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St. Albans revises fence, swimming pool ordinance

St. Albans City Council has revised its fence ordinance to set maximum residential fence heights, establish storage requirements for recreational vehicles, and to make it clear residential swimming pools can be built only in back yards.

The revisions were read a second time at council's meeting Tuesday evening and approved unanimously. They become effective when signed by Mayor Dick Callaway.

Under the revisions:

* The maximum residential fence height in the front yard and street-side yard is 3.5 feet and the maximum height in the rear and lot-side yards is 6 feet.

* Recreational vehicles and trailers designed to be towed by another vehicle must be stored on a paved surface and parked behind the front property line.

  * Private outdoor swimming pools can't be closer than seven feet to any property line; must be protected by a six-foot-high fence with an entryway that can be locked; and can be built only in rear yards.

In other action, council transferred $100,300 from the emergency line item in the budget for the mayor's office:

* $80,000 was moved to capital outlays to pay for a new roof on the city garage. Callaway said the roof leaks like a sieve.

* The city's contribution to the Fire Pension Fund was increased by $20,300, as recommended by the city's actuary.

Also at the meeting:

* Council agreed to pay Hotsy Equipment $6,416 for a pressure washer for the Public Works Department.

* Councilman Lee Roberts was appointed to the Public Safety and Ordinance committees.

In his report to council, Callaway said the West Virginia Municipal League is pushing for an extension and expansion of the "home rule" pilot program the state Legislature approved five years ago.

Without action, the program will expire at the end of the current budget year.

The current program allowed Huntington, Wheeling, Bridgeport and Charleston to set some tax rates and tackle blight. Callaway said the Municipal League would extend the pilot and make smaller cities eligible to participate.

"The best government is the government closest to the people," Callaway said. He urged council members to contact their state lawmakers to advocate the Municipal League's proposal.

In addition to serving as mayor of St. Albans, Callaway is president of the Municipal League. He said all 232 cities in the state are league members.

Council's next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. March 4 in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, downtown.






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