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Nitro paving over budget; council approves garbage bag purchases

By Marta Ree Tankersley

NITRO, W.Va. -- At Tuesday's meeting, Nitro city council opted to take a resolution to pave Smith Street, Martin Court, Michigan Avenue, Easter Road and 8th Street back to a committee for recommendations after the lone bid from West Virginia Paving came in $22,000 over budget.

"We need to figure out where we can make cuts to stay under budget," said Bill Javins, chairman of the paving committee.

Also, a debate about what to do with $67,271 in unrestricted bank account balances that remained at the end of the fiscal year ensued after Treasurer John Young recommended the city pay off three police cruisers to make way for the purchase of a trash truck. He also recommended allocating $35,000 toward the purchase of garbage bags that would be distributed to residents who are not delinquent on payment of city fees.

Councilwoman Brenda Tyler said she is "highly opposed to the purchase of garbage bags when the city needs to pay for paving streets.

"We just went through budget cuts and a person almost lost their job because we didn't have enough money," she said. "You may as well put $35,000 in a garbage bag and burn it instead. It is not a good use of taxpayer money."

Councilman Andy Shamblin said he understands Tyler's point, but since Nitro has the "highest municipal service fee in the valley and it's not out of the ordinary for cities to provide them," he approves of the measure.

The resolution eventually passed.

"Providing garbage bags is a way to give back to the residents," Javins said.

An ordinance amending the city's purchasing procedure also passed.

According to Councilman John Montgomery, the changes would allow for the purchase of supplies, goods and services up to $2,500 without council's approval as long as the treasurer certifies that the funds are available.

In new business, Jarvis announced that at the July 8 meeting of the City Visitors Bureau it was decided to purchase picnic tables, a canoe and a kayak that guests can rent at Ridenour Lake.

Mayor Dave Casebolt proposed that any fees collected from the boat and equipment rentals be earmarked for upkeep for the lake or to buy lifejackets.

Council also discussed the purchase of a vacant lot at the corner of 21st Street and 2nd Avenue to make a parking lot.

"The asking price is too high, but there is so little property around in the center of town and we need to purchase that lot," said Shamblin.

Council members agreed to hold an executive session at a future meeting in order to discuss the purchase further because "we need to act, or someone else will buy that property," Javins said.

Also Tuesday, Shamblin reported that the Taste of Nitro celebration raised $1,700.


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