Monterey Town Council February Meeting

Motorists passing through Monterey should pay closer attention to the speed they are travelling, as additional eyes may be on them through the near future. During February’s Monterey Town Council meeting, Vice Mayor Ronald Wimer, who also serves as a captain on the Highland County Sheriff’s Department, asked if a request could be made to the State Police to provide additional help in speed enforcement in town. Mr. Wimer explained that with a deputy assigned to the school system for the present time, the Sheriff’s department is short on manpower, and assistance would be appreciated. He reported several complaints on excessive speed, especially on Route 250 entering town from the west. County Attorney Melissa Dowd said she would speak to the State Police, in her capacity as Commonwealth’s Attorney, to request the assistance through April 1st.

Mr. Wimer also reported that he had been asked about the right of way where Mill Alley meets Route 220, saying concerns had been raised about safety turning into and out due to parked cars behind the Hull’s Hideaway. Ms. Dowd agreed to look into any surveys done to establish property lines.

In other business, the Council voted to officially confirm Lois Showalter as the town clerk/treasurer. In a related note, Mayor Rich Holman proposed a work session for Tuesday, February 16th for a work session to address rules of procedures for policy and decision making moving forward.

Mr. Wimer gave a report from the planning commission, noting work last month on proposed changes to the zoning ordinance – a joint meeting will be held by the commission, supervisors and council regarding definitions in these changes on February 10th at 10:30 at the Highland modular building.  The Council also voted to approve the purchase of three additional trash cans with funds available from a recycling grant. They also directed the Mayor to respond to a Chamber of Commerce request and allow town employee Mike Isles assist with trash pickup during the Maple Festival, and support the Chamber’s wish to close Water Street during the Festival, contingent on the ability to allow emergency vehicles access through if necessary.

The Council praised the efforts of clearing sidewalks after the recent storm. During discussion, Ms. Dowd clarified that, while the county has an easement for the entire walking path around the southeast portion of Monterey, the town still has the obligation to keep the sidewalk portions which existed before the trail’s completion cleared and in repair – the county has responsibility for the newly constructed sections.

Ms. Dowd also informed the council that there is still a discrepancy in needs to hold a special election for council member Denise Simmons, who is filling an unexpired term. The election will likely be held in the fall.

The meeting ended with a closed session for pending litigation.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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