Meetings, News

SALEM CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OCTOBER 10, 2023

The Salem City Council held a Regular Meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at Salem City Hall, 229 West Main Street Salem, WV. 

Mayor James Robert Samples called the meeting to order at 6:10 pm. All in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America. An audience member gave the blessing. 

Mayor Samples called for roll call. 

PRESENT: Council Members: John Golden , Richard Gibson, Camm Lounsbury,  Valerie Lane, Brandie Garner, City Manager Jeff Edwards, City Attorney Sam Harrold

ABSENT: — Council Member Linda Stuart

A motion was made by Council Member Brandie Garner to excuse the absence of Council Member Linda Stuart. The motion was seconded by Council Member Camm Lounsbury. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

Approval of Meeting Minutes — A motion was made by Council Member Brandie Garner to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes for September 26, 2023.  The motion was seconded by Council Member Camm Lounsbury. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

 Discussion Regarding Appointment to Fill Vacant Council Seat — A lengthy discussion was had regarding the three consecutive absences of Council Member Valerie Lane and the proper procedures for excused or unexcused absences. Ms. Lane stated that she asked to be excused from the three meetings for various reasons. A motion was made by Council Member Richard Gibson to retroactively excuse Council Member Valerie Lane from one Council Meeting. The motion was seconded by Council Member Brandie Garner. The motion passed by a vote of 4 – 1 with one member abstaining.  Council Member Golden – abstained, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

  Mayor Samples called for a recess at 7:05 pm.

Mayor Samples called the meeting back to order at 7:16 pm. 

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation  — A motion was made by Council Member Camm Lounsbury to approve the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation. The motion was seconded by Council Member John Golden. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

Phase III – Wastewater System Project  — There was nothing new to report. City Manager Jeff Edwards informed Council Members that E.L. Robinson Representative Jeff Petry will attend the next meeting. 

As discussed in previous meetings, this project will help remove some of the I&I from the system and will start in front of Shop N’ Save and goes towards 7-11 along with Water and High Streets. The proposed cost of the project is approximately $5 million. E.L. Robinson has been working on the Preliminary Engineering Report. Mr. Petry will also provide Sheena Hunt and Zack Dobbins with the proposed project cost estimate and budget in order to compile a funding scenario for the project. 

Phase IV – Water System Improvement Project  — In the absence of The Thrasher Group Representative Steve Haynes, City Manager Jeff Edwards provided a brief update. Mr. Edwards informed Council Members that SHPO has approved the demolition and replacement of the sidewalk and walls in the area between Oak Street and State Street after installation of the waterline under the sidewalk. 

 At the last meeting, Region VI Executive Director Sheena Hunt informed Council Members that the Evidentiary Materials Package was approved by the Development Office. Now that the Evidentiary Materials Package has been approved, Region VI can continue with the Environmental Clearances as required by HUD and the CDBG. The Environmental Clearances will take approximately 60 days. Mrs. Hunt stated further that they are working on the bid documents and right of way agreements. 

Sidewalk Project  — There was nothing new to report.   

City Attorney’s Report — City Attorney Sam Harrold requested an Executive Session to discuss some legal matters. 

City Manager’s Report — City Manager Jeff Edwards introduced the new EMS Director, Shaine Gaines. Mr. Gaines is a paramedic and has been working in the field for 10 years in various rolls. Mr. Gaines is also a native of Salem, growing up on Valley Street.

City Clerk’s Report — 1. City Clerk Kayla Nicholas informed Council Members that a dormant account at West Union Bank: City of Salem Water System Improvement Phase III Project 17SCBG0004 needs closed. A motion was made by Council Member John Golden to close the dormant account: City of Salem Water System Improvement Phase III Project 17SCBG0004 at West Union Bank. The motion was seconded by Council Member Camm Lounsbury. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

2. City Clerk Kayla Nicholas informed Council Members that a construction account needs to be set up for the City to receive water project funds from the various funding agencies. The account: City of Salem Phase IV Water System Improvement Project Construction would be opened at West Union Bank. A motion was made by Council Member Valerie Lane to open the construction account: City of Salem Phase IV Water System Improvement Project Construction at West Union Bank. The motion was seconded by Council Member Camm Lounsbury. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

3. For the month of September 2023, the General Fund revenues were approximately $119,000 with expenditures approximately $182,000. The Water Fund revenue was approximately $87,000 with expenditures nearly $69,000. The Sewer Fund revenue was approximately $59,000 with expenditures approximately $56,000. The Outstanding Checks were approximately $145,000. The Liability Forecast is approximately $80,000. 

 Departmental Reports: — There were no questions from Council Members regarding the departmental reports.

Public Works Report — A 68% water loss for the month of September was reported. The public works department completed 111 work orders and worked a combined 244 hours on water and sewer, collected garbage and recycling for 332 hours, maintenance on trucks, equipment, and buildings for 58 hours, mowed grass for 113 hours, worked on streets for 46 hours, worked at the flood control dams for 151 hours, community 

service for 6 hours, and Apple Butter Festival for 68 hours. Over 98 tons of garbage was hauled to the landfill.

EMS Report — For the month of September 2023, the EMS Department took 61 calls for service. Payments received were $22,653.46 with an estimated total of $21,000 pending current and an estimated outstanding total of $41,000. 

Police Report — For the month of September 2023, the Police Department conducted 240 hours of patrol and received 46 calls for service. Thirteen citations were issued for the following: 3 no proof of insurance, 2 no seatbelt, 4 no MVI, 1 no child restraint, 1 speeding, 1 trespassing, and 1 disorderly conduct. 

Council Member Lounsbury — Council Member Lounsbury brought up the tabled item regarding the Charter Committee and the need to update the charter. 

A motion was made by Council Member Camm Lounsbury to go into Executive Session. The motion was seconded by Council Member John Golden. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye. 

Council Members went into Executive Session at 7:39 pm. — A motion was made by Council Member John Golden to return to Regular Session. The motion was seconded by Council Member Camm Lounsbury.  The motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Council Member Golden – aye, Council Member Gibson – aye, Council Member Lounsbury – aye, Council Member Lane – aye, Council Member Garner – aye, Mayor Samples – aye.  — Council Members returned to Regular Session at 8:26 pm.

Mayor Samples adjourned the meeting at 8:26 pm.