Williamstown officials approve Eagle Scout project

WILLIAMSTOWN – City council on Tuesday approved to allow a city youth to improve two of its welcome signs as an Eagle Scout project.

“There are two signs that say ‘welcome to Williamstown’ that I would like to cleanup and replace,” said Josh McClung of Boy Scouts Troop 215 of Williamstown.

The two proposed signs are along opposite ends of West Virginia 14 at entrances of the city near Hino Motors Manufacturing and the cemetery near the welcome center and W.Va. 31.

McClung proposed the city pay for new signage and he do labor and ask area businesses for funds to replace the plants around the signs.

McClung passed out photos of the areas around the sign to city officials at the beginning of the meeting.

“This is a real eye-opener,” said Mayor Jean Ford. “When you see how bad these signs are, it is surprising.”

“I am fully supportive,” said Councilman Marty Seufer of the proposed project. “When you see the pictures, it is shocking because we drive past these every day and miss what they look like.”

Ford said she will speak with officials with the West Virginia Division of Highways to see if the city needs permission to have the signs worked on so close to a state roadway.

“I would say he has our blessing,” Seufer said.

In other business:

Council heard of a disagreement between city building commissioner Dave VanHorn and Harry Houser, a contractor with Shamrock Contracting.

Houser told council he did not want to create an issue or adversary, but he could not see another way of having issues cleared.

He gave a 20-minute report on his dealings with VanHorn in the past year and said he believes the building commissioner has overstepped his authority by issuing a cease and desist letter on a house he has been working on for Shamrock Construction.

“I believe there is a conflict of interest with VanHorn as a contractor and the city building commissioner,” Houser said.

VanHorn told council he has been working in the city’s parameters.

“Everything I have done is in our ordinance book,” he said. “I could say a lot more, but I will refrain from doing so.”

City attorney Blaine Myers told Houser there is no provision in the city code prohibiting anyone from serving as the city building commissioner.

Myers asked for complaints about city officials to be submitted to the mayor and council in writing.

“If council feels action needs to be taken, it will be done in a manner they consider best,” Myers said.

Ford, VanHorn and Houser agreed to meet today to work through the issues.