GILBERT — The Gilbert Town Council met Monday evening and discussed a variety of topics, including the upcoming TrailFest.
The opening topic, however, was the town’s ongoing sidewalk project. It is within two weeks of being completed. The town’s Horsepen and Browning Fork Water Projects have also officially started as well.
Next was Gilbert Fire Chief Mike Tolley, who told the council that the fire department’s roof had recently sustained some heavy damage in high winds. A contractor came to look at the damage, which consisted of “no more than five or six holes,” Tolley said, scratches and other damages. The estimate that was given was $18,000 to fix it.
After a brief discussion, the council took no action and decided to turn it over to FEMA to see what it could do first.
The roof, according to Tolley, was only three-years-old.
Tolley also said that he wanted to purchase 100 t-shirts to give to his firefighters and to trade the remaining ones with other fire departments, a common practice according to the chief. At a price of $7.50 per shirt, the council agreed.
Afterwards, Chief of Police Mike Rasmussen spoke to the council about the potential for having a new officer, Christopher Hanes, hired. Hanes, Rasmussen said, had worked for the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department once before, but left to “go underground,” becoming a miner. But he left that, saying his heart was in law enforcement, Rasmussen said.
Hanes was present for the meeting, and spoke to the council.
The 23-year-old is married with two kids and is originally from Lenore, but now lives in Hanover, he said to the council.
“I made the wrong choice in going underground. I would rather make less in a stable position than wonder what I will make day to day,” Hanes said.
Mayor Vivian Livingood thanked Hanes for being in attendance, saying it was nice to put a face to a name, and for expressing interest.
The council later met in executive session to determine whether or not to hire Hanes. The council’s decision was unknown as of presstime.
The council and police also discussed the town’s upcoming TrailFest, and decided to enforce the helmet law during the parade, as well as requiring “proper procedure while riding ATV’s.” The council and Rasmussen also agreed to look into having member of the West Virginia State Police in town during the event.
Councilman Randy Livingood praised the Gilbert Police Department, saying the air of professionalism within the department was a refreshing change from what the town was used to.
The Mayor echoed that senitment, saying that it was “so nice to have people you can depend on,” in reference to the police department.
Afterwards, council discussed whether the town should split the cost of a live musical performance for TrailFest with the Gilbert Convention and Visitor’s Bureau since the Hatfield-McCoy Trails decided to scrap it, ultimately deciding to do so.
“Do we want to see TrailFest grow or whittle away?” Randy Livingood asked.
“It’s a good thing for Gilbert and I would hate to see it go away,” the mayor said.
The Gilbert Town Council meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. within town hall. The meetings are open to the public.