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SC to seek FEMA funds to buy flood-prone property

By Marta Ree Tankersley

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston City Council members approved a resolution Thursday to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a grant to purchase flood-prone property that needs to be torn down.

The owner of a house on Columbia Street next to Jefferson Park requested the action.

"There is an uncertified dike around Jefferson Park and the property is well below the 100-year flood plain," Sanitary Board Director Steve DeBarr said. "If this is approved by the State and FEMA, the federal agency will purchase the property, the house will be demolished and the land set aside for green space."

The city will not have to spend any money on the project, but will "have to maintain the property," said Mayor Frank Mullens.

The city also approved a $188,549 bid from Steven's Auto Center in Danville to buy seven new police vehicles. The vehicles incle four Ford Tauruses, two Ford Explorers and a Ford Fusion.

The expense to the city, however, will be only $109,549 because the police department is contributing $79,000.

"The funds come from the seizure account," said Police Chief Brad Rinehart. "It's money collected from drug raids and asset forfeiture."

The funds were collected over about eight months, he said.

Rinehart also reported that Cadet Jeffery Ellis was presented with the Outstanding Police Officer award the West Virginia Police Academy graduation ceremony last week.

Rinehart also said that 30 children participated in the Shop With a Cop program at Target Department Store last week.

"It was the biggest and most successful one yet," he said. "It was great seeing those kids shop. We had a balance left over and donated $1,200 worth of toys to a [WCHS-TV] Channel 8 toy drive."

Although the Christmas garbage pick-up schedule has not yet been finalized, the Public Works Department will be staffed on Christmas Eve for disposal of large boxes. "Santa may have brought that need to be taken care of," Mullens said. The city will most likely offer curb-side pick-up the day following Christmas.

Lastly, the city Christmas parade will start at noon on Saturday, rain or shine, Mullens said.





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