POINT PLEASANT — Mt. Vernon Ave. will be fixed, city officials assured residents at this week’s meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.
Tim Clendenen of Mt. Vernon Ave., told council the street was a “complete disaster” after the city had excavated the concrete sections but had yet to get it repaired. Clendenen said he heard the city was going to use asphalt to fix the street and felt this fix wouldn’t work given the street’s base. He also felt the residents deserved a concrete street put back in its place.
There had also been some confusion as to if the city had the money to finish the project once it was started with Billings saying the city has had the funding all along - adding it was never a money issue but a people issue which caused the delay. He said the only reason the job was to be done in sections over time was due to manpower with some illness issues and vacation issues as well as city workers otherwise committed to other projects coming into play. Clendenen also asked the city to do more to keep the street closed to residential traffic only while under construction due to the dirt and dust created. Clendenen said he appreciated the administration was doing something about the street after years of no one doing anything, he just wanted it done right. Clendenen then spoke about criminal activity in the city and wished it was publicized more to alert the citizens of what is happening in their community. Jennifer Bates of Mt. Vernon Ave. also spoke about her concerns regarding the street being refinished.
Later in the council meeting, Mike Davis with the city’s engineering firm Burgess and Niple said he had personnel on his team who was a retired engineer with the West Virginia Division of Highways who could inspect the area and give the city his opinion as to if an asphalt coating would adhere or not. A meeting is to be scheduled next week, due to the gentleman being out of town, with Billings and council members who wish to attend. If the engineer gives the green light on asphalt, it’s possible the city would advertise for bids ASAP to get the street repaved as soon as possible, before winter. Regardless of the fix, Billings assured Mt. Vernon Ave. between 21st and 22nd streets would be finished and the job would be “done right.”
In other paving news, Billings expressed his frustration and disappointment that Camden Ave. and Kanawha St. were still not paved due to work on the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project (NPPDP) in the area. Billings said City Inspector Jeremy Bryant was told a month ago that the streets would be paved. Davis said some of the delay had to do with the arrival of specialty pieces for the project. At the end of the meeting there was still no concrete answer as to when the streets will be repaved though Davis said, in a worst case scenario, by April it would all be completed.
Kathy Elliot with the Region II Development Authority also presented council with the latest invoices for the NPPDP which included payment to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (which secured the loan) for $407,708.64, Burgess and Niple for $18,871, Region II Development for $2,500 (administrative fees) for a total of $429,081.
Present at the meeting were Billings, City Clerk Amber Tatterson, Administrative Assistant Teka McCauley, City Accountant Shannon Pearson, Council members Janet Hartley, Bob Rulen, Elaine Hunt, Rick Simpkins, Keith Sargent, Allen Moran, Charles Towner, City Attorney RF Stein.
(Editor’s note: More on this week’s council meeting in a later edition.)