Government, News

Westover Council discusses adding vehicle to police fleet

For The Dominion Post

WESTOVER — Chief of Police Richard Panico told city  council he would like  to buy a fully loaded vehicle to add to the police fleet.

He said the vehicle would need nothing except decals and a radio, which would be pulled from the detectives’ car. He said the police department would be able to put another officer on patrol alone, with the extra vehicle.

Councilmember at large Al Yocum said with police forfeiture funds available to the city, the vehicle would not take much money from the police fund.
Mayor Dave Johnson said the vehicle would be put out to bid before the next meeting.

In other business,  Panico said there were 555 calls, and out of 42 traffic stops, 21 citations were issued since his last report. He said the department was focusing heavily on investigations and that there were good results from the Facebook page that caused some suspects to turn themselves in.

On call involved  a fire March 17 at a church on Monongahela Avenue and Ferry Street. He said the department is   investigating  with the State Fire Marshall.

In other business:

Johnson said  repairs to the Holland Avenue wall would begin to make sure the wall didn’t crumble into the street. He said the project is being considered an emergency and will not be put out to bid.

Jason Stinespring, city code enforcement officer, said Great American Cookies had been issued a certificate of occupation. He also mentioned the city’s  efforts to deal with dilapidated buildings.

Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance requiring political signs to be taken down by the Monday after elections.

Council voted to make April 16-20 the city’s annual spring clean-up week. Council voted unanimously to pass a budget amendment to move $271,300 from Streets and Transportation, a surplus fund, and break it out to $3,500 for fire hydrants, $100,000 for the garage, $50,000 for parks, $50 for planning and $117,750 for city hall. She said those five classes were close to spending 100 percent of the budget and needed extra funds.

In citizen comments, John Litcher and Gary and Lynn Marlin asked about the recent barge activity by the river. Johnson said the coal terminal sank barges and then filled them in with dirt to allow for more loading facilities.

Litcher said he thought the activity affected the community and should be regulated  if it got too “ugly.” Johnson said the company had to receive a permit from the core of engineers for the work to happen, and it was out of the city’s control, but the company had assured him it would be done and cleaned up soon, weather-permitting.