WEST LOGAN — West Logan Town Clerk Mark Mareske talked dollars and cents on Monday night at the towns March council meeting. Mareske knows whereof he speaks- his regular day job is at Logan Bank and Trust in nearby Logan.
Markeske said this year’s budget for the town would be similar to last year’s and he had some good news. Even though the town is faced with the loss of one of its biggest Business and Occupation Tax payers, (which is moving out of town to a bigger location,) things have picked up lately on other B&O taxes.
“Our income will be about the same,” Mareske said. “I had to adjust some things due to an increase on the street department and garbage department, but it should be close to last year’s. Last year’s budget was $174,000. This year’s estimated budget will be $176,000.”
After several months of quiet and peace things seem to have warmed up a bit recently in the town of West Logan.
According to Police Chief Robert Ward the peace and quiet were briefly disturbed by a few complaints: One involving an alleged destruction of property involving some slashed tires on Third Avenue and another that actually took place outside of town, despite local radio stories to the contrary.
Ward told councilmembers at the March meeting that a drug raid at an alleged pill mill nearby was actually outside of town limits and that except for a few locals, most people he had spoken with were unaware that the building, which at one time housed a bakery, had been rented out again. For months it had sat empty until a few weeks ago the interior had been gutted.
“I did speak with one man who said people were paying $460 for office visits to get pills,” Ward noted. “When your doctor comes in to town one day a month, charges over $400 bucks and does not take insurance it’s pretty obvious something shady is going on. Good riddance.”
Ward said there had been a report of slashed tires on an automobile on Third Avenue and that a suspect in that incident had been identified. The dispute had allegedly started over money, he said, noting the West Virginia State Police had initially been contacted about the matter.
There was also a report of what was supposed to be a suspicious vehicle riding around over the weekend, he noted. When the vehicle was found there was nothing suspicious about it at all — just a local man being dropped off by friends. It was not the only false report recently. Several calls about intruders in an empty house on Route 10 turned out to be mistakenly caused by glare from passing headlights on cars passing by. When the structure was searched nothing out of the ordinary was found and nobody had been inside the place for some time.
“There was also a dispute on First Avenue regarding a blocked driveway,” Ward noted, and explained that he was requesting the West Logan Street Department to paint some parking stripes on one side of First Avenue to deal with a major problem in the town. It can literally be like driving through a gauntlet to move down the street as people are parked on both sides of it, making maneuvering difficult.
“What is ironic is that some of the people who are parking out on the street like that actually have driveways they are not using,” Ward noted. “We are in desperate need of some parking stripes down there.”
West Logan Mayor Darren Akers agreed, noting there had been problematic parking in the area. Akers said he was concerned that an accident could be caused by blocked access.
In other West Logan news:
• A new tarp has been ordered for one of the street department trucks and street department employees have been instructed to keep the rear gate closed while driving, Mayor Akers noted.
• Councilmember Jamie Browning asked about an apparently abandoned vehicle that has weeds growing up into it on First Avenue. Chief Ward said he had been trying to contact the owner about having the vehicle towed off.
• The Safety Report was read and approved.