1928 - Alderson High School - 1968
Contact:  Mayor Travis Copenhaver 304-445-2916 / Margaret Hambrick 304-646-2439
State Of Alderson Report Please take a moment to read over this important communication. It is long but very informative. Sewer   Lift   station   #3   that   is   currently   used   100%   by   the   Federal   Bureau   of   Prisons   for   FPC   Alderson   was   tested and placed in service on the 8th of February. There are currently two major projects underway in Alderson. One   is   replacing   and   rehabbing   three   of   the   major   lift   stations   in   our   system   and   the   other   is   upgrading   our treatment   plant   to   utilize   UV   light   and   a   new   treatment   process   to   decrease   the   amount   of   phosphorus   in   our discharged water after treatment. With   lift   station   #3   operational,   the   next   major   part   of   that   project   is   the   #1   on   the   Greenbrier   side.   You   will   see lots of activity along Riverview Drive in the next couple of weeks at this site. Thanks   to   Rover   Construction,   HSC,   and   our   other   contractors   for   going   above   and   beyond.   Some   pictures   of progress at the lift stations and plant are attached. This   week   the   treatment   at   the   plant   has   been   switched   over   to   Ultraviolet   light   instead   of   chlorine   and   sulfur. This   is   pretty   amazing   technology.   We   were   able   to   save   about   $500,000   dollars   due   to   using   new   treatment technology and existing structures at the plant itself. On   another   note,   we   are   saddened   to   learn   that   we   will   be   paying   FEMA   back   a   substantial   portion   of   the   money we   have   already   received   for   flood   related   damages.   We   were   anticipating   using   these   funds,   that   was   the amount of our actual damages and mitigation, toward the new project. Since   the   contracts   were   already   in   place   prior   to   flooding,   we   will   not   be   able   to   proceed   as   we   wanted.   No   one clearly   told   us   we   could   not   unti   this   past   week.   We   have   been   able   to   "band   aid"   our   operations   and   not   waste money by replacing equipment that would not be used as part of the upgrades. We   will   be   paying   over   $150,000   back   as   the   result   of   doing   the   right   thing   in   managing   resources.   We   have   been cautious   with   the   entire   flood   reimbursement   process   because   it   has   not   been   exactly   black   and   white   from   both FEMA   and   the   state.   We   have   been   waiting   to   pay   vendors   from   funds   that   were   authorized   in   other   flood   related projects in the end of November. Those   funds   were   tied   up   in   the   process   of   approval   from   the   auditors   office   as   part   of   internal   accounting   by the   state.   Thankfully,   some   of   those   funds   came   today.   I   am   embarrassed   at   the   length   of   time   it   has   taken   to   pay for   work   done.   We   did   not   anticipate   this   delay,   nor   did   FEMA.   The   reps   were   quite   surprised   last   week   when   we met. This   flood   repair   and   process   is   not   a   fast   one.   Nor   are   we   half   doing   any   part   of   it.   This   has   affected   major infrastructure.   It   will   likely   continue   on   for   another   year   or   longer   until   everything   is   somewhat   complete.   We   are sorry   for   interruption   in   services   or   travel   routines.   Please   continue   to   have   patients   and   understand   there   are very complex issues being worked from many angles to fix. FEMA    didn't    just    come    and    drop    cash    in    our    lap    to    fix    everything.    There    are    mounds    of    documentation, reimbursement issues, and a whole host of governmental contract review and accounting to these projects. An    ordinance    was    presented    for    first    read    to    council    amending    the    current    Motor    Vehicle    code    of    the municipality.   It   was   the   work   of   our   Municipal   Prosecutor,   myself,   and   the   clerks   updating   the   code   to   the   most current   passages   of   the   WV   code.   In   it,   was   presented   a   significant   amendment   regarding   UTV,   ATV,   slow   speed vehicles, mini-trucks, and golf carts. Council   has   passed,   the   first   of   two   readings   of   this   ordinance   allowing   for   all   of   the   above   mentioned   vehicles to   be   driven   on   our   maintained   streets   (as   allowed   by   WV   state   Code).   This   has   the   potential   to   make   us significantly   more   senior   friendly   and   eco   friendly   at   the   same   time.   Much   more   will   be   said   about   this   after   the ordinance   passes   the   second   read   at   the   next   council   meeting.   As   of   this   time,   the   current   ATV   ordinance   is   in effect and prohibits all of the above vehicles from being on public property or streets. Our   library   is   currently   undergoing   an   internal   review   from   the   WV   Library   Commission.   I   have   identified   some accounting   and   transparency   issues   and   along   with   the   library's   board   of   directors   and   have   asked   for   the assistance   of   the   commission.   We   do   not   foresee   any   wrongdoing   or   criminal   liability   on   any   one   person   directly involved,   but   with   the   help   of   the   library   commission   are   working   to   resolve   several   accounting   issues   and   make necessary procedural changes. Our   FY   2016   yearly   audit   is   complete   and   shows   no   major   issues.   We   are   currently   working   to   resolve   an accounting   issue   that   spans   back   at   least   20   years   with   the   use   of   our   general   accounting   software.   