Braxton Citizens' News, Community, Town Meeting

Sutton holds back-to-back work session/meeting

The Sutton Town Council had a busy evening July 27. First, they conducted a work session at 4:00 pm then followed it with their regular meeting at 6:00 pm.

During the work session, several items were discussed: update on stair lift, parking lot, beautification projects, business organization meeting, Braxton Motor property, storm drains map, North Third drainage issue, Bigfoot Festival, and building permits.

Beth Atkins updated council on the stair lift project. She had been trying to get a second quote without success. The current quote is for almost $28,000. The lift would need to be inspected yearly for additional costs. Atkins also stated she had been in contact with the state and the community building is not in compliance with ADA since it is not handicap accessible. She recommended to not continue with the project. Jon Crum stated if it was not handicap accessible then either the town need to either put the stair lift in or no longer rent the space out to the public.

Atkins went on to discuss the parking lot next to the old dump behind the courthouse. She proposed working with the county and having the area marked off better for parking. Crum stated he would work on marking off the area owned by the town and work on plans for town parking in that area. Catherine Hoover brought up an issue of several cars being left near the Methodist church again. Crum stated if they were owned by town residents then they need to have a place to park their vehicles nearby. Steven Facemire and Hoover both noted that several were not licensed and should be moved.

Atkins stated the town had received $10,000 for beautification projects from the state. She would like to get new lights for the holidays, possibly snowflakes that can stay up past Christmas. She also discussed better signage for trails. Atkins asked for more ideas from the council.

She stated that the town has 70 businesses registered. She would like to have some type of meeting open to the businesses to get their input and see what the need. Facemire suggest possibly doing a couple of before and after hours informal events with coffee and snacks that would allow for business owners to come and go as they please.

Atkins is working on finding the documents from the August 2007 strategic and historical plans. A developer out of Charleston, Douglas Pauley is looking to purchase the old Braxton Motor building and complete a historic renovation. Locating those plans will help with the process.

Atkins is also working on trying to complete a map of storm drains in the municipality. Facemire noted the Town of Gassaway had contracted an individual for something similar. He will get the contact information.

Recorder Robyn Dolan asked about having the drain pipe replaced on North Third Street that is no longer functional. Facemire will have the town employees assessed the issued and see if they can get it replaced. She also noted the paving on South Birch Street had been completed.

Council discussed the need for better plans to be presented to them for use of the town during festivals, specifically the Bigfoot Festival. Crum discussed making an ordinance to address these issues.

Crum updated the council on what constitutes a need for a building permit based on existing ordinances. According to those ordinances, permits need to be issued for construction or demolition that changes the footprint of an existing building.

The work session adjourned at 5:40 pm.

During the regular meeting, Kenneth Kinder with EL Robinson Engineering was on hand to give an update on the planning of the North Hill drain. He informed council the initial assessment had been completed and his organization had drawn up the plans. He stated a little more field work will need to be completed to verify the use of a 30″ pipe. The costs estimates came in a little higher than originally quoted. The current concrete channel structure is not stable and cannot be used as originally planned leading to the increase. The environment study will need to still be completed as well as permitting with DOH.

Facemire presented a calendar for the month of August to council that shows the schedules for work around town. Workers are assigned tasks to be complete each day and different areas of the town will be covered on different weeks.

Council discussed the need for a wood chipper. Facemire stated he felt the price of $2500 was a good price and that the town needed it to work on cleaning up the town. He made a motion to move forward with the purchase. The motion passed 4-1 with Crum voting against the purchase.

Crum stated he had spoken with the new police chief who was working on inventorying the guns and ammo. He made a motion to allow the police chief to trade in two old guns with different calibers for two that match the ammo the department already has. The motion passed.

Under regular business, the council approved the minutes of the July 13 meeting and the payment of bills on separate motions. Crum asked about the $400 expense for lawn mower. Facemire stated they had purchased a self-propelled mower to use in areas too small for the tractor.

Crum made a motion to approve the changes to ordinance 2-515 after the second reading. The motion carried.

The closure of Sixth Street for an upcoming Sutton Baptist Church event was approved on a motion by Facemire.

Council went into executive session at 6:47 pm to discuss a brief personnel issue. They reconvened at 7:19 pm with no decisions made. The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 pm.