City Council Approves New Pump Purchase

Benwood City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of a new pump for the Fifth Street pump station.

Erb Electric of Wheeling will provide and install the pump for a cost of $4,744, though the existing pump is still working, according to public works coordinator Jon Howard.

The variable speed control on the older pump no longer works, and if called upon to work continuously during a flood, it could overheat, he said. Howard said the need for a new pump could be considered an emergency.

Once the new pump is installed, the old pump will be sent away to be rebuilt, then returned to Benwood to be used as a backup, he said.

Last month, council approved the purchase of a pipe cutter at $2,770 and for a concrete saw at $2,400 for the service department, and Police Chief Frank Longwell cautioned Howard about not budgeting for expected larger purchases.

Howard said he understood he should have informed council about the need for a pipe cutter and concrete saw, but that the pump “just went bad” and the problem was unforeseen.

Mayor Ed Kuca said his efforts to research the history of Benwood’s past mayors and obtain their photos has resulted in three more photos of mayors coming to his office. In recent days he has received photos of mayors Henry Musilli, Raphael Deegan and has been promised one of Fred Olson.

Kuca’s quest began when a family member of Benwood’s first mayor, James Brown, sent him a photo of Brown. Kuca now hopes to obtain photos of all 14 of Benwood’s mayors, and hang them in council chambers.

Among those present for Tuesday’s council meeting was Mary Jo Guidi, field representative for Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Guidi was asked to stay when council met in executive session to discuss “economic development.” The session lasted for 12 minutes, after which council took no action.

Kuca, though, commended Longwell and City Clerk Judy Hunt for their work on economic development in Benwood, and the “positive report” they had just presented.