New Westover Council gets Holland Avenue update

WESTOVER — Westover City Council newcomers Mark Gall and Randy Barnett joined fellow councilor Duane Tatar and Mayor Bob Lucci in kicking off four-year terms Monday evening as the city’s new council met for the first time. 

Once down to business, attorney Tim Stranko said the city is a West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection stormwater permit away from getting the Holland Avenue project underway. 

“As soon as that comes back and we get approval for that, we’re ready to ask for authorization to bid,” project engineer Doug Smith, of Thrasher Engineering, explained, noting the permit is expected anytime. 

The project will address busted sanitary sewer and stormwater lines running beneath roughly 2,000 feet of the city’s main thoroughfare as well as the large retaining wall along the road’s lower section.   

On a related issue, it looks as if the city will move forward with a safety and beautification project to be completed as the larger Holland Avenue work is finishing up. 

Council on Monday said it would like to consider as part of its July 15 agenda $35,000 for Thrasher to finalize designs for an internally lit handrail to run down the hill along the Holland Avenue sidewalk. 

The matter was tabled during council’s last meeting and Smith was asked to bring back estimated project costs. 

Based on consultation with multiple contractors, Smith put the total project cost at roughly $210,000. That includes $60,000 in fees to Thrasher. 

The actual cost of the work won’t be known until the project is bid. Council will determine at that point if it wants to move forward. 

“With Short Story going in down there, I feel like we’re going to see more foot traffic down through that area,” Councilor Shawna Cross said, referencing the recent announcement that Short Story Brewing plans to open at 94 Long St. — the Westover riverfront location previously tied to Chestnut Brew Works — as early as August. 

Lastly, council approved a total of $40,000 to purchase two used police cruisers. The vehicles are already outfitted for use. One has 26,000 miles and the other 30,000 miles.