By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian
Fairmont City Council approved the $360,000 purchase of the WesBanco building on Merchant Street at the council meeting Tuesday.
The building will soon house the city’s collections department.
David Sago, Fairmont’s utility manager, said that moving the city’s utility collections department from the J. Harper Meredith Building to its own building will have many advantages.
“Any time when you’re talking about improving facilities by improving it for your employees and improving the way that we render customer service, the whole project is very, very positive,” Sago said.
Sago stated that the new facility would improve employee safety and be more convenient for customers, and would also facilitate the implementation of the city’s automated meter reader project.
“There will be a lot of data that is gathered with that project. This data needs to be looked at each and every day. This will give us a hub to be able to do that,” Sago said.
The city will be able to make the move without a rate increase because capital funds are available from another project, Sago said.
Eileen Layman, finance director for Fairmont, said that the closing date on the property is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 30.
“We’re very excited about this endeavor,” Layman said.
Also at the meeting, the city approved the use of automatic license plate readers by Fairmont police.
The automatic license plate readers will be be used within the corporate limits of the City of Fairmont to scan and photograph license plates.
Fairmont Police Chief Kelley Moran said that the readers will do a lot of good.
“It’s a very useful tool. It’s something used all over the United States,” Moran said.
Possible uses for the readers include finding a missing child if an Amber Alert has been issued and retrieving stolen vehicles.
In other business:
• The terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement between the International Association of Firefighters and the city were approved.
• Frank Hines was re-appointed to the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission for a three-year term.
• A public hearing has been set for Dec. 10 for an amendment to the city’s general fund for the 2013-2014 annual budget.
• An additional public hearing has also been set for Dec. 10 to discuss the agreement between the City of Fairmont Police Department and Marion County Central Communications for the use of an information system on criminals. The agreement will replace the old agreement.
Email Colleen S. Good at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.