The Sutton Town Council met on April 14. The meeting was called to order by Mayor JD Hoover at 6:00 pm.
The first to speak to the council was Johnny King, Fire Forester with the WV Division of Forestry. He discussed fire seasons, the issuing of burn permits, and he went over the regulations of burn piles with council members.
Police Chief Shane Boggs provided an update to council members. He stated the department was recently certified for three years through the WV Juvenile Justice System. Joint training with the Burnsville and Flatwoods Police Departments and the Braxton County Health Department was also completed for certification in certain responses. The department is also in the process of becoming FBI LEEDA certified and will be the only department in the state with that certification. The department will meet the FBI standards for leadership qualifications across all levels of command. This will also help with receiving grant monies to allow the department to become more self-sufficient.
Mayor Hoover discussed options to monitor the burn pile for illegal dumping. Chief Boggs stated he has been changing his hours in town, including early morning hours, and he would watch that area. The individual that was suspected was seen taking their garbage out Old Woman’s Run out of his jurisdiction. He did suggest possibly purchasing trail cams that could be used to monitor that area as well as others as needed.
Municipal Judge Rodney Jamison spoke to the council with an update on municipal court. Court has met three times with one case dismissed and one appeal to a higher level that was bounced back to his court. Summonses have been issued for those who failed to show. One individual is doing 40 hours of community service. Court has been set for the first Thursday of the month from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
Under regular business, council members approved the minutes of the March 24 meeting minutes on a motion by Beth Atkins with a second by Jon Crum.
Also approved as presented was the payment of bills on a motion by Robyn Dolan and a second by Recorder Laurel Petolicchio. Jon Crum asked about some of the police expenditures and equipment for the garage. Boggs stated the police expenditures had been previously approved by the council. He had been shopping around for some of the equipment trying to find the best price and that was why there was a delay in purchasing.
Recorder Laurel Petolicchio discussed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. She had been in contact with the state auditor’s office to make the needed corrections to the budget. The council will discuss the budget more at the April 19 special budget meeting.
Steve Facemire stated mowing, weed eating, and trimming of brush along the roadways had begun in the town. He discussed renting equipment to address the issue on 5th Street and he is still working on getting the culvert cleaner up and running.
Mayor Hoover and Robyn Dolan discussed posting a notice the town is accepting bids for paving contractors to work on patching and fixing roads owned by the town. The state is currently working on patching state owned roads. Work will continue by the state department including work North Baxter and North Main on Town Hill.
Beth Atkins asked about recycling options for businesses. One business has had an issue with the cardboard blowing around and getting wet before it can be picked up. Council discussed contacting the business and any others about the recycling and the manner the recycling should be placed for pick up.
Jon Crum looked into options for replacing the lighting in the town building. Through his research, he found the lights could be fixed for approximately $10 each in materials. Mayor Hoover discussed contacting Hickman’s for an updated quote for the 45 lights in the building.
Beth Atkins discussed the Elk River Trail. The organization is requesting a letter of support be submitted by April 20 for the Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $1.5 million. A summary of what would be completed with the money was provided to the council. The council approved the letter of support on a motion by Beth Atkins and a second by Catherine Hoover.
Mayor Hoover briefly discussed a letter of request from an individual asking council members to submit letters to be sent to Senator Joe Manchin opposing the nomination of Gigi Sohn for the FCC.
Council approved Jon Crum to sit on the Farmers Market committee on a motion by Beth Atkins and a second by Recorder Petolicchio.
Council approved the construction permit for 210 Riverview Drive on a motion by Steve Facemire with a second by Robyn Dolan. Motion passed with Recorder Petolicchio abstaining due to personal involvement.
Council discussed updating the town ordinances. Council decided to get current ordinances converted to an editable document. Once that is complete, council then can change and edit them as needed for updating.
Council revisited the parking meter discussion. Recorder Petolicchio stated she had spoken with Bill Hopen and he did not want to leave his sculptures up on the parking meters but just out for special occasions. Steve Facemire noted the removal of meters needed to be looked into deeper. He noted a system needs to be in placed to monitor the 2 hour parking and delegate parking spaces for those living in apartments on Main Street. Council decided to buy bags noting 2 hour parking to cover the meter heads temporarily to see about enforcement and possible issues before moving forward on the removal. Chief Boggs suggested moving Officer Jason Boggs over to more monitoring of the meters as it has previously been an office employee task. He noted over 12,000 parking tickets written since 2016 have been found in boxes. The problem is the old administration did not have proper organization or records of the tickets and he cannot tell if they have been paid or not. He estimates that it is approximately $6000 in revenue that is unknown if it has been accounted for properly or not. By shifting Officer Boggs, the town can work on fixing those issues and have better records on the parking meter revenue. The issue of courthouse employees parking on Main Street was also discussed. Beth Atkins and Recorder Laurel Petolicchio will attend the County Commission meeting to discuss that with the Commissioners. Parking at the Landmark was also discussed and the need for them to comply with ordinances and parking regulations.
Council briefly discussed the adoption of ICC Title 87-4-7 State Building Code Compliance. The code was recommended for approval by the state fire marshal. The code however is more for new builds and does not directly help with addressing the issue of derelict buildings. Steve Facemire discussed getting more information on the “zombie” bill passed in state legislation in order to address those issues.
Council went into executive session at 7:57 pm. They reconvened at 9:10 pm and adjourned immediately following.
The next regular meeting is scheduled April 28 at 6:00 pm.