The Ronceverte City Council had a number of items on their usually short agenda at the Monday evening meeting.
Several proclamations and resolutions, variances and commission appointments punctuated the meeting, while awaiting the arrival of an attorney to discuss the water project.
- Council member Adam Rosin introduced a resolution to resist hackers from attacking municipalities and demanding ransoms. Many times, he said, when the ransom is paid, the hackers simply continue to attack and demand more payments. The resolution he proposed is to not pay any ransom ware as a discouragement to malicious internet hacking attacks.
- Mayor David Smith said the city has hired Thrasher Engineering to repair the Workman Bridge, long closed to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic due to failing surfaces. A matching funds $400,000 grant will be used to remove and replace the rotting bridge flooring to make a walking bridge with the option of emergency vehicular use. Smith said the bridge is owned by the city, but is the responsibility of CSX. It was built in 1906 by C&O Railroad Company.
- New Council member Scott Vogelsong brought his concerns for the condition of lower Pocahontas Avenue to the agenda, requesting the street be repaved. Potholes and uneven pavement makes that street one to avoid, as fellow Council member Rosin, who resides on Pocahontas Avenue, can attest. The mayor said Thrasher Engineering was hired to first look at drainage system issues before repaving the city streets is considered.
- Two organizations requested variances to conduct bucket drives. The Greenbrier East High School band and the Ronceverte Public Library were approved to hold separate bucket drives to support their organizations. Council member Kathy King affirmed for the public record that no school-aged children will be in the roadway collecting money from vehicles during either bucket drive.
- City Manager Reba Mohler announced the appointment of two Historic Landmarks Commission members. Sue Ella Miano renewed her membership and Allison Baker was welcomed as a new member to serve on the commission.
- As with every municipality in Greenbrier County, Debra Sizemore, a partnership specialist with the 2020 U.S. Census, is doing her best to inform the public of the importance of getting an accurate population count. “The 2020 census will be easier than ever,” she said. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. By law, the Census bureau cannot share your answers with any other government agency. Your privacy is protected, Sizemore said. This is the first time the census will be counted from online access.
- The mayor and council approved a proclamation to support the Greenbrier Aquatic Center. Community and Donor Engagement Director Jamie Hamilton made it clear in his statement that the center will not be a community pool, but will try to make the pool available for as many community members as possible.
- Bond Consultant John Stump arrived from Charleston at the tail end of the meeting, after weathering a severe rain and hail storm, to deliver a statement about the requirements of the sunshine law with which the city must comply in advancing the city’s water infrastructure upgrade project. A series of ordinances concerning financing for the ongoing water project were passed prior to Stump’s arrival, allowing the project to move forward.
The mayor and council then adjourned the meeting to go into an executive session to discuss legal and personnel issues with Stump and E.L. Robinson water project representatives.
- The next city council meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 9, due to the Labor Day holiday.