By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
The first order of business during the Camp Kidd Advisory Board Council meeting was to renew the lease agreement with Jeff Kiess that includes an estimated 50 acres of fields in the upper and lower parts of the grounds for $1,250 yearly. According to Commissioner Mike Rosenau, Kiess fertilizes the land on the upper hill in exchange for the hay. Board member Kevin White asked the question of whether they were short changing themselves with the current lease agreement or were they charging too much. Commissioner Tim Knotts, being a farmer himself, stated, “That is a very fair price, especially since he was fertilizing the fields. The thing is, it is going to get harder and harder to find people to keep the ground up because nobody is wanting to do it anymore.”
Board member Terry Blosser explained that Kiess plants corn in one field and makes hay in the other for one year and then switches it the following year. Knotts stated that this process was costing Kiess quite a bit to do. White motioned that the board renew the lease for a two year term. Motion carried. Motion was approved.
Rosenau added that the lease needed to include the stipulation that access to the lower fields remain available. Rosenau said, “In the lease I want to make sure we have access, because what we are going to do now is put in a road. The only access for those bottom fields right now is through Jeff Kiess farm or through the middle of the golf course. So, we are having a road way put in on our property so we can access those fields.
Once the county commission decides on what is going to happen on those fields, there is going to be times we will need access. We are talking about the possibility of fishing in the slew part of it for the kids. That will require machinery in there to clean the bank out because it is all grown up now. I just want the board to know what our plans are for the future.”
Board member Dani Pennington reported that the live nativity scene and Christmas light show presented by the volunteers of the Tucker County Fair Association at Camp Kidd was a huge success. Pennington said, “We were not expecting that at all. It was very successful, and I just want to thank you for letting the fair have it and we are going to try it again next year. Hopefully it will be bigger and better.” Knotts said, “I thoroughly enjoyed it when I came down and went around. That was wonderful.” Pennington reported that an estimated $800 was raised for the fair and all proceeds are going towards the next live nativity scene.
The board discussed ideas for revamping the contracts for leasing out the main lodge and the bunkhouse. The main lodge is booked for one or two groups every month except for the month of October. The group discussed what the cost of renting the lodge should be and what it should include. The 10 percent discount for locals will remain. There was also discussion that included adding a 65-inch TV for the renters to use during down time or organizations like the Tucker County 4-H can utilize training videos for students. A require property damage insurance policy may also become effective with new contracts. The board voted to table the contracts until next meeting to provide ample time for board members to review and add any ideas or changes.
The advisory board members then discussed the possibility of obtaining AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) for medical emergencies. An AED is a portable device that is used to diagnose and treat through the victim’s chest to stop these life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. This allows the heart to re-establish a sustainable pulse. The board will be looking into the possibility of hosting CPR certification and first aid training sessions for county employees.
Pennington also mentioned that the Tucker County Fair got a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation to upgrade the rabbit and chicken pens. She also stated that clinics for shearing or getting cattle ready for a show was also in the works. Pennington said Eric Mullenax was working to gather all the people needed for the different clinics and she was just waiting for dates to be confirmed.
Blosser provided updates on the projects completed for the 2022 year. In the main lodge new curtains and rods have been hung along with new blinds. The block work and under pinning has been replaced as well as new plastic installed under the main lodge. New furniture was ordered and delivered that included eight round tables, 92 new chairs, a rack to hold the chairs, and four futons.
The concession stand’s rotten windows and doors have been replaced with new ones. The doors to the bunkhouse have also been replaced. Gable ends on the barn and pavilion have been replaced along with a white fence around the grounds. A 14 foot by four-foot concrete pad has been added to the chicken burn pavilion area and a picnic table added to the slab. The concrete used was overage left over from the concrete ordered to use around the kitchen. Heat and air conditioning has been installed in the bunkhouse and all decks have been power washed.
There are plans to add a new water line going to Camp Kidd increasing the line size from a four-inch pipe to a six-inch pipe enabling the installation of another fire hydrate and a fire retention system in the main lodge. Blosser has ordered and received the parts needed for Hamrick PSD to install the water line.
Lastly Rosenau discussed how Blosser was hired and the work schedules for the maintenance crews. He said, “I will explain to you just for the knowledge of how we did it. In our budget we have three maintenance people. One of them quit. He left the county and that left a vacancy. Well at about the same time we acquired the facility down here which increased our area we had to cover for maintenance. We took that position that was at the courthouse to maintain all that stuff up there and incorporated down here. So, now they work together. If there is a job going on at the courthouse that they need Terry (Blosser) to assist he goes up and helps them. If Terry has something going on down here and needs help they come down here. We have not increased our budget to have an additional person because we do not have an additional person they just all work together.”
The next meeting of the Camp Kidd Advisory Board will be held on April 20, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. and located at Camp Kidd, 115 Country Farm Road, Parsons, WV, 26287.