CAPON BRIDGE — Resolution of the dispute over the collapsed Duff Lane bridge may be coming, after the Capon Bridge Town Council accepted a bid to remove bridge debris and appointed a building commission at the council’s monthly meeting last week.

The council also unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing financing of up to $1.1 million for the planned sewer system upgrade that will take waste from the Capon Bridge Technology Park. No one appeared to speak at the hearing held prior to the vote.

Inclusion of the technology park qualified the project for grant funding from the federal Economic Development Administration, and payments for processing the waste will reduce rates charged other sewer system customers.

Mayor Laura Turner explained passing the ordinance is only the 3rd of 4 actions needed to be followed by a supplemental resolution for issuance of the bonds.

All necessary easements are now in place, Turner said, and the sewer project will be advertised for bids on Nov. 9, with a pre-bid meeting Nov. 16.

The debris from the collapsed Duff Lane bridge will be removed by Gary’s Excavating, the low bidder at $13,768.50, the mayor announced.

The courts held the town responsible for the bridge in an October 2019 decision, after Terry and Wanda Brinker and Eric and Debbie McDonald sued over the town’s refusal to maintain it. The bridge provides the only access to their properties on the far side of Dillons Run.

Three town residents have agreed to serve on a town building commission, which will enable the town to borrow the money needed to resolve the dispute. Mayor Turner explained she made appointments for 3, 4 and 5 years to stagger what are normally 5-year terms.

The council approved the appointment of Robert Toothman (3 years), Stephen Sirbaugh (4 years) and Carl Biller (5 years).

The town street committee recommended a one-time application of shale to Park Valley and Tank Roads. They made it clear the town accepts no responsibility for maintaining the roads, which lie outside the town limits, but would do a one-time application, since the road is used to access the town spring.

They also recommended application of a crack sealer on Scenic Drive and Waterview Drive.

The committee had received a maintenance request for Jasper Lane, but noted this is a private lane leading to a private residence, and neither a town nor a state road.

The street committee recommended leaving one-way signs in place for now on Tannery Row, while waiting for a Department of Highways recommendation following the safety study the town requested.

In other business:

Trick-or-treat hours were set for 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 31, and town residents were reminded to turn on their porch lights if they wish to participate. Mayor Turner said she would hand out candy at Town Hall.

Mayor Turner announced that Mary Ann Lister had been hired as the town’s part-time office assistant, to work as needed.

The council will try scheduling next month’s finance committee meeting on the same night as the council meeting, holding a finance committee meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10, followed by a council meeting at 7.

The next Town Council meeting will be held indoors, Mayor Turner said, since it is getting too cold to continue meeting in the open-air pavilion behind the Capon Bridge Public Library.

The council is considering paying members according to attendance at finance and council meetings, and will investigate how this is handled by other municipalities. At present council members are paid just for council meeting attendance, and it was noted that this is not fair to people who show up for both.

Any change in the way members are paid would take effect for newly elected members only, since council members are prohibited from voting to give themselves raises. 

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