by Susan Sullivan, Public Communications Manager
For more on the April 3, 2012 meeting, please see the full minutes here.
The regular meeting of the Morgantown City Council was led by Mayor Jim Manilla. After approval of the minutes, Mayor Manilla read a proclamation naming April 2012 Fair Housing Month. WVU Student Lauren Frederick read a brief summary on why the cause is important.
Next, Dave Shriver of Tetrick & Bartlett provided an Audit Exit Conference presentation. The Audit was done in January 2012, and T&B checked the records and financial statements as mandated by state law. He said they also did an internal control compliance audit as well, which is where T&B would suggest if there were any areas the City could improve upon. Mr. Shriver said that he had a “clean opinion” and that there were no findings, and even in compliance, “everything looked good,” including internal grant control.
The Public Hearing regarding the creation of the Financial Stabilization fund. No one spoke. Under Unfinished business, a second reading and adoption of that same ordinance was read. Wes Nugent wanted to add a few amendments.
1.) Ensuring that the Financial Stabilazation fund language and text that includes that it would be maintained with seperate financial records from other city funds.
2.) With regards to exceptions and payroll shortages, Council Nugent suggested Council add that it would be immediately notified if there was a cash shortage preventing payroll from being paid.
Mr. Moore said he talked to J.R. Sabatelli about these two suggestions, and he said it provides that additional assurance that things would go smoothly, and recommended it pass.
Not all councilors agreed. The issue was tabled until the April 17, 2012 regular meeting.
George, Executive Director of the West Virginia Botanic Gardens, said that this is the 100 year anniversary of the Tibbs Run Reservoir Project being completed. He said in recognition of this milestone, a reception and ceremony will be held May 19, 2012 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the WV Botanic Garden, and everyone is invited. Find out why residents didn’t want any more “Wooly Worm Water,” unveil signs that will tell about the history between 1912 and 1969. You can then enjoy the 3/4 mile trail and join them for refreshments. Click here for more on the Tibbs Run Reservoir.
Evan Dove, WVU Student Government Association Liaison to City Council, thanked Councilors who attended the last SGA meeting, held Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. He said elections will end April 12, 2012, and there may be a new Liaison to watch for.
Next on the agenda is item 9, new business. Here, a first reading of the lease of office space to the Morgantown-Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization at the Morgantown Municipal Airport. It was approved.
A first reading regarding replacement of Morgantown City Code 509.2 with a new aggressive soliciation ordinance was read. It replaces a paragraph about begging (which is not a violation of law, but freedom of speech), and outlines that instance when someone continues to bother you after you’ve told a person no. Mr. Fanok also says this includes having people approach you at your home and repeatedly ask to do housework, etc. The ordinance was approved 7-0.
A first reading of a zoning reclassification document was approved as well, after a few questions.
A new lease agreement between the City of Morgantown and the WV Botanic Garden was read for the first time, and also approved. Mr. Moore said that a revised provision gives city the opportuntiy to pay the $60,000 committment over a three-year period starting in 2014.
Approval of a resolution adopting the updated Regionalized Region 6 PCD Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan was given 7-0. (This plan was presented in full at the March 27, 2012 meeting and you can view it here.)
City Manager Terrence Moore discussed the order of procedure for regular meetings. Councilors would like to have their reports closer to the public portion, because Councilors can’t respond to anyone presenting in the Public Portion. It would be put after New Business. Next, there will have to be an ordinance brought before Council at the next meeting on April 17, 2012. Mr. Fanok said the last changes were made in 1991 after councilors moved Public Portion so that the public wouldn’t have to wait so long to speak at meetings.
Councilor Nugent then suggested that it be a good time to discuss protocol concerning personnel files as there has been interest amongst council about a recent subject. He said there might be that COuncil is responsible for managing three employees: The City Clerk, the City Manager, and the Municipal Court Judge. They are involved in hiring, setting a salary, and compensation. But he would like to have clarification as to how items are placed into personnel files.
The report from the City Manager included information on the Alcohol Beverage Commission Club Floor Plan Requests for Extension. Now the ABC requires approval for floor plan extension request for specuial events at private establishments before they can grant their permit. So it’s just to let everyone know that publically. He wanted to accomplish this because they’d be asking to get clearance with us well in advance.
No report from the Clity Clerk or City Attorney.
Council Member Reports:
Councilor Herbst: Went to the Pittsburgh Ballet rehearsal at the WVU Creative Arts Center. They’re interested in coming back to perform here again. Also want to look closely at city parking on the sides of narrow streets. Some of the roads are so blocked we can’t get emergency cars through in Suncrest and Sunnyside. Concerns her. Mr. Moore said he could go to the Traffic Commission and find out where that stopped.
Councilor Byrne said that there was going to be a presentation from delegation from the China University of Mining & Technology he’d be attending. at 3 p.m. the Leadership from WVU and city met, and he said it was remarkable the number of collaborations the university and city have together. He said we got an outline of the idea to create a Center for Marcellus Shale Research and Exploration. We also talked about the 5 year plan and parking & transportation.
Councilor Shamberger mentioned that she attended the March Spring Swing Concert at MHS instead of coming to last month’s COTW meeting. She also attended a meeting with WVU last week, and suggests that by working together, we could change the culture. She attended the “Crossroads: it’s Time to Plan our Future” meeting, and she said it was very interesting to see where people wanted to be in 40 years. She said they talked about sprawl and the different areas of town that seem to be growing the fastest. She said the next follow-up meeting is in June or July. Councilor Shamberger said she has also seen some improvements in her ward. She attended the same meeting Councilor Byrne spoke of and said it’s a great collaborative effort. She said the next Woodburn Reuse Committee meeting will be Monday, April 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Crosley’s, just before the Neighborhood Association meeting.
Councilor Selin said she attended the Designing the Divide Conference. She said the Mayor allowed her to make opening remarks there, and that it was a very well organized conference with people from all over the nation. She reminded Council that Chocolate Lovers’ Day is scheduled for April 14, 2012. Councilor Selin said the BAMF Film Festival was terribly entertaining last year with lots of artistic outdoor activities. She said they’re films from all over, about various things like skiing, rock climing, South African kayaking. It’s scheduled for April 5, 2012 at the MET and bluegrass music will be performed beforehand.
Council Nugent had a few reminders. A Main Street Morgantown Econ Restructuring Committee meeting Thursday, April 4 at 4 p.m. in the lobby at the Main Street Building. Titanic, the Morgantown Story, will be at the Morgantown History Museum with a grand opening 6-8 on April 13 at the Tanner Building. The 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff is Friday the 13th at the Rosenbaum Family House. He also attended the meeting at WVU on April 3.
Councilor Ron Bane thanked the people who came to the 28th meeting between the City and WVU. He said it was nice for everyone to hear their frustrations echoed by everyone else. He said Lacrosse season has also started, and both Morgantown High Schools have excellent teams and don’t get big crowds, but take the time to see one if you can.
Mayor Jim Manilla asked about abandoned cars on the streets. It was defined as a car not licensed. Mr. Fanok said there was an ordinance that addressed it. It has to be on the street 48 hours before the police can take action by notifying, no matter the condition. Junk vehicles are under a different part of the code.
City Council then voted to go into executive session with the City Manager and City Attorney. The meeting coverage ends there.