The Times West Virginian

Local News

March 12, 2014

Council sees room for Fairmont improvement

Repairing problems with East Side street lights, dealing with potholes are concerns

FAIRMONT — There is plenty of room for improvement in Fairmont, according to city council.

Personnel in the Traffic and Public Works Division have been working to repair electrical problems with street lights on the East Side since early last week, said City Manager Jay Rogers.

While inspecting a connector, workers found both minor and major issues, including bulbs that are the wrong wattage and parts that are the wrong size and even the wrong type.

Electricians told Rogers that when a mechanism is the wrong kind, the problem can affect the entire line and cause lights to go out in an entire area.

Workers made an adjustment so they can control the lights manually, allowing them to work through the daylight hours to fix the problems. They started at the Welcome Center and worked their way down, Rogers said, and they will order materials they need to correct the issues.

The problem grew larger as the weather worsened, and harsh conditions did not allow workers to get to the lights to make repairs.

Winter weather has also taken its toll on Fairmont's roads, causing potholes on the Fourth Street Bridge and other local roads.

“Fourth Street, I think, is a major problem. Fairmont Avenue is horrendous. Locust Avenue is getting worse by the day,” said Daniel Weber.

Weber said he is confident the city will properly repair roads for which they are responsible once the weather warms up.

“We just have to be a little patient, I think, until spring time comes,” he said. “Maybe some of these potholes will be fixed.”

The City Manager reminds citizens that Fairmont sits on two highways, Route 250 and Route 19, for which the city is not responsible.

Rogers plans to meet with the state’s Division of Highways to figure out a solution to the rough roads and potholes, he said.

He urged those unhappy with road conditions or anything else in Fairmont to attend upcoming Fairmont 101 classes to learn whether or not they should be criticizing the city or the state.

Fairmont 101 is currently accepting applications and is steadily filling up. Twenty applications will be accepted for each session, Rogers said.

The first session will be on April 24.

‘I think that was a great opportunity for people to learn about the inner workings of the City of Fairmont and why we can do things and can’t do other things,” Rogers said.

Those who are interested can go to www.fairmontwv.gov or call city offices at 304-366-6211 ext. 310 for more information.

Other business at the meeting:

• City council congratulated West Virginia University’s new Mountaineer mascot Michael Garcia, a Fairmont native, for his recent appointment.

“He was very, very excited," said Robert Garcia, his uncle. "I talked to him, and he was just overwhelmed with all of the stuff that was going on."

• Fairmont’s utility manager reported a leak on a water line under the Watson Bridge. The leak is feeding straight into the river and is not impacting any property, and the city expected the leak to be repaired by Tuesday evening.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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