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Kingwood Council OKs city COVID policy

KINGWOOD — Kingwood City Council members voted to approve a COVID-19 policy at its Tuesday evening meeting. The policy will be uniform for all city departments, including the library, the pool and the city police.

During a discussion prior to the vote, City Clerk Michelle Whetsell said she contacted the Preston County Health Department for input in the policy.

“We need some documentation of a positive test result,” Whetsell said. “After the fifth day if the employee tests positive, it’s recommended they stay home for 10 days.”

Councilwoman Tina Turner said any employee who receives a contact tracing call from the health department needs to quarantine.

“We may not have a perfect policy,” Mayor Jean Guillot said. “But we need something in place.”

From COVID, the discussion turned to business.

The Small Business Recovery Committee is accepting applications for grants until Nov. 30. At its Oct. 12 meeting, council set aside $50,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to assist small businesses.

The committee, made up of Robbie Baylor, executive director of the Preston County Economic Development Authority; Kristy Ash, executive director of the Preston County Chamber of Commerce; council member Tina Turner, council member Karen Kurilko, and council member Josh Fields will help determine how the $50,000 council set aside from its ARPA funds will be spent. The committee will evaluate the information provided to them by local small businesses and make recommendations for the allocation of the funds.

Whetsell said the committee has already received two or three applications. The applications can be picked up at city hall. She said questions or requests can be emailed to

Mayor Jean Guillot said he would like to see some funding made available for property clean-up.

“I’d like to see some kind of credit like transfer station credit given to people cleaning up property,” Guillot said. “Not give money but credit.”

Whetsell said ARPA could also fund projects of this type.

“I’ll draft something up for the next meeting,” Kurilko said.

Council members voted unanimously to prepare a levy for the next primary. It would provide funds for the Kingwood Public Library in the amount of $90,000, Parks and Recreation $50,000, and streets and storm sewer $60,000.

“We’ll cap it at $200,000,” Guillot said.

Alisa Kilkenny, from Blueprint Community Team Kingwood, told council a scavenger hunt leading up to Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27, has been scheduled. She said during the 6 p.m. Dec. 6 Christmas Parade some decorated licensed side-by-sides could participate this year.

Also speaking at the meeting was Dr. Lynn Housner, who said the 4th Annual Arts and Music Festival has been scheduled for Aug. 6, 2022.

“We had to cancel the last two festivals due to COVID,” he said. “I want to ask council to shut down South Price Street for the festival and if the city to provide us with cones and help us empty trash cans the next day.”

Housner said the 2022 festival could be bigger than in past years.

“I want to get part of Taylor County up here, too,” he said.

Council approved his requests.

The next meeting of the Kingwood City Council will be 7 p.m. Nov 9.

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