Business, Community, Latest News

Kingwood Council learns more about McDonald’s traffic

KINGWOOD –- A letter from McDonald’s helped clear up the question about peak-hour traffic on W.Va. 7.

During its last meeting, Kingwood resident Robert Goodwin told Kingwood Council members there was a problem during breakfast and lunch time.  He said traffic couldn’t pass due to the amount of traffic going in and out of the business. He expressed concerns about the traffic possibly causing problems for emergency vehicles.

Mayor Jean Guillot said he recently spoke with the manager of McDonald’s, and said she was very cooperative. He read a letter he received earlier this week from Paul Lucas, director of Operations for McDonald’s.

In the letter, Lucas wrote: “With 2020 came COVID and forced us into a new operating reality. We went from splitting our business between drive-through and dine-in and take-out, to being take-out and drive-through only. With the change in dynamics, we are over 25 seconds faster than the standard. We have increased our car capacity by adding the ability to take orders outside during our busiest hours, weather-permitting. We also offer mobile ordering so that our guests can skip the line and pull into a designated parking space and we will bring their order out so they neither must come inside or wait in line.”

Lucas went on to say McDonald’s has signage and advertises the mobile option on multiple platforms to increase awareness about the option.  He added  Kingwood McDonald’s is proud to be one of the fastest McDonald’s in the country.

Councilwoman Tina Turner said she hopes the public starts using the mobile option.

“I never see anyone parked there,” she said.

No further action was taken.

Council also discussed lighting and painting.

City Clerk Michelle Whetsell said some of the lighting panels in city hall are out, and would like the city to replace them with LEDs – which provide more light. She said  the offices need to be painted and patched due to cracks in the walls.  Whetsell said there is money in the budget to do the work.

Kingwood Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Stiles said it would cost between $800 and $1,000 for the material to do the job.  He said he can help with the painting on evenings and weekends. Whetsell said she will help with the painting.

A motion was made and passed to do the work.

Council also voted to purchase Cemetery Software from CemSites Cemetery Management Software. The software will let the city manage its records and ledgers, map the cemetery and let the employees know who is buried,  who owns each plot, and map plots that are available for purchase.

Maplewood cemetery covers 21 1/2 acres, with 16 acres developed.

Whetsell said the initial cost for mapping of the new portion of the cemetery will be $6,000.  She said the company will use copies of the city’s maps to do the mapping.  She said the information will be both cloud-based and backed up.

“They (CemSites) will use our survey maps to do the overlay. There is 24-hour-a-day support. We’ll have the information here and they will have the backup.”

She said once the information is entered, a plot can be clicked on and all of the information about that plot will come up. 

“We can search by name,” she said. “It’s user-friendly, we can add a link to our website, we can use it to tell people when the flowers must be removed (from the graves).  They (CemSites) will put everything (information) in and we can make any changes we want.”

She said currently when someone wants to purchase a plot, a clerk gets a name and phone number, a city worker goes out to see which plots are available, the customer is called and asked to come back in to the office and choose which plot they want. 

Whetsell said the CemSites program will eliminate the need for customers to make multiple trips to purchase a plot because available plots will be readily available on the computer. She said it will cost the city $1,500 annually to use the CemSites database. A photo of the plot will also be available on line.

Kingwood is planning a spring cleanup this year. Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID.

Whetsell said the public will be notified of the  date to request a voucher that will  allow them to take 400 pounds of items to the transfer station.  It does not include contractor debris like boards, plaster board and other similar debris.