KINGWOOD — Kingwood City Council members voted unanimously to buy four RIT-Paks for the Kignwood Volunteer Fire Department at Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilman Josh Fields said due to COVID, fundraising is diminished and the VFD needs new equipment, adding that portable air supply systems cost roughly $20,000. Portable air supply systems allow firefighters to breathe when they enter a burning building.
Fields said the Kingwood VFD not only covers Kingwood but also does a lot of mutual assistance calls.
Money for the packs will come out of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.
In other business, City Clerk Michelle Whetsell said Reclaim will begin demolishing the Sweet Annie’s building on Price Street Monday. At an earlier meeting, the council members condemned the leaning, dilapidated building, and later bought it at the state auditor’s tax auction.
Another building that was being considered for condemnation was the 107-year-old Herring Building. However, Whetsell said the owner has hired a contractor and repairs on the building will begin after the first of the year. She said the old fire escape will be removed and work will be done to stop the possibility of falling bricks.
Councilwoman Karen Kurilko said she attended the Monday meeting of the Preston County Commission and asked if they would provide $3,000 in additional funds that are needed for the proposed Veterans Memorial Park. The request was approved.
During an October meeting, council members approved a request for $5,000 for the project made by Kurilko. It was later found the project would require an additional $3,000.
Mayor Jean Guillot said he and Kurilko will attend the next commission meeting and sign an agreement to accept the funds.
Once completed, the park will include the veterans memorial in front of the Preston County Chamber of Commerce, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to members of all branches of service who served during the Vietnam War.
It was the last monument to be placed on the courthouse lawn and was dedicated on Memorial Day by Vietnam Veterans Chapter 977. Once dedicated, the monument was turned over to the county.
The next meeting of Kingwood City Council will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 11.