KINGWOOD — Kingwood Council’s meeting room was filled with people Tuesday who opposed opening a gate on Pleasant Avenue, and council answered their plea.
The gate at the end of Pleasant blocks access from the residential area to Memorial Drive, where Preston Memorial Hospital is located, and Rich Wolfe Drive, where the Preston 911 Center and a gas company building are located.
Earlier this month, the Preston County Commission wondered if council would be interested in opening the gate, which has been closed since it was erected in 2015, after the new hospital was built.
County Administrator Kathy Mace told council Tuesday the county will pave Rich Wolfe Drive, including the section that connects with Pleasant.
“It’s a little bit different scenario now than it was to have all the gravel,” Mace said. “My visit tonight is to see if you all wanted to sit down and talk about it, wanted to form a committee to talk about it.”
Recorder Bill Robertson said he had gotten more response to this issue than anything in the last 18 months. When Mayor Jean Guillot asked if anyone on council had an interest in a discussion toward opening the gate, the response was no.
Resident Tom Lobb said he was asked by another resident, who could not attend, to note that, “if that gate would be opened, it wouldn’t be long before that the kids from [Preston High] School would have a way to drive through the neighborhood.”
“It would be very simple to put a road through there,” Lobb said. “We feel it’s an industrial area, since the gas company is there.”
Jane Roney told council, “As residents of that area, we thank you.” Another woman asked how long the decision is good for? The mayor said there is always the possibility another council could raise the issue .
Also at the meeting:
Action to change the city charter to allow for city elections to be held the same year as county elections was tabled until a new city attorney is hired.
Council approved a building permit for the Kingwood Apostolic Church after the pastor agreed to lower the height of a new fence from six feet to 42 inches in the front. Per city ordinance, it can be six feet from the front of the church back.
In a related matter, council passed first reading of an amendment to the ordinance that regulates fencing. Councilman Dick Shaver voted against it, saying it is too complicated.
Council agreed to spend $1,000 to outfit the city’s three new officers with winter uniforms and $7,700 to have equipment installed in a cruiser. A cage and brush guard from a totaled cruiser will be donated to the Terra Alta Police Department.
It was noted that admission to the Kingwood Pool will be $1 on Monday, Labor Day, the final day the pool will be open this year.
Council unanimously passed first reading of the municipal sales tax.
Council told Russell Calvert and Paul Hayes it has no plans to pave a gravel portion of Bishop Street because the street has not been dedicated to the city. A 1993 ordinance specifies that streets must be paved to meet city requirements before they are accepted.
Council agreed to order 90 new street signs for $1,500 from Prison Industries.