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St. Albans resident complains about neighboring property

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- Patty McCallister, a resident of Benedict Circle in St. Albans, is concerned about an abandoned house at the corner of Cunningham Street and Washington Avenue that sits next to her home.

"The property is horrible," she told St. Albans City Council on Monday night. "It's a boarded-up house that you can't see because of the overgrown weeds, trees and shrubs. And someone at the house has set up a shooting range in the backyard, and they're out firing weapons at 1:30 in the morning. Can't the city do anything?"

Councilman Desper Lemon said there are similar problems in his ward.

"Here in Ordnance Park we've got four houses that I know of that are used as meth houses," he said. "I get calls nearly ever day concerning these places."

Mayor Dick Callaway said because the law protects the owners of these properties, there's not much a city can immediately do.

"I know it's frustrating for the people living close to these types of situations, but we have to follow the law," he said.

Callaway urged McCallister to call 911 the next time she heard shooting.

Councilman Lemon said when he was on the St. Albans Property Board in 2005, the same property was the subject of complaints.

In other business, council approved putting out bids for a new leaf vacuum, bucket truck and backhoe for the public works department.

Council also approved the appointment of councilwoman Lorretta Griffith to the finance committee; reappointment of Alan McVey to the planning and zoning board through June 30, 2013; reappointment of Tom McKeny to the St. Albans Convention and Visitors Board until June 30, 2015; and the reappointment of Sherri Sturgis to the parks committee through June 30, 2013.

The mayor also appointed the following to the city's personnel grievance board with terms to expire June 30, 2011: Loretta Griffith, city council; Tim Sheldon, municipal utilities commission; Dee Canterbury, non-civil service; Joe Crawford, civil service; and Phyllis Thornton, municipal utilities commission.

Roger Hughes with the West Virginia Treasurer's Office praised Police Chief Joe Crawford and Fire Chief Stephen Parsons for their work on the retirement plan.

"It was a pleasure to work with them," he said.

He added that St. Albans was the most well-run city he deals with, and that is due to the work of the mayor.


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