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PRINCETON — The Princeton City Council has approved a contract extension for City Manager Mike Webb.

On motion of Councilwoman Jacqueline Rucker with a second by Hawkins, Webb’s contract with the city was extended five years until March 12, 2028.

Monday night’s meeting started with City Clerk Ken Clay giving the oath of office to Firefighter Kenneth Nunn.

A sidewalk resolution, passed on motion of Councilman James Hawkins with a second by Councilman Dewey Russell, approves a supplemental agreement with the State Department of Transportation for the West Main Street Sidewalk Project and authorizes Webb to execute the agreement on behalf of the city.

Webb added that the agreement allows the city to draw down $9,832 to complete the project.

Council, on motion of Councilman James Hill with a second by Russell, approved a $25,000 contribution to the Fire Training Center to match an anonymous $25,000 contribution. Webb said the City of Bluefield has also contributed $25,000 to refurbish the center with new plumbing, containers and a renovated fire tower.

Assistant Director of Public Works Eric Gatchell said the department was now fully staffed with 19 employees. It handled 23 service requests in November.

The PWD removed a total of five trees in the Pearis Street area in November. The trees were either problem trees or dead trees.

A 20-foot section of 36-inch pipe was installed between the Princeton Community Hospital parking lot and the future dog Park location. Webb added that a gasoline-powered posthole digger had been purchased to use at the site and that preparations were being made to get the site ready for spring, including removing asphalt and goal post foundations and removing gravel to facilitate planting grass in the area.

Winter preparations by the department include five pickups with plows with three having spreaders, the 550 Ford with plow and cinder spreader and a two-ton dump truck with a plow and spreader. The city is also working on a comprehensive snow and ice removal plan.

Police Chief Tim Gray reported that Lt. Derrick Weatherly rescued a child who had gotten choked on candy during the Christmas Parade by applying first aid, comforting both mother and baby and carrying the baby to an awaiting ambulance.

Gray also reported that several candidates had appeared interested in police work as a future career at a recent job fair but that they were under 18 years of age.

On motion of Russell with a second by Hill, Council approved the November city financial report.

On motion of Mayor David Graham and second by Russell, the FY22 Annual Report for the Firemen’s Pension Fund was approved.

Council, on motion of Russell with a second by Hill, approved the FY22 Annual Report for the Policemen’s Pension Fund.

The Council committee meetings for January were set for Jan. 12 starting at 1 p.m. with the Council monthly meeting set for Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. on motion of Hill and second by Russell.

Jack Fredeking and Jackie Barker were reappointed to three-year terms on the General Board of Appeals and John Hickman was reappointed to a three-year term on the Planning Commission on motion of Russell and second by Hill.

B & O Tax Incentives for E.B. Fungi, LLC on 747 Mercer Street and Carl Pennington Insurance at 508 Lazenby Avenue were approved on motion of Hill and second by Russell.

City employees were given Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as full vacation days on motion of Russell and second by Hill.

Tomorrow at the Princeton Public Library at 1 p.m. will be the Adult Crafternoon.

On Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. at the PPL will be the Book of Goals where people are invited to write down their goals for 2022.

Finance Director Danny Dillow announced his departure and introduced his replacement Brian Conner, a 19-year veteran employee of First Community Bank.

Human Resources Director Brian Blankenship announced that Kaitlyn Smith would become the city’s new Accounts Payable Clerk/Tax Auditor next spring after being trained by the retiring Marie Quick

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at at delimartman@yahoo.com

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