MADISON - During their regular monthly session on June 3, the Madison City Council heard concerns from citizen Bill Linville regarding roads and drainage in West Madison.
"Before we had the flood last week, I've taken up walking a few weeks ago," Linville said. "As I crossed the Benjamin Price Bridge, I got a third of the way into a curve and a car pulled off in front of me. Why isn't the guardrail between the sidewalk and the road?"
Maintenance Supervisor and Police Chief Chet Burgess responded.
"You'll have to ask the Division of Highways," he said. "That belongs to the state."
Linville said he had contacted the West Virginia Division of Highways.
"I did and they said that the City of Madison put that sidewalk in after they put in the guardrail and he said you should have put it in on the other side," Linville added.
Burgess said that the guardrail was put in my the state.
"I don't want nobody to walk down the wellness trail and get their legs cut off," Linville said. "The fellows I talked to in Charleston today said that you should have known better."
Burgess stated that the sidewalk had been there longer than he had been with the city.
Burgess asked Linville who he had spoken to with the state and Linville could not produce a name, but said he had spoken to six different people.
Councilman Artie Barker expressed to Linville that if he would go back and return with the names of who he spoke to that the city would be glad to open up communication with the state about his concerns.
"All I can tell you is to call the number just like I did," Linville said.
Burgess spoke about other streets that have the same layout of road, sidewalk and guardrail.
"But take State Street, for instance," he said. "Every bit of it you have the sidewalk right beside the road. I understand what Bill is saying. But if a car runs off and the guardrail isn't there, you're still going to get hit."
Recorder Randy Foxx addressed the complaint.
"The bottom line is that regardless of who put the sidewalk or the guardrail in first or second, the City of Madison can't afford to tear out a sidewalk and put it on the other side."
Linville spoke about his drainage issues, which, he claims, come from Madison Middle School and Scott High School.
"I get water from the middle school and the high school and we need to put a stop to it," he said. "It doesn't have to rain hard and I get it. This time it got in my basement."
Burgess said there is nothing the city can do to remedy the problem.
"If I could make water run uphill, I wouldn't be working here," Burgess said.
Foxx said the city had recently been turned down for grant money to redo the drain system in West Madison. According to the council, a meeting was held for West Madison residents that was advertised in the Coal Valley News and the Charleston Gazette-Mail and no citizens attended the meeting.
In other council news, board members reviewed requests from the West Virginia Coal Festival organizers and confirmed their desire to help out with the event once again.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new pedestrian walking bridge is scheduled for 5 p.m. July 8.
The council reported a successful cleanup day in May and wanted to thank all of the volunteers who participated. The city will recognize multiple belt-winning boxer Perry Ballard with a sign entering Madison. Ballard, who lives in Martinsburg, was raised within Madison city limits and continues to give back to the community.
The Madison City Council meets in council chambers above city hall on the first Monday of each month and will meet again at 7 p.m. July 8.