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Reedsville debates hiring contractor vs. buying excavator

REEDSVILLE — A discussion about the Park Avenue project was tabled until the Dec. 30 meeting of Reedsville Council.
Councilman Greg Burke said three contractors expressed interest in the project. He said two submitted bids, while one bid is still out.
John Williams and Colby Goldstrom are two of the contractors who expressed interest in the project.

The bids are for storm sewer repair and replacement on both Park and Clark streets. The town wants to replace culverts and drop boxes in that area.

Council members discussed the option of purchasing a mini excavator so town employees could do the job.

“If we rent power equipment from Mountaineer Power (Equipment) it would cost about $1,500 per week, plus transportation costs to and from the job,” Burke said.

He said another possibility is to purchase a 2015 mini excavator that is for sale for $18,000.

“You could fix a lot with something like this,” Burke said. “We could do all of the ditching with it.”

“Let’s table it for now,” Councilwoman Renee Stone said. “I’ve seen how the workers reacted to the new truck — ‘Oh my God, a new truck.’ There’s no substitute for experience.”

Burke said town employees could learn to use the excavator. He said it didn’t make sense to spend $40,000 when the work could be done for $20,000.

“It’s a waste of money to contract it out when we have two employees sitting around,” he said.

Council also discussed the trail having access to the Reedsville Park and complaints about parking on Long Alley.

“There’s already no parking on Long Alley,” Stone said. “If they (rails to trails) want something, they need to come to us.”

Burke said he discussed the problem of Long Alley with Dale McVicker, a member of the Preston County Parks and Recreation Committee.

“I can’t work with Dale McVicker,” Stone said. “I tried contacting him for three years and he never returned my calls.”

“See if Dale can come to our meeting on the 30th,” Recorder Sandy Kisner suggested.

“Is McVicker going to give us some help?” Stone asked. “He never did it before. It was a big expense for our town to put a bathroom in. Do we want all these people (people using the trail) who won’t spend a dime in town using our bathroom?”

The discussion was tabled until the Dec. 30 meeting.

In other business, the town is considering switching employee health insurance from the Charter Benefit Plan to a Pro 700 plan.

Burke said the new plan would save the town $97.72 per month over its current plan.

He said the plan has a $750 single person deductible and a $1,500 family deductible. Copay for the plan includes $50 for emergency care, $20 for an office visit and $40 for a specialist.

The plan has an out-of-pocket limit of $6,600 for an individual and $13,200 for a family. It includes vision care but not dental.

Under the current Charter Benefit Plan, employees have a $1,000 deductible and must pay $250 per emergency room visit.

Council said the Charter Benefit Plan saves the town $7,000 per year.

Burke said all the employees were in favor of changing to the Pro 700 plan.

No action was taken.

The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 30.

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