Bath Town Council
Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering reported to the Bath Town Council on Monday that the water line replacement project will come in on time and under budget.
Speaking at the June 18 council meeting, Watson estimated that the town will have a surplus of $102,323 in the budget when the project is completed next week.
The project budget is $2,194,000 and Watson estimated the total cost for the work done by both Thrasher Engi-neering and Cowgirl Up to be $2,091,677.
"We did more for the same amount of money," Watson said. He explained that the contractor installed 13 additional water meters and laid 420 more feet of pipe than planned.
Watson estimated it will cost the town between $20,000 and $23,000 to buy the insert valves needed to replace the 16 faulty valves on the old water line system. The valves are needed to shut off water to the old lines.
He also estimated it would cost another $10,000 to $12,000 for labor and equipment to dig up the old valves and insert the new ones.
Chief Water Operator Terry Largent and Water Operator Jim Close have borrowed Hydra-Stop equipment from Shepherdstown to cut and cap the old lines with the insert valves. A representative from Hydra-Stop is scheduled to check out the equipment this week.
The town will seek parttime laborers once the project to replace the valves begins.
Watson suggested council use any leftover money from the project to upgrade pumps, filters and other equipment in the water treatment plant. He said the town would have to seek bids.
Jeanne Mozier asked if the moratorium on new water taps would be lifted once the project is complete.
Council thought that once the new insert valves were installed and water shut off to the old lines, the moratorium could be lifted.
Thursday market concerns
Mozier expressed concerns about the impact of a Thursday Farmers Market on Fairfax Street. The Farmers Market is scheduled to be open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursday, July 12 – October 4.
"Business is down everywhere," Mozier said. She thought that blocking off meters and traffic on Fairfax Street might worsen the situation. She didn't believe the Thursday market would bring additional tourists to town.
Larry Lower, chairman of the Farmers Market, said they never anticipated attracting tourists with the Thursday market. The idea was to provide a market for local residents and people who work in town and don't want to drive in for the Sunday market, he said.
Mayor Susan Webster said council would look upon the Thursday market as an experiment.
"Nobody is married to this, we have to remain flexible," Webster said.
Mozier asked council to canvass businesses every two weeks to see how the market is impacting them. Crosby said he would stay in touch with the businesses.
"We have an obligation to protect those businesses on Fairfax Street," Crosby said.
Mozier said the Museum of the Berkeley Springs has received a grant of $1,500 from the Humanities Foundation to improve town history exhibits. The museum is looking for old photographs and artifacts to borrow for the exhibits.
Meeting day to change
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer suggested that council meetings be moved from Mondays to Tuesdays. She said that many meetings already have to be moved to Tuesdays due to holidays. Council agreed to amend the ordinance and have a first reading at the next meeting.
Allgyer asked permission to start charging 25 cents-per-page for copies made on the town's copier. She said the library charges 25 cents and the town should recoup their costs. Council okayed the fee, effective immediately.
New stop signs
Police Chief Jim Minton reported that stop signs have been installed at both ends of Rockwell Circle and on Hilltop Road. The signs were requested by the mayor at the last council meeting because of complaints from residents. Some speeding vehicles have been using the streets as a cut-through from Johnsons Mill Road to Rt. 9.
In other police business, Minton said he has received the Child ID kits. This initiative was suggested by Deborah Minton earlier this year. The kits are used on a voluntary basis to collect fingerprints, DNA and other pertinent information to help identify missing children.
Minton is thinking about introducing the Child ID program at an event such as the Morgan County Fair or Apple Butter Festival.
He reported that the cleaning of parking meter faces is ongoing. Police have identified 105 meters that need cleaning. The cost per meter is $10.
State Farm Insurance has awarded the Town Police Department a $6,000 grant for the K-9 program. The check will be presented by Luke Christie in a ceremony on July 24.
Public Works Committee
Councilman Dale Lutman presented a quote from New Direction Masonry for work needed along a portion of Wilkes Street. Council approved the contract with minor changes to the payment schedule. A 75 ft. retaining wall between 376 and 384 Wilkes Street will be torn down and rebuilt. A sidewalk will be poured along the new wall. The cost is $4,500.
Work should start within a week and take 30 days to finish.
Chairman Barb Campbell said the Tree Assessment Seminar on Saturday, June 16 was attended by 14 people. The seminar included a field trip to the Old English Cemetery on Whisner Avenue, where trees were found to be in good shape.
A dying tree on Market Street was removed on June 8. Unfortunately, a second tree had to be removed to allow the truck to get to the diseased tree. Campbell said both trees would be replaced.
Animal Control Ordinance
Councilwoman Nancy Harvey completed a draft of a proposed animal control ordinance and gave copies to Minton and Rebecca Mallory for review and comment. The first reading is planned for the next council meeting.
"We have to write an ordinance that can be enforced," Harvey said.