By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - All council members, as well as the mayor and city clerk were present for the first March meeting of Williamson City Council that was held on Thursday. A short list of items that required the council’s attention was addressed.
Three names of eligible candidates on the Police Civil Service list who had applied for a patrolman position with the city were passed over for the third time, meaning they will be removed from the list and are no longer being considered for a job. The three names were Aaron Clark, Brandon James Maynard and Jordan Colegrove.
The city’s annual budget for the year 2014-2015, in the amount of $2,910,881 is ready to be submitted to the State Tax Department, as required by law. Once it is accepted and approved by the state, the Williamson council will meet on the third Tuesday of April (15th) and will take the steps necessary to adopt the amount as the new, approved budget.
Out of the amount listed above, $12,000 is coal severance funds paid to the city that are earmarked for street repairs and the purchase of additional garbage dumpsters to replace those that are damaged.
“Of this annual budget, nearly 34 1/2 percent is generated by B&O taxes,” Mayor Darrin McCormick said. “Frances Frye, our city clerk, and I have been diligently working on delinquent B&O taxes. We are making a lot of progress, and I emphasize the importance of city businesses who owe arrears to be compliant. Legal action will be taken if necessary.”
“It is not fair for those businesses within the city who faithfully pay their B&O taxes to carry the weight for those who do not comply,” McCormick said. “Everyone has to do their part. Times are tough for everyone but we must abide by the law.”
“It’s not personal .. this is business,” the mayor said.
McCormick said he looks for the amount of B&O taxes to be on the rise since aggressive steps are now being taken to collect past due amounts.
Frye extended her appreciation to the mayor for accompanying her on the visits to businesses that owe back taxes, commenting that it had certainly made a difference in the way the owners responded.
Councilman York Smith asked those in attendance to please remember the family of Archie Johnson in prayer, saying he had passed away Thursday morning.
“Archie was a good man,” Smith said. “He sang the West Virginia song for so many political events throughout the years, and was a crowd favorite. He brought tears to the eyes of people that heard him sing. He performed many times at functions attended by our late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd.”
Councilwoman Sherry Brown addressed complaints she had received from residents living on Vinson Street near the city garage, explaining that when it rains, water pours off the the hillside in that location and runs across the road, creating slick driving conditions when the temperature drops, as well as damaging the roadway itself. She was assured the matter would be looked into and addressed as soon as possible.
Plans are being implemented to begin repairing potholes that were created by the large amount of salt that has been spread on roadways due to the numerous snowfalls the city has experienced. The work will take a while to complete, but steps are being put into place to address and correct these road problems.
Lt. Ryan Vincent of the Salvation Army was introduced to the council by the mayor. The officer, who works in Mingo, Logan and Boone counties, told council members that he was happy to announce plans to reopen the Salvation Army Thrift Store to accommodate the needs of the public, and hopes to have it operational in the next month or so. Vincent also announced the addition of social services at the location after a little more time has passed, and said the Salvation Army will more than likely hire an additional employee for that position.
For additional information on the Williamson Salvation Army location, contact Vincent at 304-792-1147.