By Richard Kerns
Tribune Staff Writer
KEYSER – After their last meeting was canceled due to the mayor's sudden illness, members of the Keyser City Council will have a lengthy agenda for this week's meeting.
The Council meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in City Hall and features 20 agenda items, including a proposal to buy a used ladder truck and to acquire two additional police cruisers, hearings on revenue bonds for the upcoming sewer and water projects, bids on repairs to the fire station, a proposed increase in fire fees and a request to hold a ramp festival downtown.
The first of the Council's two monthly meetings typically feature light agendas, but with Mayor Randy Amtower's hospitalization forcing cancelation of the April 24 meeting, Wednesday's Council session promises to be lengthy.
Although city officials have released few details about the status of the Keyser Volunteer Fire Department's ladder truck, the proposal to buy a used truck would seem to indicate that the damage from a February bridge collapse that sent the big truck into Stoney Run has left the vehicle permanently out of commission. While the fire department is an independent entity, it relies on the city of Keyser for a significant share of its funding, and taxpayers will apparently foot the bill for at least part of the purchase price of the used ladder truck.
As for the fire fees, city officials said prior to last month's canceled meeting that the fees residents pay through their water bills to support fire protection in the community are being evaluated for "adjustment," presumably upwards.
The Council will also review bids for repair of the new fire station from damage caused by a faulty sprinkler.
The agenda states that the Council will consider buying a new police cruiser, and acquiring a second one on a new lease arrangement initiated last year by the mayor. Under the leasing program, the city would essentially maintain an all-leased fleet of newer-model police cruisers, avoiding the repair expenses that often come with older vehicles that the city has purchased in the past.
The Council will also consider the purchase of a new dump truck with snow plow for the Street Department. In addition, the Council will consider funding a boot and clothing allowance for city public works employees.
According to the agenda, Keith Lewis of Marties Hot Dog Stand on Main Street will propose a ramp festival. Past festivals have been held downtown, with the Council allowing Main Street to be temporarily blocked to allow for music and other attractions. However, some downtown merchants have opposed the street closure, saying it hurts business, reducing the number of downtown festivals that have been held in recent years.
Other items on the agenda include presentations by officials from the Keyser Little League, United Way and the Region 8 development agency.
Page 2 of 2 - The Council accepts public input at each meeting, with comments limited to five minutes. Anyone wishing to address the Council must sign up before the 4:30 p.m. start of the meeting.
For more information on Wednesday's Council meeting, call City Hall at 304-788-1511.