By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Reverend Jay Bunting of Davis United Methodist Church blessed the Tucker County Commission meeting prior to The Pledge of Allegiance. Commission President Lowell Moore called the meeting to order followed by the approval of the previous meeting minutes.
Margot Evick, representative from the Randolph/Tucker County Children Advocacy Center. “First of all, I wanted to thank you guys for the support,” Evick began. She provided a brief update to the commissioners and guests with their past year happenings. “We provided essential services to children and families in the community, professionals, and the community at large, to one hundred and forty one new children”, she elaborated. The group also provided forensic interviews for investigation purposes, crisis intervention, needs assessments, and referrals. “Forty-four of those children seen were referred for trauma focused therapy, and then also twelve of those children received forensic medical exams.” Scholarships and training opportunities were also offered by the CAC, and Evick expressed a growing need for advocacy in Tucker County. They are also working diligently on prevention programs to share within the school system such as human trafficking awareness. Evick provided a packet to the commissioners with a funding request that will be evaluated next month during budget. “You people do a great job.”, Moore commended.
TCHS carpentry teacher Delbert Pennington returned to the commission meeting again to request money to support his vocational class. In late 2018 he presented to the commission the needs of the class, which he was encouraged to seek help first through the Board of Education and other resources before returning. He stated that meeting in itself helped because just a couple days later, two individuals approached him and donated $1,500 to the program. Pennington did as requested and was told by the Board of Education it was not in their budget, so his quest continued. He is now working closely with World Vision in Philippi for materials and has began a preliminary agreement with Cortland Acres for potential housing units. “The goal was to build a couple buildings this year to try and get the program up and going”, he explained. The students have been working diligently to revamp the classroom and bringing it back up to standards. Pennington was requesting funds to cover materials for buildings to be built and sold as a source of income for the program. Moore questioned the projection of program with Pennington only being part time, to which he responded they have already mentioned moving him to full time with the vast growth of the enrollment of the course. Commissioner Fred Davis allowed the students seem to really like having Pennington as an instructor and that assists in the security of the program as well. Moore moved to provide $3,000 to the program and all agreed. Commission Patrick Darlington commented, “Vocational education is something that needs to make a strong comeback in this country.”, he confirmed. “The county badly needs it.”, agreed Moore.
Elected officials reports were postponed until next meeting so employee reports were next. Director of 911 Brett Ware announced their new software system has gone live and running and they are working out the bugs and getting familiar with the new program. OEM Director Kevin White provided a detailed report packet to the commissioners. He announced they are currently staying prepared for any weather that may head our way and stated they confirmed a seventy-four mile per hour wind gust at Canaan Heights and he heard they clocked an eighty-eight mile per hour gust at Snowshoe. “At one time we had two thousand residents without power.”, he stated, all of which, to his knowledge, have been restored that happened as a result of the weather.
There were no correspondences or county board appointments; however, Ware had three county road name requests. The rock quarry on Route 38 has been purchased by Wolfe’s Construction and a request has been submitted by Rose Holdings to name the property entrance Quarry Drive. The other was a 400 foot private driveway that cuts off Frost Fang Drive off Route 48. The request was made to name the private drive Brook Trout Lane. Both were approved unanimously. The third was the entrance to the proposed Emergency Service Facility, which will have an EMS and Support Office entrance. There were two names everyone agreed upon, which were Teamwork Way and Service Team Way. The commissioners agreed upon Service Team Way and it passed.
Commissioners gave their individual reports beginning with Moore. Over the last two weeks he has attended several meetings including EMS, Workplace Housing with the Building Commission, the Region 7 Commissioners Meeting, as well as a recent budget training. Darlington wanted to revisit the topic of the former lease with Cortland Acres for the EMS use of their facility for some clarifications. Cortland Acres did not “kick” anyone out of their facility, “All I was stating was that Cortland does have future plans for that building, but they are definitely willing to work with us until we get a new facility built.” Moore also wanted to echo Darlington in this manner, stating, “They accepted our apologies and graciously will amend the contract, month by month, at the same money we’ve been paying, all they ask in return is we give them a thirty day notice when we are going to pull out.” Moore said he takes the blame for not keeping up with the dates on the contract and realizing the end of the term was drawing near, which resulted in the urgency to move forward with the future Emergency Response building, and again would like to thank Cortland Acres for their generosity and willingness to work with the commission.
Davis stated he has been in contact with the Solid Waste Authority and other than the mud, the landfill is operating well. He also noted, “I’m starting a CDL class for the local people, trying to help them get jobs with the state road, bus garage, and Sunrise (Sanitation) which is up over fifty people right now.” He has a meeting again next week to try and set the start date for classes to begin.
It was asked of Darlington to elaborate more on the multi-purpose building that has been constructed at Camp Kidd and what it would be used for. He responded, “It can be used for a variety of things, there will be hitting nets and golf nets in the building that are all going to be on retractable cables so the nets can be pulled back to the corners for a 40×80 wide open space.” he elaborated. Indoor flea markets, yard sales, receptions, and reunions were all examples and a fee schedule is still in negotiation with the Park Board.
The commission went into a brief executive session before returning with no decisions made. A motion was made to adjourn and all agreed. The next meeting of the Tucker County Commission will be held Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9 a.m. and public attendants are always welcome.