By Kara Linaburg
The April 10 Shinnston City Council meeting covered paving streets, installing fire hydrants, and updates on 2023 projects, among other topics.
City Manager Chad Edwards said that he plans to have yearly continual maintenance of paved streets, and he’d liked to see them kept up. “We’re going to put out a bid,” Edwards said of looking at the costs for the project. He will then bring the bid back to the Council and officials will review it and review the budget to see what the city has the ability to do.
Councilmember Bill Watson provided a list of streets to be paved to Council. Council discussed additional streets that they wished to see being paved. This included Pleasant Hill and Fleming Way. “We can put them on the list and see how it goes,” Edwards said.
Mayor Rodney Strait also added that they will look at cost and see what is able to be accomplished. He said that he’d also like to see the alleys get attention as well. “The alley beside the Chinese restaurant (Robinson Court) needs to be done,” Strait said. “People use that for the drive-thru and that’s what they see.”
“(The) sidewalk project in downtown is about halfway done, maybe a little more,” Strait said. “And so far we’ve got a lot of compliments about how nice it looks.”
Strait has also been checking on pricing for the installation of new fire hydrants. “I checked with the Clarksburg Water Board and they’re going to give me a price,” he said. “They do this for other cities. They install hydrants.”
City Manager, Chad Edwards said that he feels that even though they have some money left over from the county for the hydrants, with the high prices the city is being given, “we might have to scale back.”
“We’ll see what the Clarksburg Water Board says first,” said Strait.
According to Strait, the painting and color coding for the hydrants is nearly complete. “Next they’ll work on flushing the hydrants and redoing the hydrants where they need done, and they’re working on the schedule for that.”
Brendan Gallagher, who works on promotion efforts for Shinnston, attended the meeting and spoke briefly about a family donating money for the beautification of Shinnston. However, they needed a 501(C) in order to be able to make the donation. “But we aren’t going to be able to get that money until a 501(C) is set up,” Gallagher said. “That doesn’t just happen overnight.”
Gallagher explained that the family is, instead of donating the money directly to Shinnston, going to write the check to the The Cultural Foundation of Harrison County. The check will be allocated specifically for projects in the city. That way the city will be able to obtain the money much quicker, he said.“This also gives us the opportunity with the Harrison County cultural foundation for other people who want to donate a tax write-off for the beautification of the city,” Gallagher said. “They can donate it to the Cultural Foundation as well and it will be put in that pot. As long as they designate that check to the City of Shinnston, they will notify us. We can apply it for whatever we want to use it for.”
Council also discussed the demolition of dilapidated properties, including the list of addresses recommended by the fire chief, the fire inspector, and Edwards. “We’re looking at 101 Charles St. We’re looking at the one that burnt; that’ll be first,” Edwards said. The other top four addresses mentioned were 71 Station St., 98 Walnut St., and a building on South Pike St.
Project updates for 2023:
- The spring clean-up hasn’t been done yet.
- There are no updates on a proposed pickleball court.
- Street signs are about 30% done, according to Edwards, and “we will do what we can,” Edwards said. But he assumes that they will not all get completed due to cost.
- The city has already started looking for a location for a dog park.
- Taking over Hutchison Community Water Association is 98% done, according to Edwards, and “everything is set up for that,” Edwards said.
- Edwards said he needs to touch base with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture for updates on the location of the new boat ramp.
- Street sweeping will be continued all summer long.