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DTC gets off to a rough start

Jason Bauserman
Contributing Writer

When Durbin Town Council met on July 9, the minutes of the June 12 meeting were quietly read by each council member.
Mayor Mike Vance immediately declared that the minutes of that meeting would not be accepted. The minutes were from the previous administration led by former Mayor Kenny Lehman.

The agenda posted on the window at Durbin Town Hall on June 11 showed the start time for the meeting to be 7 p.m. on June 12.

This reporter showed up around 6:45 p.m. and was told the meeting started at 5 p.m. and that the meeting was over.

Vance said he phoned the Ethics Commission in Charleston and was told he could reject the minutes. However, Attorney Bob Martin was present and said that, under the Open Meetings Act, council could challenge the action and still accept the minutes. Councilman Mark Smith made a motion to accept the June 12 minutes and Don Jennings seconded. During discussion Jennings said it was an honest mistake. Smith read the minutes aloud and said, “There is nothing earth shattering.” The vote to pass the minutes was 3 for, 1 against, 1 abstain and 1 absent (Eugene Warner).

Martin is presently securing right-of-way contracts for the new sewer lines in town. Several rights-of-way are located on private property and one is from the West Virginia Department of Highways. Martin said the applications and contracts need to be completed and sent to the Public Service Commission as soon as possible.

Trista and Richie Bennett, co-sponsors of Durbin Days Heritage Festival, gave a glowing report to council.

“The carnival people have been extremely awesome to work with,” Trista said.

She also reported that the Miss Durbin Days pageant went well, and generated $700.

She also expressed appreciation for the large number of company sponsors for DDHF.

In the public comment period Kenny Lehman complained about the noise from fireworks that were put off near his house. John Osborne inquired as to why the lagoon does not have an aerator and if one could be added to the new sewer project.

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