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Council will OK water system bond

KINGWOOD — Kingwood City Council voted unanimously to do the third and final reading of the $848,000 water system bond during its next meeting.

Members will also provide final approval and sign the documents. Money from the bond loan will be used for engineering soft costs to get some of the Phase I projects going.

The project includes a variety of high priority improvements to all stages and phases of the water system, including source water, treatment, distribution, storage and operations.

When completed, the project will increase water system capacity, increase the security, reliability and safety of the water system; increase water storage and minimize threats from outages and source water contamination; reduce labor and maintenance costs; improve system pressure; provide additional fire protection; and remove asbestos, cast iron, steel, galvanized and lead lines from the system.

Deb Guillot gave a Community Engagement update. She said the group is working on the Dec. 1 Christmas Parade. This year, Guillot said following the parade at 7 p.m., the Christmas tree at the McGrew House will be lit and Mayor Jean Guillot will give a speech.

The discussion moved from Christmas to sidewalks. Councilwoman Tina Turner said she would like to have sidewalks added along W.Va. 7 from the old Shop and Save store at the four-way intersection to the plaza.

“The traffic has drastically increased since the new Shop and Save Express opened. I’ve seen people pushing strollers, joggers, kids on bikes and people walking along the road,” she said.

Councilman Bill Robertson said W.Va. 7 is a state road and the city can’t put sidewalks along it without state approval.

Guillot said it is not the only place with sidewalk problems — the sidewalk near the Fraley building is crumbling. Guillot said he would like to have the city attorney petition the state to turn over Brown Avenue to the city so it can be blacktopped.

No further action was taken.

In other business, Robertson said he recently met with city supervisors to discuss employee policy and updates. He said updates from supervisors included eliminating the day off for municipal elections because it was a day they already had off, suspension because you have to wait five days for approval and yearly employee reviews.

Councilman Josh Fields said he was in favor of keeping the evaluations, and Kurilko agreed. She said if you are going to dismiss someone you need a clear path to the reason why.

Further discussion was tabled for the next meeting.

Council also discussed live-streaming council meetings. Guillot said a lot of people who would like to attend the meetings can’t due to work or children. He said when they previously streamed the meetings about 500 people watched. Guillot said it cost $3,600 to start streaming again.

“I think we are obligated to keep up with the latest equipment. It will allow remote communication and if something happens like it did a few years ago we will be ready,” councilmen Josh Fields said.

Council voted to return to live streaming with only Robertson voting against it.

The next meeting of the Kingwood City Council will be 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28.