By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Terry Silk asked the blessing over the morning meeting followed by the reciting of The Pledge of Allegiance. Commission President Lowell Moore called the meeting to order followed by the approval of the previous meeting minutes. Moving into audience and guests, Chief Deputy M.J. Sigley addressed the commissioners regarding an incentives program he was familiar with from his tenure with Elkins City Police. The program would help purchase items needed for the officers with a reimbursement plan which he stated, “It helped keep officers there and helped bring in new ones, too for later on.” Commissioner Patrick Darlington made a motion to approve the request to implement a Sheriff Office Incentive Program, with all in favor. Moore commended Sigley on the work he has done in his short time with the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department as well as the work the entire department has been doing.
Elected officials reports followed, beginning with County Clerk Sherry Simmons. “I have begun working on budget revisions and I will have them for the next meeting,” she said, which are for in house budgets and informed the state budget will be back to her in July.
Joe Long, Maintenance Director, moved the meeting into the employees report. He reported the water line at the Health Department has been repaired. “Thanks to the City, they dug it up for us and we replaced the line, and it’s all covered up,” he said. In reference to the jail house, Long stated the rooms upstairs are nearing completion, which Moore recently visited and said it looks very nice. Commissioner Fred Davis complimented Long on the quick efforts being made by his crew to complete that project as well. The air conditioning for the 911 Center is planned to be installed the end of the week. Moore commented the unit has been inoperable more than it has been in service. Davis told Long, “I want to tell you, around this Courthouse and everything, you guys do a remarkable job.” Simmons reiterated she hears compliments from visitors in her office regularly about the upkeep of our county seat facilities. County Administrator Joel Goughnour followed Long stating he met with the individuals working towards finalizing the sprinkler system project in the Courthouse with hopes to be finished this year with the help of the restoration grant.
Brett Ware, 911 Director, stated his enthusiasm and appreciation for the new air conditioning unit coming into the center. He also commented on the AT&T service being out in the Parsons area due to a traffic accident in the Moore community. Over the last week I have been working to get our facility as a certified training site for the American Heart Association,” Ware informed. This will allow them the ability to offer CPR and First Aid courses not only to first responders but anyone interested. They are also working towards a K-12 program to provide teachers with specialized CPR classes. Ware is continuing to work with vendors for their new audio recording system; however, there is still a four to six month time frame to complete that. He also noted there are several recertifications’s taking place for his employees and everyone is staying very busy at 911.
OEM Director Kevin White followed Ware with an update on the mass alert project. It is up and running, though sign ups have not began at this time, but will be available soon. White stated things have been pretty quiet in the OEM office so they took advantage and updated some equipment in the office. White and his deputy director have been attending classes that will become state mandated next year to remain ahead of the curve. Homeland Security at the state level has found themselves in a disagreement with different parties pushing for different agendas. “We really need it to stay the way it is,” White informed. “We’re really afraid if it does change to the way the Governor is wanting at this current time,” he said, asking the Commissioners to do whatever they can to encourage it to remain the same. A brief conversation commenced regarding road conditions that our county personnel and representatives are doing all they can to get these issues addressed. Darlington asked for an update on the emergency shelter, to which White replied they had expected delivery this week but not sure of an exact delivery date.
County Planner Dennis Filler informed the commissioners that the grant application for the litter control grant has been submitted. “Next week there is a state wide WVU law land use clinic up at Canaan,” he informed. He also updated the Development Authority is continuing to work on the broadband connection project with a meeting on the 15 of May at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse. The Smart Growth America project is on schedule and moving forward with a two day meeting June 11 and 12. Six development permits have come into Filler’s office to be processed. Davis asked when the authority came into effect to address litter concerns, with Filler responding after July 1 when the new budget begins.
There were no correspondences; however, there were county board appointments. Two were for the Development Authority being Ronnie Beale for reinstatement and adding Kennetha Greenlief to the committee. It was also moved by Darlington to appoint Moore to the Corridor H Authority, all of which were approved. Road name suggestions were then brought up by Ware for a request to assign a road the name Bella Lane off County Farm Road. The motion was made and agreed upon.
Moving into new business, it was announced to cancel the May 22 meeting and set a special meeting for May 28 at 4 p.m. and to cancel the June 12 meeting due to location scheduling conflicts, and rescheduling it for June 19 at 9 a.m. This will serve as the only June meeting. Moore recommended tabling the EMS ordinance revisions to a later timeframe, and acknowledged to proclaim May 19-25 as National EMS Week. “We want to thank the EMS for what they do for us here in the county, he said.
An Executive Session was called to discuss the promotion of a 911 employee from part time to full time status. Darlington stated, “I move to move Mike Simmons to a full time position at the 911 Center,” with Ware declaring June 1 as the effective date. There was one erroneous assessments which the commissioners approved pending the approval of Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora. Payments were then approved before the commissioners moved into their reports.
Moore stated he attended the Division of Highways Maintenance update meeting with Greg Bailey speaking. Corridor H was mentioned briefly at this meeting noting that section 2 from Moore Station to Holly Meadows is tentatively to be awarded May 21, but there is some confusion on the matter. He also spoke about the massive bridge over the Cheat River which will be around 3,000 feet long which is two-thirds of a mile. There will be an interchange at Mackeyville and Holly Meadows serving as the access point to Parsons.
Moore also announced that several county officials have drafted a packet of information that has been sent to our representatives in Washington D.C. to encourage them to work with the National Forest Service to allow the studies by FreedomWorks, LLC to continue for the potential Pump Storage Project. “It has already been sent to all three offices to ask for their support on this,” he said.
Darlington took over, stating this is last official meeting which he will serve as a Tucker County Commission. “I just want to thank everybody for the last four and a half years. It’s been my honor and privilege to work with everybody, I’ve worked with a lot of great people and I really appreciate everything you all have helped me with,” he said. Both commissioners and Simmons thanked Darlington for his time and extended their best wishes for his future endeavors
Davis finished up the commissioner reports stating the CDL class has around ten active individuals in the class with one already having passed the course. A medical assisting course has also been set up with about ten individuals showing interest. He is working on areas at the time hoping to bring more jobs and education opportunities to the county.
The meeting then moved to adjournment with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 4 p.m. at the Tucker County Courthouse. As always, the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.