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First Year of Mayor Lang's Tenure, First Half of 2018 Construction Costs Among Good News Shared at Bridgeport City Council Meeting

By Julie Perine on July 10, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It’s been exactly one year since Mayor Andy Lang took office and he opened Monday night’s Bridgeport City Council meeting by sharing what a positive experience his tenure has been.
 
“I do believe it has made me more connected to the community – more connected than I have been my whole life,” said the Bridgeport native. “The city has accomplished a lot and has a lot to look forward to and there are not a lot of cities that can say either of those things.”
 
Lang said he is happy to be part of the city's growth and thanked Council and each department of the city for their willingness to work with him.
 
City Manager Kim Haws reported that the city’s paving projects are well underway and that the state is also working to pave Johnson Avenue and soon, Main Street. Haws said Main Street work will be done during the nighttime hours as to not interfere with daytime traffic flow.
 
Haws also reported that asbestos abatement work on the city’s newly-acquired Worthington Drive property will be completed Wednesday and demolition work will follow. That property, located adjacent to city basketball and volleyball courts, will be utilized by the city pool complex. Asbestos abatement work will now commence on the city’s newly-acquired Route 131 property located just across the roadway from Forrester Drive, the entrance to Bridgeport Recreation Complex. That property will eventually be utilized as city storage and parking.
 
The Department of Highways, Haws said, has begun a storm water analysis of West Main Street. A recent rainstorm resulted in a flash flood in that area, water rolling down West Main and the Speedway parking lot. Though water has been a problem in the area before, the June 22 incident is the worse Haws has seen, he said. He said he is thrilled that the DOH has engaged in the project.
 
Haws ended his report by sharing that the city ended the first six months of 2018 with over $32 million in total construction costs.
 
“Five hundred eleven permits have been pulled and I think that points to the fact that the city has not only maintained a level of growth and prosperity, but is maintaining that well and vibrantly,” he said.
 
With no members of the public registered to speak and no old business to address, Council moved into a handful of new business items, each passing with no opposition.
 
The first issue was the first reading of an ordinance enacting and reenacting the official city code by adding language authorizing issuance of revenue bonds for the purpose of financing the city’s indoor/outdoor recreation improvement projects. City Attorney Dean Ramsey explained that other West Virginia municipalities - Clarksburg, Wheeling, Martinsburg and Charleston included – have made similar code revisions, basically making language more specific. The amendment will be accomplished by adding a subsection, listing.projects that can be funded through issuance of revenue bonds through the one percent sales and usage tax implemented in July of 2016 for funding of the city’s new indoor recreation facility.
 
In June, the governing body awarded a contract to Green River Group, LLC in the amount of $3,593,675 (with a 10 percent contingency fee) for the grading work of the new recreation facility.  On June 21, ground was broken for the facility, which is slated for a 2020 opening. The new indoor/outdoor recreation complex will be located just across Forrester Drive from the existing recreation complex, which houses four baseball field among other amenities.
 
Council also voted unanimously to authorize City Engineer Beth Fox as the city’s voting delegate at the upcoming annual meeting of the West Virginia Rural Water Association and Superintendent of Utilities Jared Cummons as alternate delegate.
 
A pair of budget revisions, passed unanimously by roll call vote, concluded the public portion of Monday night’s meeting.
 
Finance Director Monica Musgrave explained Budget Revision No. 1 to the Coal Severance Tax fund, appropriating an assigned fund balance of $4,114 for professional services, specifically city attorney fees for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
 
General Fund Budget Revision No. 1 moved $63,002 - which Council set aside as contracted services – into the personnel department to allow for the hiring of a human resources manager. The amount, Musgrave said, covers salary and benefits.
 
Council thereafter entered into executive session, not returning to general session to take any action. The meeting opened with an invocation by Nathaniel Lutyens of Harrison County Young Life. 



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