This   issue does   not   affect   customer   accounts   and   helps   us   better   track   funds   between   the   operating   accounts   from   he general fund, water, sewer, and coal severance fund. We have worked over 1 year without any reportable work related injuries. Our   impound   facilities   have   proven   to   be   a   major   win   for   the   police   department,   the   individuals,   and   wrecker services.   It   has   streamlined   the   time   issue   of   tying   up   an   officer   waiting   on   a   wrecker.   It   has   helped   our   officers take   more   illegal   vehicles   with   improper   drivers   and/or   no   insurance,   and/or   defective   equipment   with   significant risks   off   the   highway. Approximately   33%   of   the   vehicles   stopped   in   the   municipality   do   not   have   the   mandatory insurance coverage at the time of the stop. Also,   another   win   for   our   police   department   is   the   use   of   Ecitations   and   automated   accident   reporting.   The officers   are   able   to   streamline   the   ticket   process   from   the   issuance   of   a   citation   to   the   transmittal   to   DMV   after the action is taken care of in court. The   use   of   automated   accident   reporting   has   made   the   reports   available   to   insurance   companies   and   those needing them faster and with better documentation and picture capabilities. Our 2016 report from the police department shows the following: 464 calls for service 141 misdemeanor arrests 23 felony arrests 444 citations were issued for 522 violations. Recently,   our   Fire   Department   and   municipal   water   department   have   accomplished   a   major   win   for   our   citizens. They   were   able   to   achieve   a   new   ISO   rating   at   a   class   4   from   a   class   5   rating.   This   improvement   is   something your   need   to   let   your   homeowners   insurance   know   of   IF   YOU   LIVE   WITHIN   THE   MUNICIPALITY.   There   is   a possibility you may see a reduction in your premiums. Also,   as   a   further   bond   between   our   fire   department   and   police   department,   Fire   Chief   Frankie   Jones,   Police Chief   Jeremy   Bennett,   and   I   have   instituted   the   policy   of   having   on   duty   officers   dispatched   along   with   fire   and EMS   responders   for   calls   within   the   municipality.   This   is   an   added   safety   procedure   for   those   valued   first responders.   Most   of   our   police   department   have   had   EMT   and   Fire   fighter   training   and   are   also   an   extra   set   of hands if needed. 2016 Fire Department information shows the following department activity: 178 Fire and Rescue calls 788 EMS Calls We   were   able   to   help   save   the   fire   department   over   $15,000   by   adding   their   employees   and   volunteers   to   the town's   workers   compensation   plan.   Further   we   have   helped   them   with   maintenance   on   equipment   and   vehicles through   adding   their   vehicles   to   the   city   maintenance   fleet   program.   We   also   have   assisted   by   adding   the   full time staff to the city employee benefits plan. Making insurance better and cheaper for all. Chief   Jones   and   his   team   are   to   be   commended   for   being   open   and   receptive   to   our   assistance.   It   shows   their level of commitment to not only our town but to the continuous operations needs of their department. I   would   like   to   say   now   that   during   our   flooding   in   June,   every   department,   employee,   and   department   head   went above   and   beyond   anything   that   could   ever   have   been   asked   of   them.   Our   fire   department   routinely   assists   the other   departments   fulfill   their   mission.   I   will   not   leave   out   our   "Brothers   and   Sisters   on   the   hill"   from   Tri-County Volunteer Fire Company who help us all on a regular basis as well. I   have   given   charge   to   the   planning   commission   to   completely   overhaul   and   update   our   current   zoning   code.   It will   be   a   long   and   drawn   out   process   for   everyone,   but   is   long   overdue.   It   will   be   aligned   with   our   most   recent updated   Comprehensive   plan.   They   are   to   be   commended   for   taking   this   project   and   giving   it   the   serious consideration it needs for present day Alderson. I   have   contacted   a   survey   group   to   get   the   necessary   survey   to   move   forward   with   the   Glen   Ray   annexation   plan. It   is   necessary   to   have   a   boundary   survey   before   it   can   be   voted   on   by   shareholders   from   the   area   to   be annexed.   Hear   me   now,   there   will   be   no   closed   door   or   secret   process.   Once   the   survey   is   complete,   our   town's attorney   will   be   working   with   council   and   the   planning   commission   to   move   to   the   next   step.   Which   will   probably be a public meeting first. Many    groups    are    working    hard    to    make   Alderson    even    more    proud.    Whether    beautification    or    long    term riverbank projects, it is amazing to see everyone stepping up and doing more. This   is   a   long   post,   but   I   feel   many   don't   have   time   to   get   to   council   meetings   or   many   of   the   other   monthly meetings   this   information   has   been   shared   in.   We   will   be   delivering   hard   copies   in   the   very   near   future   door   to door so those not having social media can get an update as well. We   have   been   blessed   with   major   wins!   Please   continue   to   pray   for   everyone   involved   and   give   thanks   for   what we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the coming months. Thanks for continuing to helping us be "Alderson Proud!" Travis
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