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Coal Grove council appoints new member



COAL GROVE — In a four-to-one vote, the Coal Grove Village Council appointed a familiar face to fill a recently vacated seat.

Dee Carpenter was sworn in at Monday night’s meeting. Carpenter is taking the seat left by former councilman Aaron Stewart, who resigned by letter in February.

Carpenter was nominated by councilman Tim Sexton. Bob Self nominated Carla Bennett for the position. Village resident Joe Ross was present at the meeting and expressed interest in the position and councilman Chris Brammer nominated him for the seat.

Brammer said Ross was levelheaded and would be a perfect fit for council.

Mayor Larry McDaniel put Carpenter up for voting first, with all members except Brammer voting in Carpenter’s favor.

Brammer later said he was under the impression that Carpenter expressed interest in filling the seat if council couldn’t find any other interested parties. He went on to say Carpenter was a good candidate but that he wouldn’t have wasted Ross’ time had he known the outcome of nominations.

Sexton said he hadn’t made contact with other council members about his decision to nominate Carpenter.

Carpenter had previously served a term on council that ended eight years ago. He retired from AK Steel in 1999 and was also as a bus driver for Chesapeake schools and retired several years ago.

“I just want to work with the rest of council to do what’s best for the village,” Carpenter said after the meeting. “I just want to make it a better village and work with all the people I can.”

Carpenter resigned his position as the village’s zoning officer to take the seat on council.

In other business of the village:

• Fire Chief Gary Sherman reported that the department acquired a 1994 Ford heavy rescue vehicle from a lottery drawing at Braskem in Kenova, W.Va. There were two other agencies in the drawing. McDaniel, who works at Braskem, had the fire department added to the drawing.

The vehicle cost the village $1, Sherman said, and came equipped with rescue, Hazmat and medical equipment. Sherman said what his department can’t use, they will sell.

The vehicle will be used as a mobile storage vehicle for rescue equipment and will be used for mutual aid calls instead of the fire engines Sherman said.

Sherman also reported the department was up to 51 calls so far this year.

• Police Chief Eric Spurlock reported the department made 16 reports, responded to 14 accidents, wrote 114 tickets and towed nine vehicles in February.

He also reported to council the department was eligible to receive 10 free portable MARCS radios from the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency.

Sexton suggested the department only needed five since each radio requires a $20 per month fee to operate.

Council also approved the resignation of a police officer.

• Council approved a travel policy at the suggestion of a state auditor. The policy would allow for village employees traveling out of town for work purposes to be reimbursed for hotel stays that were approved ahead of time, 55 cents per mile for car travel, which is the IRS rate, a maximum $8 for breakfast and $8 for lunch unless already provided, a maximum $20 for dinner, no reimbursements for alcoholic drinks, reimbursement for parking and all receipts must be turned in and itemized.

• After an executive session, council had first reading on an ordinance that would establish two part-time positions, income tax clerk and bonds clerk. The ordinance would also repeal the position of income tax and bonds clerk as one job. The ordinance also repealed the water clerk position.

According to the ordinance, both new part-time positions would be up to a maximum 30 hours a week at $9.70 per hour with no benefits.

Council declared and emergency and adopted the ordinance.

McDaniel informed council he would post listings for a tax clerk and utility clerk.


Follow Michelle Goodman on Twitter: @Michelle_Journo