Council Lines Up December Schedule; Agrees to Move Forward with Phase 3 of Stormwater Initiative

By Chris Johnson on November 28, 2023 via

With the holiday season in full force, plans are often forced to be changed even if you are a member of City Council.
During Monday’s regular meeting at City Hall, Council decided to reschedule their second meeting for December which would have fallen on Christmas Day.
The charter for Council calls for two regular meetings a month so in order to maintain that goal, they planned to cover their bases with a strategic planning meeting on Dec 12, a day after the first regular meeting (Dec. 11) for the month. But they altered that as well.
“It’s been brought to my attention that there could be some agenda items that will come up in the first meeting in December that are going to be ordinances that will require at least a seven-day period and a second reading,” Mayor Andy Lang said.
Lang said they will have to have a regular meeting on Dec. 18 for the second reading of the ordinances, but they will still use Dec. 12 for a strategic planning meeting.
Council approved the calendar changes unanimously as they did for the other four new business items on the agenda.
The city will move forward with Phase 3 of the Stormwater and Infrastructure Improvement Initiative as Council approved an amount of $24,500 with The Thrasher Group.
“This contract began several years ago with our initiative to mitigate the effects of stormwater,” City Engineer Beth Fox said. “Since then, Phase 1 and Phase 2, a study was done city-wide and some efforts have been made to minimize the effects.”
Fox said the city wants to help citizens any way they can when it comes to the effects of stormwater but in order to do that there needs to be another look at what developments have come about in Bridgeport, where efforts may be lacking from previous developments.
“The continuation of the contract, Phase 3, will have three separate tasks in it. The first task will be to concentrate on the complaint areas and see if there is any difference there we can make with our levy funds. The second task would be to look throughout the city at different areas that may have a contribution of abandoned mine lands and the waters from mines.
“We are limited in the funding we have for stormwater, as we know, it’s not a utility in the city. We don’t charge a fee for storm water. The only money we have to do any mitigation work for infrastructure improvements is through levy money. That doesn’t take us very far every year. We are faced with the infrastructure of decades past that were not required to do any stormwater detention or management.
“Going forward, task three would be to have Thrasher help us, guide us in the direction of what other communities have had to do and that is to look into imposing a stormwater fee on residents to see if that’s a utility we want to establish in the future.”
Bridgeport’s Human Resources Director Jordan Hill was present at Monday’s meeting to discuss amendments to city personnel policies that were all approved by Council.
Council also agreed to the creation of a new bank account for future opioid settlement funds. Bridgeport Finance Director Sharon Hinkle said details on what exactly those funds will be allowed to go to are still being finalized.
One final order of business saw approval of payment to West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board on behalf of City Council.
Monday’s meeting began with an invocation by Dr. Matthew Paugh from Bridgeport United Methodist Church which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Bridgeport Police Chief and interim City Manager Mark Rogers took time during his report to recognize intern Rachel Byrne and the help she has provided since January on a variety of projects. Monday marked her final Council meeting of her internship.
“We just want to thank her for everything she has done to help the city,” Rogers said.
In his mayor’s report, Lang encouraged everybody to come out to Light Up Night on Thursday, the 19th time the event has taken place.
“I believe the streets will be closed down around 5:30,” Lang said. “The event is from 6 to 8 and the tree lighting is at 7.”
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Councilmen Clayton Rice (left) and Jason Campbell. Middle photo is of Mayor Andy Lang and bottom photo is of City intern Rachel Byrne.

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