Westover spring cleaning date set, improvements coming to city’s park

MORGANTOWN — Pay raises for Westover’s city employees, spring cleaning, improvements to Westover Park, and a complaint about the recently completed annexation were some of the topics discussed at the city’s first council meeting since March 18.

The April 1 meeting was canceled because Mayor Dave Johnson was sick.

A tentative date of May 13 – 17 was set for the city’s annual spring clean up. Homeowners can put a pick-up truck load worth of stuff for collection the night before their regular garbage day. However, if the city doesn’t receive its new garbage truck in time, the date could be pushed back, Johnson said.

The council voted to purchase new garbage truck – a 2020 Kenworth T 270 for $84,900 at its March 18 meeting. Johnson said he expects the truck later this month.

Police will patrol the areas the night before each pickup because last year there was a problem with people going through the trash and taking metal to scrap, Johnson said. No tires or construction materials will be picked up. Known rental properties and apartments will not be serviced and the city has the right to refuse any items.

Council voted unanimously on first reading to give pay raises to the city’s employees effective for fiscal year 2019-2020. Councilors Steve Andryzcik, Leonard Smith and Janice Goodwin were absent and did not vote. Johnson said pay will increase across the board, however data for previous years was not immediately available. Johnson said he would not be receiving a raise.

City Clerk Sandie Weis informed the council the senior center donated a swing set for Westover Park and it should arrive in a few weeks.

Johnson told the city council he wants to turn one of the park’s tennis courts into four pickleball courts. The second tennis court will have lines for both sports. Johnson hoped to have paving bids for the courts at the next meeting on May 8.

They would be the only such courts in the area, as BOPARC is not interested in the facility, Johnson said. Pickleball is a growing sport and the courts should drive traffic to the park. He described the sport as either mini tennis.

Johnson also expressed a desire to remove a small pavilion in the park, near the pond, and replace it with a bathroom. The pavilion was built in a way that it can be moved and it will be relocated to the city’s garage. Johnson also wants to add more parking.

Gary Solomon, who owns land on Lawless Road, told council he objected to its recently completed annexation, which added almost 400 acres to the city. He said he was never notified of the annexation, didn’t know it was happening and felt deprived of his property rights.

Council voted unanimously on first reading to annul a 70×40 foot piece of property on New Jersey Avenue.

Duane Tatar, owner of West Virginia Jewelry & Loan, on Holland Avenue, purchased the property behind his store and now owns both sides of the city’s property on New Jersey Avenue.

Normally in an annulment the property is split between both landowners but since Tatar owns both adjacent lots, he will get the entire section. Johnson explained. The property used to be an access point for Westover Bank but has since been blocked.

Tatar said he plans to turn the space into extra parking and build a home behind his store.

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