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Resignation, water woes discussed in Wellsburg

WELLSBURG — A recurring problem with runoff on the city’s east side and the resignation of a councilwoman were among matters before Wellsburg Council on Tuesday.

Mayor Sue Simonetti said she will accept letters of interest in a council seat representing the city’s 2nd Ward following the resignation of Angel Adams.

Adams, who was called for comment, said she has chosen to focus on her duties as pastor of New Day Christian Center. During her time on council, she, members of the church and other volunteers were involved in revitalizing the city’s 4th Ward Park and holding children’s activities there.

Adams’ four-year term will end June 30, 2021, at which time the council seat will be on the ballot in the city’s next regular election. Candidates for appointment to the seat must be registered voters currently living in the 2nd Ward and can submit their letters of interest in care of the mayor’s office at Wellsburg City Hall.

In other business, council heard from Frank Johnson of Caldwell Avenue, who said a river of rainwater has flowed downhill and into his basement at least three times a year.

Johnson said the runoff has been a major problem since a home was built above him, but he also blamed clogged storm drains above both properties and just outside the city. He said he’s cleared debris from the drains and installed a small catch basin near his home but it hasn’t solved the problem.

Johnson said he hopes the city or state, which maintains the storm drains, can address the issue.

Fourth Ward Councilman Charlie Harris said runoff from the hillside above the city has been a recurring problem, resulting in the Unity Apartment building being flooded last month.

But he cautioned city officials to plan carefully when installing any drainage structures, should they create problems elsewhere.

City Manager Steve Maguschak agreed to inspect the site.

Council also:

¯ Approved year-end bonuses for city employees in the amount of $375 for full-time staff and $200, $150 or $100, depending on hours worked, for part-time staff.

The move was supported by 1st Ward Councilmen Jack Kins and Dan Dudley, 2nd Ward Councilman Paul T. Billiard, 3rd Ward Councilmen Randy Fletcher and Tom Gaudio and 4th Ward Councilwoman Della Serevicz.

Harris opposed the move because they included the police chief and collector-treasurer, two elected positions whose salaries can’t be altered under state code.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)

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