Kermit Council works hard for small town

Rachel Baldwin Staff Writer

August 14, 2013

KERMIT – Kermit, W.Va. may be a small town in a lot of people’s eyes, but to the mayor and council, it’s the most important place on earth and they are very proud to call it home.

Monday evening, the monthly council meeting was held with Mayor Johnny Linville and Council Members Anna Mae Wellman, Tommy Preece, Tammy Hodge, Peggy Moore and Charles Sparks in attendance, as well as town recorder Rhonda Muncy. As soon as the meeting was called to order, the group began addressing issued that needed their attention.

Four Kermit residents had requested adjustments in their monthly water bill, expressing their concern that the bills were 7-8 times the normal amount with no reason behind the rate hike. The requests were approved and granted.

Certified letters had been sent out to a few property owners with town limits concerning dilapidated and un-kept property that had become not only an eyesore, but a fire and health hazard to those living in close proximity. One response was returned to the mayor from a property owner who informed Linville that it was now in airship, saying that the owner died without a will. A discussion was held about the necessary steps to alleviate these issues and a motion was made and seconded to publicize the information in the local newspaper before any further action would be taken.

“I really hope we can do something to get rid of these problems,” said council member Wellman. “It has been like this for years and years and it’s definitely time for things to change.”

Mayor Linville announced that progress was being made to have the Kermit Community Center placed on the National Historical Registry list, speaking of the long life of the building and its importance to the residents of Kermit.

American Electric Power has been contacted about replacing a number of street lights that have burned out, especially those located on Mingo Street. With more of the lights off than on, Councilman Preece commented that it created an unsafe environment for those who live on the street, especially the children.

“AEP came out a couple of weeks ago and fixed seven of the lights but we’ve got quite a few more that’s burned out,” said the mayor. “We have a total of 103 street lights in our town and it’s important to keep them all burning.”

An application for a grant in the amount of $12,000 has been submitted to the WV Development Office that once awarded, will be utilized to repair a gully off of Walnut Street that creates problems every time it rains.

“Not only does the water back up on the street, there’s large pools of it that stands and becomes stagnant and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” remarked Preece. “On hot days, the odor is very unpleasant.”

Also on the towns “to do list” is a large hole that has formed in the Kermit Methodist parking lot that was said to be 4-5 feet deep. Plans are to fill it in with rock and gravel to prevent damage to vehicles driving in that area.

Ernie Chambers, the Chief of Police in Kermit, updated the council on a $5,000 Home Depot grant that has been applied for that would greatly assist the town in completing the beautification project in East Kermit where the NS caboose now sits. The wishes of the council are to construct concrete picnic tables and possibly an asphalt walking track, plus flowers and other landscaping.

A Veteran’s Memorial is in the process of being erected inside the Kermit Community Park and could possibly see the addition of an authentic Army tank if Chief Chambers request is approved, as part of a program in which the federal government donates military surplus to groups and organizations that honor their veterans.

The Kermit Fall Festival will be held this year on Saturday, September 7, and a complete agenda of events will be published in an upcoming edition of the Williamson Daily News.