Cumberland Times-News

Local News

September 26, 2013

Keyser appoints fire chief

Stewart steps in, oversees improvements

KEYSER, W.Va. — Taylor Stewart was appointed the new Keyser fire chief during the council meeting Wednesday. Stewart replaces Chris Paitsel, who requested to be moved back to assistant fire chief, according to minutes from a previous council meeting.

The overhead doors and the garage door openers for Keyser Fire Station 1 were being installed on Wednesday and Thursday, according to Stewart. In July, the council approved a $4,861 bid from HPG Overhead Doors for five door openings.

“Everything seems to be going good,” said Stewart.

The fire station, which was completed in the summer of 2011, has had multiple problems.

The prime contractor for the $1.6 million building was Harbel Construction, a subsidiary of The Belt Group.

The new ladder truck that the city purchased is running well, according to Stewart. The city purchased the new truck to replace a 75-foot KME aerial ladder truck that was damaged while responding to a fire in the Sunnydale Addition. The aerial ladder truck was crossing a bridge that collapsed.

In other news, the council held a first reading of an ordinance for the transfer of 9,100 square feet of property owned by the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways to the city. The property sits next to City Hall.

Also during the meeting, Mike Kesecker, wastewater treatment plant supervisor, noted that he is working to complete the Nov. 30 compliance milestone for the plant.

“We are well on our way; we are probably going to beat that deadline by a good margin,” said Kesecker. “I can’t wait to get started on the new facility.”

The compliance milestone requires approval of the final plans and specifications for the treatment upgrades at the new wastewater plant. It also requires the submittal of a major permit modification application to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for necessary treatment upgrades.

The new wastewater treatment plant is needed to meet Chesapeake Bay restoration mandates for limits on nitrogen and phosphorus. The current plant can’t meet the limits, which must be met by Dec. 31, 2015.

The council also took the following action:

• Tabled a request from Potomac State College for parking reserved for veterans so more information could be obtained.

• Approved an annual payment of about $21,000 for property insurance.

• Approved a resolution for $10,000 from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Community Participation program for the installation of lights at the Mill Meadows ballfield.

• Chief of Police Karen Shoemaker and Jim Hannas, street supervisor, agreed to put up a digital speeding sign on Richmond Street after a resident complained about speeding on that street.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

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