Westover council votes to modify internet franchise agreements, learns of large drug bust

WESTOVER — Westover City Council unanimously voted to amend its franchise agreements with two internet providers during its most recent meeting.

Council eliminated the conduit rental fee for ClearFiber and removed language attempting to requirement Comcast to use its conduits. Both companies will pay 5 percent gross annual revenue to the city.

City Attorney Tim Stranko explained that federal law prohibits the city from requiring that the internet companies use the city’s conduit lines.

Stranko said both companies are welcome to use the city’s line if they want to but that Westover cannot contractually require the businesses to do so. Comcast does not use the city’s conduits, Stranko said.

“We’ll have to compete in the market,” he said. “We’re ok with that.

Both companies were willing to accept the new contracts if council did, Stranko told them.

The council also voted 5-0 to accept the most recent West Virginia building codes on first reading. All three amendments will have to be voted on and passed a second time before they take effect.

Third ward councilman Leonard Smith was not present at Monday’s meeting.

During his report Police Chief Rick Panico informed council on Dec. 12 $11,000 and just under 7 pounds of marijuana were seized following a traffic stop.

Adly Noore, 28, was stopped for a traffic infraction and about 6-7 grams of weed was discovered in the vehicle. Noore admitted to the officer that he had more at home and a search warrant was obtained, Panico said.

Noore is charged with possession with intent. Pancio said he will likely be indicted.

Westover Police and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department searched Noore’s home on Chestnut Ridge Road, he said. Noore’s home had everything police needed to suspect he was a distributor, Pancio said.

Westover officers spent much of the last two weeks in various training classes, including taser certification, self-defense and investigation. Pancio said all officers have met their in-service training requirements until June 30.

The department answered 479 calls and made 15 traffic stops over the previous two weeks, Pancio said.

Foot patrols of the mall to curb seasonal shoplifting are continuing every few hours, he said. Only two shoplifting calls were received over the past two weeks.

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