Town loses workers comp
Town Clerk Debra Peck reported to the Town of Bath Council at the Tuesday evening, June 5 meeting the town’s workers compensation policy was being dropped by Brick Street Insurance due to the high number of claims.
She said the company told her the police and street crews were too high a risk.
Peck said she is in the process of getting quotes from other insurance companies for workers compensation coverage.
The town was paying Brick Street $10,683 a year. Commercial Insurance of Charleston has submitted a quote for $13,253, Peck said. If the town has to join the assigned risk pool, the cost will be $15,734.
The council voted to give Peck the authority to find a new workers compensation insurance company and sign up with them before the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
Water Tariff Ordinance
The council passed the second reading of the new water tariff ordinance that will change billing from a quarterly to monthly cycle.
Water rates have not changed but some service fees for new taps, water cutoff and restoring of service have increased. A copy of the ordinance is available at the municipal center.
The town must submit the ordinance to the West Virginia Public Service Commission, post the ordinance for public viewing and advertise the ordinance in the newspaper.
The public then has 30 days to challenge the ordinance in court.
The council also passed the first reading of an ordinance adopting the state traffic code as the town’s traffic code.
Donation for new sign
Rick Kesecker, President of the Mountain State Cruisers classic car club, appeared before council and pledged to donate $500 toward a new sign for the Municipal Center.
“It is a little appreciation for what the town has done for the car club,” Kesecker said.
Classic car shows are held in Berkeley Springs State Park on the first Friday of each summer month.
The Cruisers will hold their annual Father’s Day Auto Show on Sunday, June 17. The event will be held in the park, along Washington Street and the west side of Fairfax Street.
The new sign being considered by the council is painted on aluminum costs $838.
The council recognized Kesecker for the club’s donation and agreed to move forward with the purchase of the new sign.
Country Inn payments
Chief Craig Pearrell reported The Country Inn paid another two months of hotel-motel tax payments and is now up to date for this calendar year.
The Inn still owes back taxes for several months last year and $35,500 on a court judgment, plus back street and garbage collection fees.
Stephanie Rebant of Travel Berkeley Springs, which receives half of all hotel-motel taxes collected to promote the town and town businesses said, “This is a very difficult situation for the town, The Country Inn and Travel Berkeley Springs. Thank you for your progress.”
The additional two months tax payments by the Inn were made possible in part by a $2,700 payment made to the Inn by Travel Berkeley Springs as the second half of the fee for renting space at the Inn for the water tasting contest held there in March.
Webster said the town has spent $13,433 in legal fees so far collecting back hotel-motel taxes from the Inn.
Pearrell asked the council to consider buying new video systems for the town’s police cruisers.
He said the county prosecutor recently threw out two traffic cases because the police had no video to back up charges.
The council asked Pearrell to provide quotes for the equipment.
Citizens United resolutions
Rob Campbell asked the council to act on a proposed resolution in support of the group Citizens United in their efforts to prevent large, heavily funded political action groups, or PACs, and corporations from controlling elections through campaign contributions and advertising.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Skinner submitted a counter resolution stating that in the letter and spirit of the town’s charter, it is inappropriate for the council to take a position on a federal case.
After the council amended the resolution by removing several paragraphs, Skinner’s resolution was passed unanimously.