NEW CUMBERLAND - Three state grants will help New Cumberland deliver better services to city residents, Mayor Richard Blackwell said Monday.
New Cumberland City Council approved the grants, from the West Virginia Development Office, at its regular meeting Monday night. The Community Participation Grants are for:
Upgrades to the city water system ($6,333);
New computers and software ($2,000); and
Improved handicapped access to the city building ($2,667).
The water system improvements will include the installation of two new meters on city wells "so we can keep better track of how much water we pump," Blackwell said.
"It helps you keep track of water losses ... and it helps you keep track of your costs in some ways," he said.
The city has 620 water customers, not including those in the Tomlinson Public Service District. Some city water customers recently experienced a loss in water pressure as a result of the city selling water to Chesapeake Energy for a hydraulic fracturing site on Chapman Road.
The computer grant will pay for two new desktop computers and standardized operating systems for the city computers, Blackwell said. The third grant will make the city building vestibule more handicapped accessible, he said.
In other business, council approved the city's participation in the West Virginia Retirement Plus deferred compensation plan, administered by ING.
The plan will supplement the retirement benefits already available to city employees, including members of city council, said Jenny Coyne, of the West Virginia Treasurer's Office.
Almost all West Virginia counties are participating in the plan, and more municipalities are being brought on board, Coyne said.
"It's growing by leaps and bounds," she said.
New Cumberland employees will have an opportunity to enroll at an upcoming "lunch and learn" meeting, she said.
Blackwell said the city, by offering the Retirement Plus plan, will be able to attract and retain more qualified employees in the future.
Also Monday, council:
Passed a resolution opposed to new standards by the National Fire Protection Association for the training of volunteer firefighters. According to the West Virginia Municipal League, the new standards will hold volunteers to the same standards as full-time paid firefighters.
Approved the payment of $917 to move video surveillance equipment to the city clerk's office. The equipment operates the city's video surveillance cameras, which are installed in city parks, the city building and elsewhere.
Approved the payment of $600 to buy four street pole banners for the fall Riverfest, scheduled for Sept. 29-30.
Approved the installation of new speed bumps in the alley for Second and Third avenues.
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