Fairmont council to vote on letter of credit, property acquirement | Free

FAIRMONT — City Council members are expected to vote on changing the city’s letter of credit and acquiring additional properties Tuesday night.

The council will first hold a public hearing for an ordinance that would change the city’s letter of credit for its workers’ compensation self-insurance program from $250,000 to $500,000, according to Fairmont City Manager Robin Gomez.

“We self-insure for workers’ compensations, so under West Virginia code, we have to meet certain criteria that requires we have a letter of credit,” Gomez said. “The state, because they looked at our Fiscal Year 2016 audit and due to changes in accounting and how we have to report our pension liabilities, … it requires that we now have to have a larger credit letter for our workers’ compensation self-insurance program.”

After voting on that, council will hear the first reading of an ordinance that would have the city purchase the old Butcher School on the corner of Fourth Street and Albert Court, which caught on fire late last year.

“We will demolish it,” Gomez said. “It’s estimated to be between $150,000 to $200,000. It’s a big building. Hopefully the cost will be less than that. It’s a building that’s been abandoned for a long time. The person who bought it at a tax deed sale didn’t treat it very well.”

The school is near two other properties recently acquired by the city for demolition on Watson Avenue. The properties are near Coal Run Hollow, which is being considered for a project to turn the closed road into a greenspace and walking trail.

“It could really lead to a redevelopment of that area that could include the Fifth Street Park,” Gomez said. “That whole area has gone through a change and we will continue to revitalize that area.”

Then, the council will hear the first reading of an ordinance that would change the city’s policy on abandoned vehicles, making it more similar to state code.

“We are simply asking to repeal our ordinance and just follow what’s on the state code,” Gomez said. “There really isn’t a big difference, we just thought it would be easier if we followed the state code… Our ordinance has become antiquated and does not the meet the due process requirements that the state has. The process as to how you cite a vehicle and how you fine somebody has changed at a state level.”

Then, council will hear about an ordinance that would require anyone who rents a property to obtain a certificate of occupancies, increasing the fine for not having one from $100 to $500.

Council will also vote to adopt a resolution accepting a $25,000 grant to help repair the terracotta along the top of the Masonic Temple in downtown Fairmont.

“We’re going to repair all of that so that it stays better,” Gomez said.

After an executive session, council will re-appoint three members to the Planning and Zoning Commission, appoint two people to the Fairmont Parking Authority and appoint one person to the Fairmont Building Commission.

The Fairmont City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building on 500 Quincy St.

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