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Council approves trick-or-treating


Trick-or-treating in Westover was approved Monday night by the Westover City Council, with five council members voting in favor of allowing it.

Edie Viola, councilmember-at-large, suggested residents can choose to leave their lights on or off, depending on whether they would like to participate due to COVID-19.

Ralph Mullins, first-ward councilmember, said if residents practice social distancing and wear masks, he believes trick-or-treating would be a safe, outdoor activity for children to participate in this year.

“I have a 6-year-old and this situation, this pandemic, has really had an effect on these children,” Mullins said.

Stephen Lawrence, councilmember-at-large, said due to the pandemic, he did not feel trick-or-treating would be a safe activity this year. Janice Goodwin, second-ward councilmember, said she felt it would be unsafe for children to go door to door because of COVID-19 safety precautions, and also because of concerns over drug-use in Westover.

Dispensary discussions

In a resolution to the Monongalia County Health Department, Mayor Dave Johnson responded to regulations for cannabis dispensaries  being decided on in Monongalia County.

In the resolution, Johnson said Westover objects to the imposition of county regulations of land use within city limits. He said the city also rejects regulations by the board of medical cannabis dispensaries proposed or operating in Westover.

Of the 35 counties in West Virginia to receive dispensary applications, Monongalia County is the only one yet to make a decision.

Several reasons for the objection were listed in the resolution, including that residents, represented by council, have the power to regulate land use and have the authority to eliminate hazards to public health and safety.

According to the resolution, medical cannabis distribution is limited to patients diagnosed with serious, degenerative and painful diseases. The West Virginia Legislature has determined medical cannabis can greatly reduce or ease patients’ conditions.

“We have no public safety concern or fear that would justify continued delay or additional regulation of this program, which may deny hope or potential relief for our suffering neighbors and friends,” Johnson said.

Other business

City attorney Tim Stranko said an agreeable estimate of the cost of repairing Solomon Road has yet to be determined. During Westover Council’s previous meeting, it was unanimously decided to hold off on making a decision about the ordinance annexation of the road until the next meeting.

Stranko said city engineers will return to the site to reconsider possible designs for the road.

“We are confident that we will get a design for a roadway that will be durable and useful for those folks living out there on Solomon Road,” Stranko said.

Council voted unanimously to hold off again on making a decision until the next meeting.

Bids for a new excavator and garage outbuilding were discussed. Council voted unanimously to accept the cheapest bid for the new excavator at just over $59,000, as well as the cheapest bid for the new garage.

The next Westover City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 2.

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