The Morgantown City Council met for a regular meeting 4 p.m. Tuesday to discuss issues pertaining to fire protection, aviation and airport appreciation, zoning, Coopers Rock State Forest, tailgating and budget.
Mayor Jenny Selin said Morgantown is participating in the National Fire Prevention week this week. She encouraged all people to test their smoke alarms and to support public safety activities throughout Morgantown. She said operational smoke alarms cut the risk of fire-related death in half because it gives homeowners the time to evacuate safely. The 2014 Fire Prevention Week theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives; Test Yours Every Month.”
Selin also spoke about the importance of the Morgantown Municipal Airport and aviation to the city, accessibility, economy and safety of Morgantown.
“The State of West Virginia has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation,” Selin said.
General aviation in West Virginia contributes fiscally to the state’s economy. It is crucial to the state’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, serves as a public benefit, provides accessibility to isolated areas for businesses and tourists, said Selin.
During the public portion, Morgantown resident James Giuliani brought forth the zoning problems that personally affect him.
Giuliani said the new building currently under construction on the corner of Prairie Avenue and South High Street is illegal. He said the court did not give him standing to testify, despite the fact that his property resides within 175 feet of the new building.
David Hopkinson, a representative of the Coopers Rock Foundation, promoted “responsible timbering” because current plans to deforest 375 acres of land in Coopers Rock State Forest. Hopkinson said this would be the largest timber project ever on the south side of the park and would lead to a loss of already scarce state-owned land.
The tailgating issues mentioned at the meeting involve the safety of tailgates and the protection of property owners.
“The problem happens when too many people are on a lot and there are not enough port-a-potties, not enough trash receptacles and it’s a crowding issue,” Selin said. “Over time, what needs to happen is the property owners need to control how many people can come into the lot so it can be safe and comfortable for everyone who’s trying to tailgate and the neighboring properties.”
Selin said problems arise from tailgating every year, but the city council has witnessed “nice cooperation” between property owners, the University and Ed Preston, Morgantown Police chief, so fans can all enjoy their pregame activities.
For more information regarding the Morgantown City Council, visit http://morgantownwv.gov.