NITRO, W.Va. -- The City of Nitro has increased the fees it charges to address unkempt and vacant properties.
Amendments were passed at a meeting Tuesday night establishing new fee schedules for property maintenance performed by the city.
Before, the city charged a flat hourly rate of $250 per hour for property maintenance work. Now that fee will be $100 per hour, per city employee on site. Officials said the city never sends just one worker.
A public hearing was held on the matter, with no one speaking for or against.
Mayor Dave Casebolt said three or more city employees are typically required. The ordinance also allows the city to charge property owners $200 for each piece of equipment used on the job.
"The purpose is to provide an incentive to property owners to keep the property maintained," Councilman John Montgomery said.
Casebolt said the city sends workers to condemned properties to cut grass, remove bushes, etc. He said the idea is to motivate property owners to sell rather than sit on properties.
The new fee schedule takes effect in 30 days.
Council members also authorized an ordinance authorizing the design, improvements, and extensions to the existing public sewer facilities.
The ordinance also authorizes the city to retain legal and engineering services for the replacement of sewer lines. The city will obtain temporary financing for the project from Huntington National Bank in an amount not to exceed $800,000.
A public hearing will be held on the matter during the next city council meeting on Sept. 17.
Council also passed a resolution required by the state authorizing Nitro to participate in the Consolidated Fund and Electronic Commerce Program.
This resolution allows the city to post a link on its website to the State Treasurer's office where residents may pay their municipal bills.
Residents who choose to utilize this electronic payment option may pay online for an extra $1.50.
Mayor Casebolt also announced that the Army Corp of Engineers would present its initial plans for renovations and improvements to the backwater area of Kanawha, Washington and Dupont Avenue to the public this Thursday.
The meeting will be held on the 700 block of Dupont Avenue 6 to 7 p.m. Casebolt encouraged the public to attend and to present ideas.
Council also approved a proposal by Rich Hively, chairman of the Nitro Historical Commission, to hang banners on the light posts on Bank Street.
The commission will fund the project to print 15-20 banners that are historical in nature. The banners will note significant historical facts about the city of Nitro and will be changed on a regular basis.
Hively said that the commission hopes to have the banners ready by the end of the month, and their plan is to incorporate informational and seasonal banners into the project in the future.
* Authorized $2,229.51 to be paid to the WV National Guard as reimbursement for a damaged flag.
* Passed a motion to request bids for a new or used wood chipper.
* Accepted a $10,000 donation from Tom Dover and Vince McCormick on behalf of Bayer CropScience to the Nitro Fire Department.