Town hires new police
The Bath Town Council hired four new police officers at the Tuesday, July 15 meeting.
Morgan County Sheriff's deputies Kevin Barney and Scott Lemon, former deputy John Miller and new recruit Chris Yost were introduced to council and sworn in as town policemen.
Deputies Barney and Lemon, along with Deputy Tony Link, who is already serving as a town officer, are going to work on their days off from the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Ron McIntire has kindly offered to help us during the time while Corporal Pearrell is deployed, said Mayor Susan Webster.
Pearrell is a National Guard Staff Sergeant with the Security Forces of the 167 Airlift Wing in Martinsburg. He is now on leave from the town police because he is being deployed to Iraq for six to eight months.
Miller is a contractor, but previously worked as a deputy sheriff from 1996 to 2002.
Yost is a fulltime fireman in Winchester, but has been working and training as a policeman in Paw Paw with Pearrell, who was also police chief there.
Webster said the new officers will be paid by the town, wear town uniforms, drive town police vehicles, patrol within town limits and use town ticket books when they are working as town police.
Link will coordinate schedules between the town and the sheriff's department.
I want to express, and I think all of us want to express, our deep gratitude to Sheriff McIntire for the offer of help and what I expect will be some real quality assistance in getting through the next few months, Webster said.
Horse carriage in town?
Jody Eliseo appeared before council to ask permission to keep a horse at her property on North Green Street. The property is adjacent to Tony's Pizza, the Old Factory Antique Mall and Mike's Garage.
Eliseo said she has years of experience working with horses, previously worked for Ringling Brothers Circus and has taken care of the carriage horses in New York City.
She wants to start a carriage service in town for special events such as carriage rides at Christmas time and weddings. She said she has talked to local businesses about the idea and has their support.
She said rides could originate at the Country Inn and possibly include trips to the Castle.
Webster told Eliseo that council had to do more research and referred the matter to Councilman Dale Lutman, who chairs the Public Safety Committee.
The committee will meet with police and the animal control officer to determine if carriage service is feasible in town.
County Administrator Bill Clark submitted a request for a building permit for the new courthouse, but asked the town to wave the $11,805 fee.
This is not something we normally do, Mayor Webster said.
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer said a building permit fee had been collected from the county commission when the temporary mobile units were installed after the courthouse fire.
Webster said the only time a fee isn't charge is when it involves the municipality.
We don't bill ourselves. Perhaps if we had been part of the courthouse building, we would have thought differently about this, Webster said.
The $11,805 fee was included in the town's budget for fiscal year 2008 - 2009.
Webster referred the issue to the Finance Committee.
Webster and Allgyer reported they met with the Infrastructure Jobs Development Council in Charleston on July 9. The town is hoping to get a loan from the council for the next water project.
The state agency did change the proposed water project to an emergency status, which means they will rule on the loan within 90 – 120 days.
Webster and Allgyer also talked to the State Public Service Commission about the town's proposed water rate increase. A hearing will be set in August to hear U.S. Silica's appeal of the rates. An administrative law judge will hear arguments from both sides. His ruling may come as soon as September.
Special council meeting
Because there are five Tuesdays in July, a special Bath Town Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 10 a.m. to handle normal business.