Vandals Damage County Home
MIDDLEBOURNE – Vandals attacked the former Tyler County home Saturday evening.
Peggy George, president of the Restoration Committee, said the matter has been reported to the authorities. She said vandals ripped out the front doors by the frame perhaps by chaining them to a vehicle. The steps leading to it are demolished and the windows above the door are busted.
“Not only is it tragic to know that vandalism is occurring in our county, it is that this is county property and if county property is not safe will other landowners be safe,” she said. “This is a shameful act and I hope we find out it is not a Tyler County Resident.”
Anyone with information about what happened to the county home should contact the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department at 304-758-4229.
George said plans are being made to board up the entryways and windows to prevent more damage.
The historic building is currently under the ownership of the county government and leased to the Tyler County Fair Association, which held its 54th annual fair last week.
The Tyler County Commission has not made any concrete plans about what to do with the property. In October, commissioners approved a motion that allows preservationists more time to formulate a plan and locate funding resources.
During the past several months, the Restoration Committee collected nearly $7,000 from fundraisers. George said there were plans to make repairs to the county home’s front doors, windows and roof.
“Since this is the first site where we were going to replace doors and windows, no thankfully it doesn’t hurt us since we never replaced them, but it does concern us on how we are going to stop the vandalism once new windows and doors are purchased because the Fair Association and the County Commissioners have not set guidelines for responsibilities,” George said.
George said she fears that because of the vandalism, “the naysaysers will be more determined to have the county home torn down” instead of restored. She plans to attend the Tyler County Commission meeting today to request a lease or sublease of the building and surrounding property from the Fair Association. Plans are being made to provide video cameras to monitor the property as well as take other steps aimed at security.
Members of the Tyler County Prevention Coalition (TCPC) and Tyler County Restoration Committee met in June to discuss a proposal outlining the possibility of renovating the historic building as a Regional Recovery and Wellness Center (RRWC). Such a facility would ideally focus on substance abuse prevention measures, treatment, recovery and overall wellness.
The Restoration Committee meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Middlebourne Volunteer Fire Department. TCPC meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the former board office area of Tyler Consolidated High School.