WEST LOGAN — Members of the West Logan Town Council discussed problems revolving around garbage at the June 11 meeting of the council.
Mayor Darren Akers said the town’s new garbage truck should be ready to roll by the end of the week, as the bed should be installed by then.
City Clerk Mark Mareske noted the expenditure on the vehicle was around $29,000. Akers said financially the vehicle would be an asset as if worst came to worse it could be sold. When Councilmember Jamie Browning noted that the May garbage tipping fees were up by $400, Akers noted “It could have been worse,” referring to extra expenses from flood debris renewal. Akers said that the town would be in worse condition had the rates not gone up, as Browning had suggested. Browning said the town needed to keep an eye on garbage department expenses. Akers noted that Browning had done an excellent job of scrutinizing the town’s budget and expenditures.
The council then discussed a long term problem — an apartment complex on First Avenue where tenants have refused to put out their own animal proof garbage containers for the better part of the last year. Akers noted that the apartment’s owner Rick Lowe had been asked to consider placing a large garbage can on the parking lot for his renters, but that had not been done.
Mareske noted that residents of the apartment complex had developed a habit of overstuffing the town’s dumpster on the corner and piling trash up instead of getting their own mandated garbage containers as West Logan town ordinances require. This in turn has lead to a problem with animals getting in the trash and strewing it around.
Akers said the apartment complex was supposed to get its own container to avoid that very problem but that the owner had refused.
When one of the council members asked if the matter could be addressed some other way, Akers said it might be possible to get the individual renters of the apartments to get their own approved containers to set their garbage out in the way other renters in a different apartment complex further down the street do.
West Logan Police Chief Robert Ward said he would draft the letters and deliver them to residents noting that if they do not comply with the town’s garbage ordinance that they could face being fined.
“If they do not do it, we can fine them,” Akers said.
Mareske noted that conventional Rubbermaid containers like many people utilize for garbage in West Logan were affordable and available at Lowe’s at the Fountain Place Mall.
Akers said he also had a complaint about the garbage container at one of the churches in town being packed with containers that were too heavy for the town’s garbage man to lift. Akers said the church needed to be contacted about the matter so that they stopped putting out overloaded garbage bags and boxes.
Councilmembers also discussed a slight increase on residential garbage rates for users who had higher than normal tipping fees.
In other West Logan news:
• Council approved minutes from the May meeting and the May financial statements. Akers was told the town had not received its check from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to help pay for flood debris removal yet. Akers said a lot of Business and Occupation taxes had come in during May so the town was doing well. City Clerk Mark Mareske noted that while the town’s insurance premiums came due last month “everything else was normal.” He noted that in March and April the town’s tipping fees at the dump had increased due to flooding debris removal.
• Ward said May was a quiet month in West Logan with no reported thefts, one reported domestic dispute and an altercation between several individuals that was broken up before it turned into a fight.
• Ward noted the town purchased a traffic mirror to assist residents who are turning onto the main road from the corner of Route 10 and 4th Street. Ward said that the sign could be installed as soon as the street department got the holes drilled into it for the mounting bars.
• Ward said the town’s new police cruiser needed new tires and that he was told McGrew Tire in Logan had the government contract for tires for law enforcement vehicles.
Ward said the town received a call from Mike Browning, former editor and reporter for the Logan Banner who now works for Senator Joe Manchin’s office who asked if Manchin’s office could be of help to the town.
“Mike Browning is a good guy and it is nice to know we have somebody like him in Joe Manchin’s office,” Mayor Akers noted.
Councilmember Ruby Moore discussed recent town beautification projects such as painting, landscaping and planting flowers, noting that several local residents had come forward and done most of the work themselves. Moore asked for permission to continue with such projects utilizing local residents for manpower.
“Ted Meade, Brian Browning, Mr. Roberts and my daughter and son-in-law did most of the work and I just bossed,” said Moore.
Moore said she was told only two local residents had attended a recent Logan County PSD meeting about another proposed rate increase.
“It went from 20 percent to 8 percent,” said Moore.
Mayor Akers said he and other residents on First Avenue had noticed a foul odor wafting from one of the two sewage treatment facilities.
Akers said he had contacted the PSD and the Logan Water Department about the matter. In the past, the town had a problem with gas buildup from the PSD’s sewer system until PSD began pushing water through the lines to get waste matter to the plant for proper treatment.
Council members also discussed the West Logan Street Department’s hours.
J.D. Charles contributed to this report.