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Kingwood Council approves changes to permits

KINGWOOD — Kingwood City Council approved changes for building permits during its Tuesday evening meeting. Council added a scope of work section that will allow contractors to detail the work that is to be done. The permit will also contain the date the permit was issued, its expiration date, and contain wording that advises it must be displayed permanently on the construction site until the project is completed.

City Clerk Michelle Whetsell suggested the building permits be color-coded by month or bi-monthly. This would let city workers know if the permit was expired or still in force.

In other business

 Reclaim will take down a building at 141 1/2 Chestnut St. Council received five bids for the project. Bidding on the project was Brown Mills Excavation, $25,000; Anderson Excavating, $22,999; Goodwin Construction, $35,000; Laurita Excavating, $22,500; and Reclaim, $8,988.

Council also voted to block off Price Street from 10 a.m.- p.m. Aug. 7 for the Blueprint Block Party. Whetsell said all but one business on the street was in favor of the action.

Whetsell and Councilwoman Karen Kurilko presented council members with information about the TextMyGov app. According to the TextMyGov website, the app uses smart texting technology to engage with citizens. Citizens can easily report code violations, public works issues like potholes, signs down, drainage problems, tree trimming, sewer smell and more. Agencies can engage citizens, start a workflow, and ask specific guided question regarding location, address, street name and more. The system also tracks and records all of the information that is sent in, and allows agencies to track the cell phone number, date and time of every request it receives and also generate and complete work orders.

“If someone reports a water break we can send a message to everyone that signs up,” Whetsell said. “I believe it’s a better way to communicate with our departments.”

She said another example would be the need to move cars off the street during winter so the street could be plowed. She said the information could be sent to residents and workers.

The cost of the service would be $4,200 for the first year and $3,000 every year thereafter.

Whetsell said a Zoom meeting could be set up for council members if they were interested.

Mayor Jean Guillot said council will “check it out” and discuss it at their next meeting.

Also discussed were dilapidated buildings and junk. Whetsell said junk notices and a few certificates were sent out. She said she also received answers to some of the letters sent out about vacant buildings. Whetsell said the owner of the Schwab building has received grant funding for a study and has received the names of companies that can fix the steps on the side of the building.

She said she also received a response from the owner of the old ceramic building indicating the owner wants to sell the building.

“A notice was sent out about Sweet Annie’s. The next step is to put an ad in the paper.” she said.

A question arose about the legality of taking action against a building that has a building permit. The permit gives the person six months to do the necessary repairs.

“If they have a six month permit, I think we need to contact our attorney and see if we can do anything before the six months is up,” Councilman Dick Shaffer said about condemning a building that has a permit.

No other action was taken

The next meeting of the Kingwood City Council will be held at 7 p.m. July 27.

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