Meeting on gas line project Jan. 23
By Kevin Dye
Columbia Gas is beginning a project to replace and update residents gas lines this year and the company has planned a public meeting to discuss the project with residents this month.
West Jefferson Public Safety Director David Metzger informed village council Monday night that Columbia has begun preliminary work in the village and they have also planned for a public meeting on the project.
“Columbia Gas notified me that they will hold a meeting for the public about the new gas line project,” Metzger said. “The meeting will be held here at the West Jefferson Senior Center.”
The meeting has been scheduled to begin at the senior center starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23. The gas line project will replace the existing steel and cast iron gas lines in the village with a newer high tech medium pressure plastic gas line. The project will replace 65,000 feet of the old gas line with the newer plastic gas line, which has no natural enemies such as rust or corrosion and only human error should disturb it. Metzger said preliminary work has already started along state Route 142.
Metzger also requested that the Public Service Committee schedule a meeting to discuss sidewalk snow removal within the village. The recent wave of snow storms and the accumulation on the ground have at times created a safety hazard in some parts of the village.
“I’d like to have a meeting to discuss the snow situation,” Metzger said. “The village doesn’t have ordinances about residents clearing sidewalks and snow hazard on the streets with parking. I looked for several hours today and we don’t have the ordinances. I know people may not like it, but they won’t like getting sued for it either.”
Off street parking was also a concern with high accumulation of snow in an emergency situation.
“If we can’t get a snow plow down a street, then we can’t get a fire truck or EMS vehicle down them either,” Metzger said. “We need to look at this and address it.”
Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Dean Bollinger attended the meeting and he suggested that council and Metzger check to see if there are regulations in the International Maintenance Code, which is apart of the village’s zoning regulations, that would cover snow removal.
The Public Service Committee will soon meet to review current village regulations and discuss what is needed.
While there were concerns about sidewalks covered in snow, there were no concerns about snow removal on the village streets. Several council members and the mayor praised the Street Department and their employees for quickly clearing the village streets and making the roads safe for travel.
“I would like to thank the maintenance department for the way that they have handled the recent snow,” Mayor Darlene Steele said.
“I would also like to to say the street department did a great job clearing the streets,” council member Randy Otis said.
“I was out of town during the storms and I received several calls about the great job that the street department did with the snow removal,” council member Cory Coburn said.
Council also approved the council committees for the new year, which for the most part did not change much for 2013, including Public Service chairman Randy Otis, Steven Johnston and Ron Garver, Finance chairman Ron Garver, Doug Eakins and Jim King, Police chairman Doug Eakins, Randy Otis and Cory Coburn, Employee Benefits chairman Cory Coburn, Sheila Nelson and Randy Otis, Parks and Recreation chairman Sheila Nelson, Cory Coburn and Doug Eakins, Development chairman Jim King, Steven Johnston and Sheila Nelson and Special Events chairman Steven Johnston, Ron Garver and Jim King.