Wellsburg Council OKs budget

WELLSBURG – City Council on Tuesday approved a $1.4 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year and discussed several matters involving the Betty Carr Recreation Site.

City Manager Mark Henne said there is less money to be carried over from last year due in large part to the heavy snowfall and ice accumulation this winter.

Unencumbered funds for the 2014-15 fiscal year are about $223,000, down from about $250,000 from the previous year, he said.

Henne said weather-related costs included salt, cinders mixed with salt when the area experienced a salt shortage, overtime paid to city crews plowing the streets and temporary patching for the many potholes caused by the inclement weather.

Unfortunately, the costs leave the city with less money for paving at a time when many streets are in need of repair, he noted.

About $70,000 has been allocated for paving, while the city awarded about $91,175 in paving projects last year.

Henne said the city will stretch the dollars as much as possible.

He added one priority will be replacing the Skull Hollow Bridge on Pleasant Avenue near 20th Street. Steel plates have been placed over a section of the bridge until it can be replaced.

Henne said he and others are meeting with the city’s insurance carrier to determine how the Affordable Care Act will affect the cost of coverage for the city’s employees.

In other business, council granted the Wellsburg Civic League permission to plant three red maple trees at the Betty Carr Recreation Site.

Toni Taylor, a member of the group, said trees are much needed to provide shade to people attending baseball games at the park.

The group has offered to pay for the trees and the cost for them to be planted by Ianetti’s Garden Center.

In related business, 2nd Ward Councilman Paul T. Billiard said the woman who ran the park’s concession stand for many years is retiring and the Wellsburg Baseball Association is seeking someone to take it over. He said the stand has been open at times for up to six days a week, depending on the games scheduled, but it could be a money-maker for a nonprofit group or anyone able to commit the time.

Those interested should call Bob Music at (304) 737-0784 or City Hall at (304) 737-2104.

Council also authorized Billiard to get estimates to extend the ballfield slightly to conform with size regulations for league tournaments. Billiard said by hosting baseball tournaments at the park, the city could attract many visitors.

In other business, council:

Authorized Henne to post two parking spaces on Charles Street south of the Town Square as specifically for visitors to City Hall, with a 10-minute time limit.

Approved the $4,955 purchase from Lyle’s Auto of a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria for the city’s police department. Henne said the price is about $8,000 less than what the city normally would pay.

Granted the Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life Committee permission to decorate the Town Square and Commerce Street with purple ribbons and banners to promote the event, which will be held June 7 at Follansbee Middle School.