Solicitor provides information on motor home park

CHESTER – With some concerns about a proposed motor home park to be constructed in city limits, the city of Chester’s solicitor provided information to Monday to city council.

Continuing ts discussion from the Jan. 2 meeting, Council discussed possible construction of an recreational vehicle park, which reportedly would be located at Ninth Street and Collins Memorial Drive. The idea of a new park was met with some criticism during the January meeting.

Some residents at the Jan. 2 meeting had requested information on the park and wanted to know if council would allow the idea to become reality. One of those who spoke said she would contact a lawyer regarding the situation, saying such a park would cause the value of her property to go down if it was built in city limits.

Mayor Larry Forsythe, at that meeting, suggested to wait until hearing from solicitor April Raines in order to clarify the matter.

On Monday, Raines informed Forsythe that she had sent a letter to city council members, addressing some of the options that council could take regarding the matter.

City Clerk Marlene Fleming had stated the city couldn’t do anything since no construction had taken place, but Raines told Fleming her letter had not addressed construction or any gas or sewer lines.

“I just addressed in the letter what I thought the options were for council to do,” Raines said.

Fleming also mentioned she presented a copy of West Virginia Code to another resident explaining what is defined as a “mobile home” in the state, which she said is any building, trailer or structure used for dwelling purposes and equipped with wheels or other means to move from place to place. It also includes any motor vehicle used for living or sleeping purposes.

“So any vehicle that people sleep in is considered a mobile home under this definition, and this is the definition that applies to the city,” Fleming said. “I don’t know what the plans are for that property, but that’s the definition, and so if somebody’s sleeping in their car, you can’t rent them a parking space in their driveway.”

Raines said her letter does not dispute the code, but reitereated it provided suggestions as to what council can do.

When asked by Forsythe if she can read the letter, Raines declined to do so in public forum since it had contained what she considered confidential information.

Raines, however, did agree to discuss the letter in executive session, to which council then went into later in the meeting, where they also discussed personnel matters. No action, regarding the letter or personnel matters, was taken from the session.

In other matters, council approved a supplemental resolution approving the terms and other provisions of the Combined Waterworks and Sewerage System Revenue Bonds, which will be going through WesBanco, in the aggregate principal amount of $1,425,000.

Council also approved a sweep resolution that, according to Fleming, would release the funds to the bond commission and put those funds where they need to be. Also approved were the requisitions, contract-related documents and other resolution documents and matters in connection with the bonds.

Council also approved the second reading of the water bond ordinance, which was started in 2017 and saw its first reading in 2018, which establishes an increase in the utility rates and associated costs for water and sewer services to residents service by the City of Chester Water and Sewer Department.

During the Jan. 2 meeting, Chuck Bailey, president of True North LLP, told council that the average customer would experience a $4.41 increase. The project was initially self-funded until a law change required a capital reserve line. The actual costs is coming from the retiring of bonds and purchase of new bonds.