Latest News

Outgoing councilors recognized, new member calls for in-person meetings

MORGANTOWN — Gratitude and well wishes were the order of the day Tuesday as the current lineup of Morgantown City Council came together, albeit virtually, for the final time.

Proclamations of appreciation were offered for outgoing councilors Rachel Fetty, Ron Dulaney and Barry Wendell, each of whom were first elected to the body in 2017.

Former Councilor Zack Cruze, elected in 2019, was also recognized, as was Deb Bergen, who was appointed to the body in March to fill Cruze’s vacated seat.

Along with the outgoing members, council also heard from incoming 5th Ward Councilor Danielle Trumble, who said it’s time for the body to get back in city hall and resume in-person meetings.

Council has been meeting virtually since March of 2020 in response to COVID-19.

“This body would not be among the first to return to in-person meetings. In fact, I think we would pretty much be among the last,” she said, later adding, “I understand that these virtual meetings have become very convenient for all of us … but I really strongly feel their use has outlasted their necessity.”

Council also heard from City Manager Kim Haws, who spoke about the fallout from Sunday’s flooding, which he referred to as a “100-plus-year flood event.”

“I’m not sure that any amount of preparatory work would have mitigated all of these problems and this kind of event,” he said. “It’s just kind of what, in our work, we call and act of God. There’s nothing we can do to control it.”

Haws said the city was somewhat fortunate in that the most serious flooding was localized to a few areas of the city, like Patteson Drive, which, as many witnessed in person and on social media, briefly resembled a river.

He said that there are repairs needed to the intersection of University Avenue and Patteson Drive, though it remains passable at this time.

“We’re working with MUB to inspect the box culvert that crosses under the intersection before permanent repairs are made to make sure we size it properly,” Haws said.

In other news, council gave first-reading approval of  lease agreements with The Shack Neighborhood House and The Mountaineer Homeschoolers Hub for space in the former Woodburn school building.

The Shack will use 5,313 square feet at a rate of $2,877.93 per month. The Mountaineer Homeschoolers Hub will take up 1,214.70 square feet at a monthly rate of $480.82.

Council also approved an $854,162 bid from Anderson Excavating to handle the city’s upcoming paving work.

According to information provided in the agenda packet, the paving work will include all or portions of Dayton, Fenwick, Greendale, Park and Prospect streets; Eastern, Madigan, Maple, McLane, Prairie, White and Wilson avenues; and South Hill and Woodland drives.

TWEET @DominionPostWV