Due to a training seminar which employees of the County Clerk's Office planned to attend on Sept. 24, Tyler County Commission held its meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19.
After concluding that the Computer Support Services Inc. (CSSI) bill in question at the Sept. 10 meeting was due to a change in the billing cycle, the commission approved its total payment of $6,456: $4,644 covering the County Clerk's Office, and $1,812 covering the Sheriff's Tax Office. For the CSSI support agreement, the county will now be paying two split installments rather than one.
"It looks like a nice reduction (in cost)," said Commission Vice President Eric Vincent of the bill.
The commission revealed that Tyler County's Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) qualified for a grant contract for the fiscal year of 2013-14. This $23,266 grant from the Division of Justice is to provide for the salary of a full-time advocate in the prosecutor's office as well as cover costs for direct services to crime victims in Tyler County. The grant was unanimously accepted.
Tim Meeks of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council was present to provide a reviewed Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority (CFIA) Grant application for the Courtroom Improvements Project. Tyler County is requesting $81,000 from the CFIA and would be responsible for a remainder of $20,000 needed for repairs. The current application marks the fourth year in a row that the Tyler County Commission has sought funding from CFIA; so far, their previous applications have yielded no grant funding. Each commissioner signed the resolution to apply for the grant.
Greg Jadwin of Air Evac returned, explaining that the previously offered proposal for medical helicopter services is still on the table. That service would be paid for by the county at an annual cost of $6.25 to $6.50 per resident and would cover each current resident, as well as those who move into the county in the future. Under the plan, each Tyler County citizen would not receive a bill for being air-lifted by Air Evac from within the county or any connecting counties; Ohio County and Wood County would also be included.
"Over the last 12 months you've actually had 87 flights by Air Evac out of this county," said Jadwin. "That's roughly $300,000 (money being paid by residents) going out of this county toward helicopter bills not paid by insurance."
He said that if the proposal were approved, people may not have to pay as much in the future. He also thanked the commission for all of the support they have given to Air Evac.
"I'm still a little uncomfortable with the revenue flow for that size of a purchase at this point," said Commissioner Vincent.
Commission President John Stender stated that he was hesitant to approve a service which the county may not have the funds to pay for in the future. However, the commission agreed to meet with Jadwin following the meeting in order to discuss ideas and other possibilities.
With former Sistersville Mayor Dave Fox's move to Ohio County, he left a position open in the Rt. 2 and Interstate 68 Authority. The commission discussed contacting those who may be interested in filling the position. An appointment would last until June 30, 2014, at which time the appointment could be made for a full, four-year term. They tabled any action on the matter.
Under Commissioner Charles "Pork" Smith's report, he brought up the need for an active Building Commission, especially regarding the potential development of a courthouse annex. The commission will speak with Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee to see what actions need to be taken in order to form a legitimate Building Commission, which would be required to obtain and access bonds and grants for the erection of a building.
Under Commissioner Vincent's report, he discussed his meeting with Judge Robert Hicks and Circuit Clerk Candy Warner at the current extension office. The purpose of this meeting was to determine if that building might serve as a future location for Family Court.
While expressing that the extension office seemed like a good space, he mentioned other options, such as leasing and using another building in Middlebourne.
Vincent also reported on his attendance at a recent 911 meeting, describing the progress and abilities of Tyler County's 911 services.
"I just want to commend them on all that they're doing," he said. "They're up to date with training."
Under Commissioner Stender's report, he presented the other commissioners with a letter drafted by Furbee. This letter, concerning the change in structure of Pleasant Ridge Road from pavement to loose gravel, came about following a complaint from Arnold Templeton, who lives alongside the road and fears health repercussions from dust and other pollutants. Following a signature from each commissioner, they approved to send copies of the letter to the Department of Highways, the Department of Environmental Protection, and Triad Hunter, the company that reportedly altered the road and sends trucks down it on a daily basis. It is the commission's expressed hope that they can work together with these departments to find a solution that benefits everyone.
Stender also revealed that: the commission received a letter of thanks for their $2,000 donation to the Tyler County Public Library; at the request of Brooke Fletcher from Rep. David McKinley's office, he visited the Wirt County Courthouse to fill them in on Tyler County's process of record digitization; the West Virginia County Risk Pool has asked to be on an upcoming meeting agenda; the need for commissioners to attend an upcoming Tyler County Board of Education meeting in order to discuss the possibility of placing a parking lot on the property around the old high school; and that he was approached by an abstracting company that would like to rent office space in town.
Other approved items included the assessor's exonerations, the paying of bills, and all budget revisions pursuant to the approval of the West Virginia Auditor's Office.