Town to sue Country Inn over hotel taxes
Mayor Susan J. Webster said at the March 15 Town of Bath Council meeting she has instructed Attorney Richard Gay to begin legal proceedings against the Country Inn to collect $30,000 in back hotel/motel taxes owed the town.
The Country Inn has not paid the tax since June 2009, although it has collected the 3% tax from guests and submitted required monthly reports on taxes collected to the town.
Webster said she and Town Recorder Irene Hedrick met with representatives of the Country Inn in early March but have since had no communications with the hotel and spa.
The Inn’s attorney had proposed a payment plan in February of $500 a month to pay the taxes back, but the council rejected the plan as inadequate after Bath Police Chief Craig Pearrell said the statute of limitations would run out before the delinquent taxes were completely paid.
Pearrell then asked the Country Inn’s attorney Mark Garfinkel to come up with a more realistic payment plan.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission issued an order on March 10 partially waiving the town’s moratorium on new water taps.
The order allows the town to install the equivalent of 100 residential water taps and make periodic reports on water usage and loss to the PSC.
Webster said the order was in response to a request by the town to lift the moratorium. She said the PSC’s staff had recommended denying the request, but the three member commission decided on a partial waiver instead.
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer said a new water tap costs $577.50.
New water rates go into effect April 1. The minimum rate for residential water customers will increase from the current $80.70 to $96.84 per quarter.
The town accepted a bid by GHS Contracting for shoring up the retaining wall between Mercer Street and CNB Bank. The bid calls for using gabion blocks - wire rectangular containers filled with stone - to rebuild the wall.
CNB Bank is reviewing the bid and has asked for detailed engineering drawings. Webster said Thrasher Engineering has agreed to produce the drawings.
More digital parking meters
Pearrell reported four additional metered parking spaces have been created and new digital meters installed. Two spaces are on Fairfax Street next to BB&T Bank, one space is in front of the Morgan County Public Library and the other in front of Perry Realty.
Police Administrator Gene Kilduff said 38 of the town’s 104 meters have been converted to digital meters.
Pearrell presented Kilduff with a Law and Safety Day award Certificate of Recognition signed by Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Allgyer said an Ethics Commission training session will be held at Berkeley Springs High School on Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m. “Anyone who is on our volunteer boards and members of the public are encouraged to attend,” she said.