Hartwell said. The plant is expected to be partially online by late April 2017, and, hopefully, under full operation by October or November.
In other business:
- The second reading of an ordinance was unanimously approved, allowing the city to charge a fee to homeowners for failure to obtain a building permit. The ordinance, as the mayor said, is designed to protect homeowners from contractors whose work is uncertified, leaving them at risk to faulty work, and to let the city know where building projects are ongoing.
- Mohler said the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office notified her of a new state ruling that will no longer require West Virginia towns to maintain nine early voting days for municipal elections. Instead, early voting will be converted to mail-in ballots only (or hand-delivered to the city hall). The ordinance received its first reading with council approval. Smith said the city will save thousands of dollars with this ruling.
- John R. Miller, Jr. will take Geraldine Allen’s place on the cemetery board. Allen, a long-time resident of Ronceverte, passed away late last spring.
- Grant consultant for Ronceverte, Doug Hylton, stated plans to outline an upgrade project for two brick support walls, located on Main Street, between cross streets Cedar and Spruce, will be presented to the department of highways next week.
- Mohler announced the River City has installed an automatic debit method for residents to pay their water, sewer and trash bills. For those interested, they are advised to come in to city hall to fill out a form. Many customers have asked for this convenience and now it is in place.
- Toys for Tots drop box is still available for gift giving to the children on Ronceverte’s gift list. The gift distribution will occur at City Hall on Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.
- The annual Christmas Stocking Giveaway will be held this year at the Clifford Armory on Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. The Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring the event and will provide over 1,000 stockings to children in the area.
• The city is still asking for Christmas lighting donations. Some of the street illuminations have already arrived and are up on the lamp poles. The mayor said more tax-deductible funds are needed to complete the city’s Christmas decoration stock.