Sistersville Council addressed several issues about improving the town during their regular meeting June 9.
City Commissioner Daniel Grimes spoke to the possibility of purchasing a street sweeper for the city. He said a Pittsburgh, Pa., company that leases the equipment to purchase came to Sistersville and did a demonstration. "A few people around the Happy Hollow area saw the piece of equipment used," noted Mayor Bill Rice.
It was a street sweeper with a vacuum trailer component. The machine got the whole demonstration area clean in about 75 minutes. "It probably would have taken the street crew two full days to accomplish the same amount of work," noted Grimes.
A six-year lease would cost the city $40,000 per year, then it would belong to the city. Grimes said the cost could be divided between all four city departments, making the monthly cost per department $833.
Grimes said that the city currently pays $1,200 to $1,500 for one day's use. They usually have to get a vacuum truck a minimum of every three months, according to him. "I know I've used it more than six times since November," said Grimes. This year the city has spent $9,000 on this rental expenditure.
Further noting advantages of purchasing, Grimes said, "With this piece of equipment you could get a set schedule." The city could post signs and ask people to remove their vehicles when their street would be cleaned.
"The big thing is the vac trailer component," he noted. They could clean out manholes and storm drains, resulting in less trouble with clogged lines and blown pumps.
"It comes in handy, too, with working on the lift stations," said Grimes. "It's going to save money and time all the way around,"
"I don't think it's a smart call this year," said Councilman Mark Klages. Even when figuring in manhours, he said it doesn't look like the city is getting close to spending $40,000 on that equipment rental.
Councilman Harold Dally agreed, saying a lot of expenditures were on that night's agenda, but only one piece of income-$625 to sell the old mayor's car to Aaron Staats.
Council voted unanimously to revisit the possible lease/purchase at a later time. "It did do a good job, but it's a little more than we can afford at this time," said Mayor Rice.
However, the mayor did want council to consider another matter of cleaning the town. He would like to see them have a city clean up day again, noting they haven't had one for a number of years. This would be when each ward would be given two days to set out larger items for hauling away.
"There's a lot of people who have come to me and ask for this as they don't have a way to haul things," said Rice. He added that while people would undoubtedly pick some of the valuables from the curbside, the city could recycle any metal and get back some income from it.
Councilman Mitch Corley moved to table it until next month when they have some more information on particulars, such as dumping fees
The city's planning commission volunteered to fund the $1,051.33 for materials to replace the roof on the concession stand at the big shelter in the city park. David Pancake will help the park and pool employees to do the work.
Councilman Klages said he talked with Stan Dennis of Sistersville Junior Athletics and they would be willing to work with the city on a targeted fund raiser, like maybe a tournament at the end of the season, to help with some repairs at the park.
Finally, council approved the financing and purchase of a 2009 Ford Police Interceptor with 30,000 miles from an individual in New Martinsville. Police Chief Ben Placer said it was the same price as the city's cruiser that was wrecked, so the payments should be about the same, Placer estimates. The only other fee would be to get it striped, about $250-300.
Placer noted that currently the city has three cruisers, but four officers. This purchase will give each officer their own personal vehicle. That would make their response time, when called from home, greatly reduced. Also, Placer said sharing cruisers causes equipment/maintenance issues.