Westover Council agrees to purchase new van for maintenance workers

WESTOVER — Westover maintenance workers will have a new van later this week, after the city’s council agreed to purchase one during its regular meeting Monday night.
The council amended its agenda to vote on the issue because it will not meet again until Nov. 5 and the new van was badly needed Mayor Dave Johnson said.
“We need a new van yesterday,” he said.
The current van was given to the city by the county and survived many years of daily use by maintenance crews as they mow, shovel snow and take care of other tasks, Johnson said.
The council, except first ward councilor Ralph Mullins, who was absent, unanimously voted to purchase a blue 2011 Ford E-250 from Premiere Auto Sales Inc., in Washington, Pa., for $7,939. The van has 140,509 miles, according to the quote sheet.
Johnson said he will go get the van Wednesday.
The council also considered a red 2008 Ford E-250 but decided on the newer, cheaper and closer one.
A first reading of the 2018 replacement pages for Westover’s ordinances was held, and council unanimously voted to pass them. The codified ordinances need to be amended each year so they conform to current state laws, Johnson said.
The council agreed 5-1 to donate $1,080.13 to the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization for its bicycle and pedestrian plan.
Councilwoman Edie Viola raised concerns about using taxpayer money without first seeing a financial statement from the MPO to show what the money would be spent on. She asked Johnson about the organization and if it was state or federally mandated and if any of the money would be going to pay salaries or the like, but he said he didn’t know.
Johnson said the donation would make it easier to apply for grants for sidewalks going forward because much of the work that had to be done would already be done as part of the plan. He estimated the cost of the plan was about a third of what it would costs an engineer during a normal grant application.
Viola voted no on giving MPO the money. Councilman Al Yocum voted yes after a lengthy pause but said he also wanted to see a financial statement.
Police Chief Rick Panico informed the council the school resource officer assigned to Westwood Middle School resigned and will be joining Shinnston’s police force. He said officers from the day shift will be assigned to the school before school, during lunch and when school is dismissed, but there will not be total coverage.
He said he is looking for a replacement school resource officer and that a retired police officer would probably be the best fit for the role.
From Oct. 1-15 the city court brought in $2,400 from tickets, Panico said. He said the court is attempting to keep all ticket hearings to the same day to keep the cost of officer overtime down.
His department took “a pretty steep” number of calls in that same time period, 515, Panico said.
The council also unanimously voted to make the Nov. 14-24 Christian Heritage Week. Johnson said he did not have a problem with the city promoting a religion.
Tweet Will Dean @WillDean_DP; wdean@domininionpost.com

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