City Officials Waiting for Home Rule Decision

Mayor Eugene Saunders believes officials made a compelling case to be one of the 16 cities admitted to the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program during their Aug. 11 presentation in Wheeling.

“I think we stand a real good chance of getting in,” he said during a Tuesday Moundsville City Council meeting, while commending the work Finance Director Kathryn Goddard and City Attorney Thomas White delivered to home rule board members.

Moundsville leaders hope to gain the authority Wheeling, Charleston, Huntington and Bridgeport received in 2008. Members of the home rule board will determine which 16 cities gain the autonomy following their Sept. 8 meeting.

In another matter Tuesday, City Manager Deanna Hess said West Virginia Division of Highways work crews would close Jefferson Avenue in the city’s Commercial Historic District on Thursday and Friday for road milling work in preparation for a full paving job.

“If they don’t do it now, it will have to wait until next year,” Hess said. “They apologize to all the businesses.”

During an Aug. 5 meeting, several Jefferson Avenue business owners complained about the ongoing construction work that has led to frequent street closures, noise and dust along the avenue throughout the summer.

However, city leaders said most of the work is assigned at the state level because Jefferson Avenue is the truck route for U.S. 250.

Also Tuesday, members agreed to table a measure that would call for paying $393,272 to purchase a pair of new garbage trucks.

“The reason they are going for two is that one has been wrecked,” Councilman Mark Simms said.

“I know we need the trucks. I just want to get the best deal we can get,” Vice Mayor David Wood added.

Council also voted to accept a $1,000 grant from the Governor’s Community Participation Program for the ongoing enhancement of the Moundsville Skatepark. Members approved another grant from the same program to donate $2,000 to the Moundsville Baseball Association.