Powhatan pool money woes outlined

POWHATAN POINT – The long-awaited spring season brings its own troubles to the tables of village council members. Tuesday night’s meeting of Powhatan Village Council saw lengthy discussions concerning the swimming pool, unkempt properties and the need for repairs of village structures.

On the sunnier side, Beverly Necessary attended the meeting to announce a ribbon-cutting for the Powhatan Point Antiques & Crafts Mall.

According to Necessary, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the south doors of the former elementary school June 1 at 11 a.m. The mall is located on the second floor of the building.

In other matters, council accepted the resignation of Debbie Berisford, employed jointly by the village and the board of public affairs. Berisford has been employed with the village for five to six years.

Mayor Mark McVey announced that the Summer Youth Program will return this year. Youths from age 14 to 24, meeting income eligibility, are encouraged to sign up for the program. Interested youths should contact the Department of Job and Family Services’ Connections Office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Interviews are being conducted this month. Work start-up is in June.

Jeff Brown and Jodie DeBlasis, a former manager of the swimming pool, asked if the pool would be open this year. She said she’d received several telephone calls about the matter. Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Armann-Blue, who is one of three board members for the Powhatan Park District, said county funding for the park district has been reduced to $9,000, and the board is unable open and operate the pool on that amount. Armann-Blue noted that she planned to speak to council about financial help.

According to Armann-Blue, the cost for needed painting and concrete work to open the facility is about $7,000.

There was discussion about aid from the village, but the matter was tabled. According to Councilman Jerry Binni, the municipality lost between $300,000 and $400,000 during the time it operated the pool. A Park District was eventually established and the pool turned over to that board as the village could not afford to keep it open. Armann-Blue indicated the facility went in the hole about $9,000 last year.

Mayor McVey suggested those concerned about the pool might want to speak with residents about passing a levy to help in funding it.

Councilman Brady Dierkes reported he has obtained an estimate for work on the municipal building – with the exception of the parking lot. He said letters have been mailed requesting quotations for the project.

In an unrelated matter, Dierkes said work on restrooms at the marina should be completed this week.

Reporting for the street department, Councilman John Mitchell said the roof of the village garage is, “leaking bad.” After a short discussion, Council President Pro-Tem Sam Armann moved to replace the roof. The price tag is about $6,500. Money for the project will come from the building construction capital improvement fund. The vote was 5-0, Councilman Rob Caldwell was absent.

A resident approached officials concerning a boat dock, which belongs to a neighbor, on the riverbank and allegedly infringes upon the resident’s property. Councilman Binni indicated council cannot help in this situation as it has no jurisdiction with regard to the river and added that the issue would be a civil matter. The resident also noted a dumpster on the alleyway between the properties and feels that, too, should be moved. McVey said he will look at the area.

In a safety-related matter, the resident noted the metal drain cover on the street in that neighborhood tips when driven on or stepped on. McVey said he will pass the information on to street department employees.

Several residents complained about properties which are not being maintained and where grass is uncut and junk has accumulated.

One resident alleged his neighbor’s property is more like a junkyard, and he has seen rodents and snakes. “I want it cleaned up,” he told council, adding the neighbor ” must have 50 tires and the grass is uncut.” He noted another property whose owner, according to the resident, has not cut the grass for eight years.

McVey noted that all properties should be properly maintained and grass should be cut. The village has an ordinance concerning lawn maintenance.

Police Chief Joshua Haught is asking that motorists do not park against traffic.

An executive session was held to discuss a contract and potential disciplinary matters.