Taking oaths of office, in the Grafton City Council Chambers, were top left, newly elected At Large council member Brenda K. Thompson; at top right, re-elected councilman Jerold P. Isner swears his oath; at bottom left, Grafton Mayor G. Thomas Bartlett, III starts his fifth term as mayor; and at bottom right, Robert A. Klepfel as vice-mayor, All of the council members were administered the oath by Grafton City Clerk, Larry Richman, who is pictured at right in each of the pictures above.
GRAFTON – At a special meeting Tuesday, just prior to the regular Grafton City Council meeting, newly elected members of the council took their respective oaths of office.
Grafton City Clerk, Larry Richman performed the swearing in ceremonies, as he called Brenda K. Thompson to stand near the large image of Grafton hanging in the council chambers, to take her oath of office.
I, Brenda K. Thompson, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the State of West Virginia. That I will faithfully discharge the duties, as a member of the Grafton City Council, At Large, to the best of my skill and judgment so help me God.
Following Thompson, re-elected council member Jerold P. Isner stood in the same place and swore the same oath for his Ward 1 position.
The next order of business was choosing the mayor and vice-mayor for the city of Grafton.
Grafton Mayor, G. Thomas Bartlett, III, informed the council members that he “would be pleased, and not offended in any way, if I am not selected as mayor.”
Grafton Vice-Mayor, Robert A. Klepfel nominated Bartlett for the position of mayor. Thompson seconded the motion. There were no other nominations and Isner moved that the nominations be closed. By unanimous vote, Bartlett was chosen to serve his fifth term as mayor of Grafton.
“If it is your will, I accept the nomination,” Bartlett stated. “We are a good team. We have accomplished much, and we will continue to do so.”
Councilman Isner then nominated Robert a. Klepfel for the office of vice-mayor. The nomination was seconded by Grafton City Council Member Peggy Knotts Barney, and will continue to serve in that capacity by unanimous vote.
Bartlett spoke of the many accomplishments the city has gained in his five terms as mayor. He spoke of the Streetscape Project, the opening of many storefronts downtown, and reaffirmed Grafton’s commitment to being the birthplace of Mother’s day and home to two national cemeteries.
“My personal goals reflect those of the community,” Bartlett stated. “We have a big responsibility in the city of Grafton, this is where Mother’s Day began. This should also be said by the county, the state, and the nation.”
The regular meeting started directly following the special meeting.
Grafton City Manager, Kevin Stead, informed the members that the list of streets being considered for paving, are currently out for bid, and that the sealed bids will be opened at the July 17 council meeting.
Going up for bid is a 1,023-foot portion of Haymond Road; a 1,160-foot section of Warder Avenue; a 375-foot section of North Street; a 565-foot section of Roberts Street 1 (Cemetery); a 391-foot section of Roberts Street 2; a 220-foot section of Stuart Street; a 457-foot section of Kersting Avenue; a 592-foot section of Maple Avenue (300 Block); a 100-foot section of McGraw Alley; a 400-foot section of Bishop Street; and a 710-foot section of Kendall Drive.
According to Stead, the price of oil is directly contingent n the price of paving material. If the final bids come in over budget, a street, or two, might have to be removed from the list.
Stead informed the council members that David G. Jones has been chosen to be the new caretaker at Bluemont Cemetery.
Stead advised the members that a large water leak was found at the bottom of St. John’s Street near the railroad tracks. The leak was the result of a busted meter bottom coming from the Grafton Municipal Building. Stead informed the members that this leak is on a line that was put in about 120 years ago. The leak at the bottom of St. John’s Street was responsible for about one million gallons of water loss each month. Although repairing this particular leak helps, it does not account for all of the water loss that has been plaguing the city for decades.
“This is not unusual,” Stead explained. “Most of the older cities across the country have failing infrastructures. So much of the infrastructure of this town was constructed prior to the 20th century. There are lines in this town that remain unknown.”
Bartlett informed the members, that a little forethought just prior to the year 2000, made the Darl L. Setler Water Treatment Plant more prepared for this massive power outage. Back prior to the year 2000, when the country was not sure how the turn of the century would affect computers, communication, and infrastructure, the plant was fitted to run on a generator.