ROMNEY– In a unanimous vote, Derek Shreve was sworn in as the city’s newest councilman during Monday nights regular business meeting held at town hall.

Shreve spoke about his motivation to take on the role during the event and joked about how it will validate his complaints.

“I tell everyone all the time,” he said, “you can’t complain if you don’t try to become part of the solution.” Shreve chuckled, “I told Beverly (Keadle), I’d become part of the solution, so I could complain a little bit.”

Shreve takes Adam McKenery’s place, who stepped down after accepting a new position with Farm Credit. His term was set to end June 30, 2021.

McKenery also plans to resign as the city’s parks and recreation board president.

Shreve will finish out McKenery’s current term.

Other new business includes the council’s decision to move the regular business meeting to the second Monday of the month.

Administrator Jessica Szabo said this motion would give council members more time to prepare for meetings and make it possible for them (administrators) to give monthly financial reports to council members prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. 

Officials also addressed the ongoing issue with vultures in Hampshire County, something the United States Department of Agriculture continues to address.

Mayor Beverly Keadle explained that the USDA’s animal and plant health inspection service will pursue a multifaceted approach to dealing with vultures – black vultures and turkey vultures – that have become a nuisance in the Town of Romney.

The approach will include hanging a dead vulture from a nearby tree to scare off other vultures, euthanizing some birds, and tagging some to track their routes. Additionally, there are plans to “make the town of Romney uncomfortable” for the birds, which Keadle explained involved pyrotechnics.   

Obtaining needed community pool parts were also discussed. Parts are expected to cost about $3,000.

The community pool opening has been delayed, and officials hope obtaining needed parts to meet pool inspection, and solidify the pool opening for the season. Officials expect to have someone outside the area perform the pool inspection.

A shortage of law enforcement was mentioned, with hopes of hiring a part time officer to supplement an already short-staffed Romney Police force. Currently, there are four police officers in the city, something officials said still leaves a gap in safety.

Szabo explained that Romney officials want 365-day a year coverage for the town. She explained that the hiring of a new part time officer could help offset the gaps of time where other police may be on vacation or ill or dealing with an emergency.

The next Romney Town Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 8, at Romney’s town hall located on 340 E. Main Street in Romney.

For more information on the Town of Romney and upcoming meetings, contact town officials at 304-822-5118 and visit www.cityofromney.com

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