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Weirton City Council OKs license plate readers, hits pause on BDC contribution

WEIRTON — Weirton Council, during its meeting Monday, discussed a variety of purchase proposals and contribution requests, while also authorizing the acceptance of a grant to assist with the purchase of license plate readers for the city’s police department.

Council approved a resolution, 6-1, authorizing a $1,000 contribution to the First United Methodist Church for its Children’s Ministry “Grab and Go” food program, although there were questions as to where in the budget the donation would originate.

The contribution had been requested by Ward 4 Councilman George Ash.

Ward 7 Councilman Terry Weigel asked if the church’s program would be eligible for funds under the city’s Community Development Block Grant program, which is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We get multiple requests for these types of things,” he said.

Planning and Development Director Jessica Gumm noted the church, as a non-profit, would be eligible, and explained there was paperwork involved, including the need for information on the income of those served. Gumm further explained, though, the city had received $342,000 for the current fiscal year, all of which has been allocated.

Finance Director Diana Smoljanovich noted the city’s budget includes a civic contributions line item, which had included $82,000, but that, too, also has been spent for the current fiscal year.

City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo explained issues dealing with the budget, including possible revisions, were at council’s discretion.

“Those are council level decisions,” DiBartolomeo said.

Earlier in the evening, Ash presented a Mayor’s Award to Holly Sigley, in recognition of her work with the food program.

Following a motion from Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh, council opted to table a resolution authorizing financial support to the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.

“After reading a report I’ve been given, I have some questions,” Marsh said.

He requested council’s two representatives to the BDC’s board of directors, councilmembers Flora Perrone and Terry Weigel, arrange a meeting with officials from the economic development agency before moving forward on the contribution.

Council unanimously approved the acceptance of a $40,000 grant from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the purchase of three license plate readers for the Weirton Police Department.

DiBartolomeo, noting the grant includes a $20,000 local match, explained the grant application went through the city’s Planning and Development Department.

In other business, Weirton Council on Monday:

Approved, 5-2, the second reading of Ordinance 2144, prohibiting the use of groundwater for potable purposes.

Approved, 5-2, a resolution adopting response plans for landslides, snow and ice, floods and pandemics/infectious diseases for the city of Weirton

Approved an agreement with Pulice Construction, at $4,700, for demolition of a structure at 407 Engle St.

Approved a resolution for the purchase of a 3 million BTU Lochinvar Crest high efficiency boiler for Public Works, at a cost of $105,198

Agreed to appoint Joe Barnabei to the Weirton Sanitary Board, filling a vacancy made by the retirement from the board of Tom Banketas.

Agreed to re-appoint Bill Frohnapfel to the Weirton Zoning Board of Appeals

Approved a resolution to purchase an International chassis with a Loadmaster 25 yard packer for the Sanitation Department of Public Works, at a cost of $165,608.08.

Mayor Harold Miller, with assistance from Assistant City Manager DeeAnn Pulliam and City Clerk Kimberly Long, presented proclamations recognizing National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and National Stalking Awareness Month. The resolutions were presented to representatives of CHANGE Inc. and the Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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