St. Albans is continuing to grapple with the aftermath of recent flooding.
For the second meeting in a row, city council heard complaints Monday evening from residents whose homes and streets were flooded last month.
Mayor Dick Callaway said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the issuance of permits and controls state waters, sent two representatives to meet with city officials on July 18.
"We walked from the backwaters (of the Kanawha River) up through the three tributaries in question," Callaway said. "They characterized this as a 'nuisance flooding.' We looked at various situations that need to be addressed. It always goes back to financing."
It would cost an estimated $7 million to completely solve the problems and the federal government would only contribute half that amount, if it had the money, Callaway said. The figure does not include the cost of buying land and structures.
Callaway said that to be eligible, the project would have to pass a cost-benefit analysis. Robert Belcher of Chapman Technical Group, the city's engineer, said it would be impossible for the project to pass that test.
The Mayor pointed out that some structures have been built on or near the tributaries over the years without planning or permits and apparently without meeting any standards.
Belcher said that in one instance, a bridge built by a homeowner was washed downstream, came to rest against another homeowner's bridge, blocked the stream and forced the creek water onto the road.
Callaway said that instead of pursuing a $7-million project, it would be possible to conduct a study for about $2 million and to do some small projects.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's office put the city in touch with the National Resources Conservation Service for possible funding, Callaway said. In addition, Capito's office suggested the city seek help from the Regional Intergovernmental Council, which conducts regional studies.
"Also, the West Virginia Conservation Agency, based in Morgantown -- we're in contact with them to see what kind of resources they have," he said.
Meanwhile, the city has contacted its insurance company, AIG, as well as the state Board of Risk and Management "to see what they might do," he said.
Callaway said the city can help by cleaning out streams. "The other thing is to educate people they can't just throw things in streams," he said.
During the public comment period, several residents complained of stopped-up drains and inadequate drain covers.
Karen Kincaid of 823 Monmouth St. said the city used to keep the waterways cleaned out. Thelma Clark of 845 Monmouth St. said she was told at the last council meeting that the city would get back to her about the incident report she and her husband filed on July 5. "When will I be contacted?" she asked.
"That will be through AIG (the city's insurer)," Callaway said.
In other action, council:
* Withdrew a proposal to make portions of Edgehill Drive a one-way street and referred it to the Pubic Safety Committee after Brandon Totten of 612 Edgehill Drive said the proposal would make it nearly impossible to use his driveway. He agreed the street is dangerous but requested that the proposed one-way direction be reversed.
* Gave final approval to a plan to restrict parking on the east side of Vine Street, beginning 367 feet south of the intersection of Vine Street and Monmouth Ave. at 862 Vine St., and extending in a southerly direction 376 feet to an area between 872 and 902 Vine St.
In addition, parking will be restricted on the west side of Vine Street beginning 708 feet south of the intersection of Vine Street and Monmouth Ave. at 869 Vine St. and running south to the intersection of Vine Street and Sandhill Drive.
* Gave preliminary approval to lease three sport utility vehicles for the police department from Country Roads Leasing Limited Liability Co. of Bridgeport. The city will use money from the coal severance fund and will pay a 2.55 percent interest rate. The lease has a four-year term. A public hearing will be held before council gives its final approval.
* Heard Dave Dayfield, who complained about drivers who speed and ignore the stop signs on the last block of Observatory Drive.
"My 8-year-old boy lives on that street," he said. "It's only way into the city park."
Callaway referred the issue to the Public Safety Committee.
Also at the meeting, council agreed to:
* Pay current invoices, which total $54,464.52.
* Pay State Electric $2,574.99 for garage lights for Fire Department station No. 1.
* Continue its lease with the St. Albans Regional Development Authority, known as STARDA, for the Alban Arts and Conference Center.
* Make the annual transfer of the budgeted $30,000 for storm water program funding to the Water and Sewer Department.
* Re-appoint Ronald Forren to the housing authority. His term will expire in February 2017.
Also at the meeting:
*Councilwoman Cheryl Thomas said a National Night Out event, "Light Up the Night," will be from 6 - 8 p.m. tonight at Mayberry's on U.S. 60.
"Bobby Dale Earnhardt will be there for autographs and to promote Habitat for Humanity and the No Texting and Driving Campaign," she said. "We will have about 50 vendors and activities for the kids."
* Councilwoman Loretta Griffith said the Hansford Senior Center celebrated its 33rd anniversary on Friday. She said the center served 2,039 meals in July.
* Councilman Kevin Pe
gton said nearly 200 people attended an outdoor movie at the Roadside Park last week. The next outdoor movie will be on Aug. 17. Pennington also reported that a DJ will play music at the park on Aug. 30, after Saint Albans High School's football team plays its season opener.
* Councilman Desper Lemon said Ward 7, which he represents, had a community block party Saturday.
"It was sponsored by three churches to get the community together to see what would happen," he said. "They registered 181 people. On a grade of 1 to 10, it was a 10. I think it will become an annual thing. I think it was great, not only for Ward 7 but for Saint Albans."
* Police Chief Mike Matthews reminded everyone that school starts Friday. "Please slow down," he said. "There will be no mercy in school zones!"
The next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 on the second floor of the city building on Sixth Avenue.