Morgantown Council approves paving contracts, adopts levy rate

MORGANTOWN — Morgantown City Council worked through a number of items on Tuesday, including the awarding of about $1.1 million in contracts tied to the upcoming paving season.
Paving is scheduled to begin on May 13. Completion of the paving projects in student areas is anticipated by July 31 and substantial completion of this year’s paving project is planned for Aug. 31.
Council unanimously approved a $472,857.45 contract with Greer Industries for the purchase of asphalt and other materials.
Anderson Excavating was awarded the contact for the labor, totaling $609,042.50
City Manager Paul Brake said there have been a couple changes to the city paving list, including the removal of Listravia Avenue. Brake said in order to accommodate an upcoming MUB project, Listravia was pushed to next paving season to avoid having new asphalt torn up.
Further, approximately $300,000 in additional funds will be used specifically to address North Street this summer. That work will include widening portions of the street and the construction of sidewalks as well as paving.
The city budgeted $1.8 million in user fee funds for this year’s paving plan, leaving about $400,000.
Brake suggested council could use at least some that remaining money to begin implementing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan currently being developed by the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Also as part of the upcoming paving work sidewalks will be installed near Suncrest Middle School on Krepps Street (Baldwin to Elmhurst) and Baldwin Street (Patteson to Tacoma).
Additionally a rainbow-colored “Pride” crosswalk will be installed at the Green Street, Wilson Avenue, White Avenue intersection near Gene’s Beer Garden as part of this year’s paving project.
To view the city’s paving list search “paving plan” on the Morgantown website, morgantownwv.gov.
Also on Tuesday, council laid, or adopted, the city’s levy rate, which will remain unchanged  for the coming fiscal year.
Morgantown’s levy rate is already the  maximum allowable by the state, at 25 cents on every $100 of Class II (residential) property and 50 cents on every $100 of Class IV (commercial) property.
The city anticipates generating $4,345,398 through the collection of property taxes for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
In other city news, the Municipal Home Rule Board met Tuesday morning and denied Morgantown’s request to implement stricter campaign finance reporting measures for municipal elections.
The city hoped to use Home Rule to add one additional campaign report just prior to its city elections to prevent candidates from essentially hiding donations until the post-election report.
City Attorney Ryan Simonton said the board feared that Morgantown’s request lacked specific details given it would be first to enact such authority under Home Rule and would then likely be used as a template for others going forward.
The board did approve the city’s request to use its existing board of zoning appeals as the administrator for a forthcoming subdivision and land development ordinance.
Lastly, council approved the purchase of an elevator cab, brackets, sills, attachments and related equipment from Schindler Elevator Corporation — totaling $100,000 — for installation in the former Woodburn school building.
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