Bretz Cleanup Still a Problem

By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate

It was a shorter Tucker County Commission meeting as Reverend Neil Parsons opened with a prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  Commission President Lowell Moore called the meeting to order as the previous meeting minutes were approved.

There was only one individual under audience and guests, Mrs. Teresa Helmick who was requesting an update on the Bretz cleanup attempts.  Moore stated he has called the WV Division of Highways three times about the vehicles that are not licensed being parked on the state right of way.  When he finally made contact, he was informed the DOH couldn’t act with the vehicles not being salvaged for parts.  Moore also has left several messages for the representative from the Department of Environmental Protection with no success.  However, Helmick was successful in touching base with Robin Dolly of DEP, whom she sent pictures to from that day via email to show no progress has been made to clean up the location.  Helmick has also contacted the Division of Natural Resources and noted that one family has began finding large rats again on their property coming from the trash and dilapidated structures.

Moore informed the Commissioners and the Litter Control Officer are working to solidify the county litter control ordinance that will soon allow that individual to have authority to issue citations and fines as well.  Commissioner Fred Davis told Helmick, “As soon as we can, if no one does nothing, I’ll work with these two gentlemen and our litter control officer to do whatever we can. “I went by there three times because I got called last week and that’s ridiculous.  And I will do whatever I can to help you out,” he concluded.

This moved the meeting into the elected official’s reports, opened by County Clerk Sherry Simmons.  “It has been a busy week, it’s been a good week, and it’s been a pleasure working with Sheila,” she stated, “She’s done a fantastic job.”

Employee’s reports followed with Sheila DeVilder, County Administrator, who is currently working to get things organized and has already begun working on her first grant for the county.  OEM Director Kevin White was next recapping the previous few weeks.  He noted the helicopter incident file has been closed and recapped the flooding incidents from June 30.  White also spoke with a hydrologist regarding the rumors of dam failure in Harman who said if that were to have occurred, Parsons would not have been affected.  He also informed the paperwork to receive reimbursement for the ZUMRO shelter has been filed as well as he is working on another grant for a new truck and trailer to haul equipment.

There were no correspondences at this meeting nor were there any road names to address.  There were two county board appointments, one for Ben Nelson to serve a three year term on the Development Authority and Robert Gilchrist to serve on the Canaan Valley PSD with a six year term.  Both were approved.

The City of Thomas submitted a funding request to purchase new Christmas lights for the city.  Moore and Commissioner Jon Bush voted to table this request while Davis abstained.  A budget revision was presented to the Commissioners for approval which Simmons explained was simply for the funds to roll over for the new fiscal year.  Bush requested to add to the agenda a line item pertaining to EMS accountability.  He is requesting proof of how the money is being spent that is being collected from the citizens before any additional funds are approved.  According to Bush, he understands the ordinance to say that is part of the agreement for the commission to receive the budgets and proof of expenditures, and as a new commissioner he is yet to see.  Davis agreed, adding he wanted to not only see an itemized statement, but he wanted a breakdown visual of what calls typically cost.  Moore informed he would be in touch with Terry Silk to gather the requested documentation for their review.

Remaining on the topic of the EMS fee, it was voted on by the commissioners to extend the due date for the fees to October 1, 2019 instead of the typical September 1, due to a delay in them being mailed out.  It was reiterated that this extension is a onetime exception, and after this year the due date will return to September 1.  Several erroneous assessments were reviewed and approved as well as the approval of payments.

Commissioner reports followed with Moore stating he and his fellow commissioners have been working on the EMS ordinance clarifications recently.  Moore also said, “Canaan Valley Resort got the pleasure again of hosting the Association of Counties.”  “They vote each year where they want to go, and I think that this is three years that they have come to Tucker County for the Association of Counties.”  This is a county commissioners association that gathers annually and will be doing so again this year in September at Canaan Valley Resort.

Davis noted the classes he has been instrumental in bringing to the area, the CDL class is finishing up as well as ten ladies participating in the nursing classes.  Also the mining class which starts Monday is completely full.  “When I got this job I wanted to help keep finding jobs for here,” Davis said.

Bush stated he had recently visited Camp Kidd and is working with Parks and Recreation to address some areas of concern at the park.  One of the items on their list to repair was the dishwasher.  Bush enlisted the assistance from the individual who works on his business appliances, which Bush noted the problem was it was never set up correctly and the wrong chemicals were being used.  “They’re on board and they know they got to get stuff done there,” he allowed.  “It’s a great piece of property and it needs to be maintained,” he said.

This concluded this commission session which will convene again on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 9 a.m.  The meeting will take place at the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom and as always, public is welcome to attend.

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