J.D. Charles For The Logan Banner
September 12, 2013
Problems with landslides, criminal activity and bills were the topics of discussion at the Logan City Council meeting on Sept. 10.
Logan Police Chief E.K. Harper noted that people have complained about drug dealers and prostitutes operating in town, and his department has worked with both federal agents and the
U.S. 119 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force trying to stop them.
“We have been working with the feds on some problems and we have been working with the task force…They both did a wonderful job, Harper said. I cannot say enough good about Sgt. Jay Lester of the state police and his officers. We asked for help and they gave it. One druggie - who
had a gun, was arrested after a chase…. He was released upon arraignment for a $250 bond. One hooker was arrested - and released on a PR bond. She had a 28 page rap sheet,” Harper said. For months Chief Harper has kept a stack of paperwork on his desk, including police reports on cases where little or nothing was done to suspects after an arrest was made.
“The public has complained about the druggies and the prostitutes and we have listened. We have made arrests,” Chief Harper explained. “The problem is that when they get to the courthouse they get turned loose. People think the police are not doing anything. We are doing our job. But what do you do when you arrest people who get turned loose on Public Recognizance bonds or a little bit of cash?”
Harper said the aftermath has been more successful in federal court following some recent arrests, including drug and arson investigations.
Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti said that all but one of the recent embankment failures had been repaired to the approval of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That one
has continued to be a problem for the residents who live in the Wilson Camp area.
City Clerk Amber Miller Viars said some other recent problems had been resolved recently, explaining that Stevie Trent had came forward and helped fix some electrical problems in the
parking building. She said the Fire Department had also cleaned out the electrical supply room and that fire extinguishers had been placed on each floor. All the problems noted in a recent safety committee recommendation had been corrected.
Mayor Nolletti said the city needs an engineering report done on the Main Street Parking Building for the Board of Risk Management.
“They want an in depth study,” the mayor explained. “We had a guy who came and did a walk-through of the building recently. He was from an agency out of Charleston.”
Nolletti said that the problems the structure may have are most likely repairable, but noted the required study will be expensive. “This has to be done,” he added. Estimated cost of the study is $16,000. Council approved commissioning the study.
City Attorney Kendal Partlow discussed the third and final reading of the amended election calendar. Partlow said that the dates will all be the same and the only changes were corrections to typo and grammar.
Street Department Coordinator Kevin Marcum discussed the proposed purchase (which was approved) of a new street department truck for plowing snow, spreading salt and other routine
work. Marcum said Logan Police Chief E.K. Harper had helped find a good buy on a Ford long wheel drive basin truck and discussed the purchase. City Accountant Jeff Valet said that Logan Bank and Trust or Branch Bank and Trust might be able to provide a low interest loan for the purchase.
“It’s the same kind of truck we got for the sewer board,” Chief Harper said, noting that over the past few years the city had obtained four vehicles that way on state contracts.