New application submitted for RV park in Chester

The Sunset Development property on Ninth Avenue and Collins Memorial Drive, where owner Robert Reed has been trying to develop an RV park. (Photo by Julie Riedel)

CHESTER W.Va. — Mayor Ken Morris spoke briefly about the Sunset Development property on Ninth Avenue and Collins Memorial Drive at Monday’s city council meeting.

“I see a lot of people here from the upper end, and I know everyone here is concerned about what’s going on at the Sunset Development property. On the advice of our attorney, I talked to him this afternoon, he couldn’t make it here tonight, we did have a meeting the other night and he told me, we did receive an application from Sunset Development for the park up here,” said Morris. “It’s going to be up to the council to have a special session. We can’t do anything with it because we didn’t get it in time to put it on the agenda, and I would like to sit down as a whole and sit with our solicitor and talk about it.”

About 30 Chester residents attended the meeting. No one expressed concerns during the meeting regarding the property.

Starting in 2018 Sunset Development, owned by Robert Reed, started to develop an RV park in Chester. The city passed an ordinance in 2002 prohibiting the development of trailer parks in the city. In June of 2018, Judge James Mazzone ruled the ordnance was valid and the city must enforce its ordinances. To uphold Judge Mazzone’s ruling, Police Chief Todd Murray served Reed with a cease and desist letter. The letter was issued within a week and a half forcing Reed to stop developing the park.

Morris reported receiving an application from Reed to put in an RV park on Friday. Morris said the application did not arrive in time to put on the meeting’s agenda and there may be a special meeting held to discuss the matter.

The council did have an executive session scheduled to discuss litigation matters, but solicitor Mike Adams was unable to attend the meeting to offer legal advice.

In other action, the council:

— Reviewed the police pension fund unfunded liability payments options for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Assistant City Clerk Tara Ayers explained these payments are to ensure the pension fund is fully funded by 2030, she would like to see the payments made by October, and she recommend paying $1,393 per pay period for the next 20 pay periods to reach the $27,860 total. Council approved Ayers recommendation.

— Approved Bowles Rice Attorney at Law’s bill of $7,463 for professional fees rendered through Dec. 31, 2019.

— Charleston resident Arthur Deras attended the meeting to propose plans of memorializing Chester native, artist and musician Daniel Johnston in Johnston’s hometown. Morris asked Deras about his plans of funding and installing the memorial, which Deras responded he is looking into.

— Approved general fund receipts of $38,058 and bills totaling $94,317.

— Approved building fund receipts of $7,034 and bills totaling $478.

— Approved Building Manager Mike Dotson’s request to have 50 foot of steamline replaced in the lower level of the city building.

— Chester Fire Chief John Hissam announced the Chester Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Third Street over the weekend. Hissam reported about $360,000 of damage but no injuries. The fire was caused by a gas line rupture. Hissam wants to remind residents to install and check the batteries smoke detectors.

— The fire hydrant used for the fire was reported as leaking. Morris said the city has ordered four new hydrants and wants to prioritize replacing some of the older ones, which includes the hydrant near Third Street.

— Council member and city Street Department Supervisor Steve Shuman reported receiving a bid of $600 to fix the doors on one of the city’s dump trucks, the doors are the only issue with the vehicle.

— Ayers reported the city is preparing to audit it accounts and will be sending letters to out for delinquent business and operation taxes, municipal fees and business license. Ayers suggested residents pay attention to any letters from the city because if letters are unanswered a police officer will be delivering the second copy.

— Ayers reported city representatives will be in Charleston on Jan. 15 to review the city’s home rule tax application.



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