By Hannah Heishman
The Moorefield Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19 began with a special event request from Jonathan Wiley, of Ted Shuttlesworth Evangelistic Association.
He requested to use the Town Park from June 28 until July 3, with a few days to set up prior and one day after.
Based out of Fairmont, Wiley explained his organization sets up a tent for one week, and does food give-aways, live music, pizza, and toys for kids.
“We want to be an encouragement and a blessing to the community,” Wiley said.
Wiley said the event is completely free, and that no offerings are taken. He said they’ll work with as many local churches as possible, “that are willing to work with us.”
The Council expressed some concern regarding the Town’s July 4th celebration, scheduled this year for Saturday, July 4, which is the day Wiley said he would need to finish taking down the tent.
Park Manager Juwana Bridger said she didn’t see a problem, as vendors would be set up elsewhere in the Park, and the Lions Club barbecue event would not need the same space.
The Council unanimously approved Wiley’s request.
The council also unanimously approved police Chief Stephen Riggleman’s request from the November 5 meeting to trade in a Jeep Cherokee for a Dodge Durango.
The Durango will cost the Town $17,000. The Council also approved the required budget adjustment.
“This is a really good deal,” Riggleman said later, thanking the council for supporting him.
Public Works Director Lucas Gagnon requested the council approve the third monetary drawdown from U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for the water plant project. This month, the amount is $345,581. The draw was unanimously approved.
“They’re making progress, but still ramping up,” Gagnon said, referring to Triton Construction, Inc., which has the project contract.
Gagnon said this monetary draw will go towards excavation of the raw water intake; excavation of the clear well; relocation of an existing sewer line; and stockpiling topsoil.
Gagnon also requested expansion for the Town’s Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services for phones. He requested extending this capability to the Public Service District (PSD), Town Park, and Public Works departments.
Connections and switches will cost about $2,300, he said. Gagnon also asked about adding three options to the phone system’s answering capabilities, which will free up time spent in the main Town Office redirecting phone calls.
Options will likely be to press 1 for Town Offices or 2 for the Moorefield Police Department, with a third option to dial the extension if known. Adding these is free.
The council approved the VOIP expansion and the options.
Town Park Manager Juwana Bridger told the council that she had received a bid for $3,250 to trim the Park’s 90 trees, including chipping and removal.
She said it costs $3,000 just to rent a lift, if Park personnel do the work.
“So, for $250, you’re freeing us up,” she said.
The council approved the bid.
Bridger told the council that she has two employees who would like to learn to weld. Other Public Works personnel have helped as needed to this point.
The course is available in Petersburg for $1,200 per person, and in Hampshire County for $2,195 per person.
Because the training would go towards their work, the employees are requesting partial or full reimbursement.
When asked how often the skill was required, Bridger said lately, the Park had several projects that required welding.
“Not all the time,” she said.
“But it would be a good skill to have,” finished council member Mary Jo Johnston. Bridger agreed.
The council tabled the trade schools discussion until the next meeting, as the courses don’t start until January.
The next meeting of the Moorefield Town Council will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend.