By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
It was time for the Tucker County Commissioners to come together for their final time of 2019 and receive updates from county employees and elected officials. The opening prayer was said by Father Grassi followed by The Pledge of Allegiance. Commission President Lowell Moore called the meeting to order, noting Commissioner Fred Davis was out sick.
The former meeting minutes from November were approved JoeMeloy requested funding for the Special Olympics in the amount of $2,500. While Moore and Commissioner Jon Bush strongly support the program, that request was denied though an offer of $200 was approved with the stipulations receipts must be presented.
Kevin White, Director of Tucker County’s OEM, presented the commissioners with a detailed report of the last months happenings. OEM has been involved in school safety meetings, cyber security paperwork, and is waiting the state auditor’s to move forward with the grant for the new truck and trailer. Earlier in December, a tour of the flooded areas of the county commenced to showcase the greatest needs for stream cleanup as a result of recent flooding. “We have to understand that this is federally funded where the flooding event occurred, I can’t just go anywhere and do it, it has to be where it occurred,” White explained. He wanted to ensure it was understood that the intentions of the stream cleanup is not to dredge streams or secure banks, all that can be done is remove debris. “We are not dredging streams, it is just a cleanup effort,” he reiterated. The expected start date for this project is after the first of the year. Moore requested White investigate the stream on Mt. Zion due to the amount of debris it currently possesses, which he agreed to do.
County Administrator Sheila DeVilder offered an update from Joe Long on the status of the Courthouse sprinkler system. The project was expected to be complete by Friday with the exception of the drains. The crews would then be off for Christmas, but upon their return the job should be ready to set up a final inspection. DeVilder also stated that, according to Long, they are continuing to remodel the old jail, which serves as the ComBrett Ware, 911 Director, presented Moore and Bush with a statistical report of calls through the 911 center. Ware stated the testing service was not yet up and running, but hopes it will be soon. Radio issues are still prevalent, but a more permanent solution is being sought. Ware is still waiting quotes on the microwave system which will keep the The Stop the Bleed kits have been ordered and should arrive within a few weeks. Once received, the schools will be responsible for installing these 14 kits at the designated locations as determined by joint efforts of the OEM and school system. School personnel have been offered training on the kits and programs with the expectation of future in-service trainings consisting of this topic.
White is also working diligently to finish up paperwork and forms that have approaching deadlines and include reimbursement funds, grants, and more. He also noted the TEAMS alert system is working well and being utilized daily, especially with the weather this time of year.
County Planner Dennis Filler provided a development permit recap for 2019, to which he said a total of 29 were issued. He recently attended FEMA training in Elkins, which would benefit in situations such as a levy repair. Filler also provided an updated list of contacts for the commissioners as well as documentation from Mark Holstein with the Solid Waste Authority. Unfortunately, a state meeting conflicted with that of the commission and he was unable to attend as he had hoped. Moore was pleased with the information provided and looks forward to his attendance at the January meeting.
Filler is also attending Reconnect, which is the USDA Broadband Program which has been recently reopened. The phone contract has been amended following a thorough inspection and can begin the rewiring process where necessary. The target date for completion is March.
There were no correspondences which lead to county board appointments. Rescinding of a former appointment was necessary due to being at full quota, which Moore explained to the individual. Moore then moved to rescind the motion to appoint Christopher Phares to the Development Authority with understanding he would like to be considered if a future vacancy arose and Bush agreed. An additional board appointment was on the agenda; however, Bush moved to table that until next meeting. Lastly, Karen Bonner was up for reinstatement to the Canaan Valley Zoning Board.
Moving into new business, the first item to address was that of voter’s registration list sales. Moore read the policy which he moved to approve with agreement from Bush. The next item was an update to the absentee ballot procedure, which Bush moved to approve as well. A request was submitted for approval to probate a copy of a will. Details were given regarding the situation by DeVilder with both commissioners agreeing to approve this request.
Bush moved to approved $3,000 to go towards the installation of street lights at the parking lot adjacent from City Hall and in conjunction with the Parsons City Council. Moore agreed though stating he’d like to see the official quote. Several first and final waivers were reviewed and approved by the commissioners as well. Final settlement for Andrew Meador was reviewed which Bush motioned to pay, with Moore in agreement.
The approval of payments was the next line item presented for the commissioners to review and approve. The totals were significantly higher than usual, though some items were noted as reimbursable. Moore moved to approve the payments as presented with the request of further information regarding one item with Bush agreeing. Moore then read a proclamation set forth by Governor Justice recognizing Christmas Eve and New Years Eve as a holiday for all public state employees.
Commissioner Bush provided a brief update stating that when he has a needed medical procedure, he will be recovering for approximately six weeks. Commissioner Moore gave his report stating he, along with Bush and Commissioner Davis, met with Canaan Valley PSD regarding their receivership over Timberline Four Season Utilities and the recent transaction of the property and the continued support of the Tucker County Commission. Moore said, “As we all know, in the last month we have lost a multitude of people in Tucker County and my heart goes out to all the families who have lost loved ones.”
The next meeting of the Tucker County Commission will be Tuesday, January 2 at 8 a.m. which is a mandated meeting of the commission. Moore then moved to adjourn the final gathering of 2019.