County Commissioners Discuss County Home
MIDDLEBOURNE — Jim Ash voiced his concerns about the county home during a recent meeting of the Tyler County Commission.
During the Nov. 30 meeting, Ash said he has spoken with nearly 300 hundred people and no one is in favor of tearing down the home that has been vacant for many years. He would like time to inquire about available grants that could help with funding the rebuilding process.
Commissioners told Ash there is a year left on the lease with the fair so there is no immediate rush to tear it down.
Commission President Eric Vincent said the county owns the home, so not just any group can start restoring the structure without the commission’s approval.
“It has to go through a bid system and be done the way we are required to do things.” Vincent said. “We would have to know that there is some future plan in store if the taxpayers want to continue to take care of that building.”
When Ash asked if the commission if it would consider selling the building, Vincent said, “We can sell it… but if we sell it on the courthouse steps, we can’t guarantee who gets it.”
In other business, Bam Baxter of Infinity Computing gave the commissioners information on their services in dealing with computers, software distribution, and preventative maintenance.
Baxter stated that they have a system setup in Pleasants County and they could be used as a reference. Baxter was advised that Tyler County already has a service provider but would be willing to look at the numbers for an opportunity to save some money.
Commissioners approved plans to install a motion activated light on the magistrate office.
Speaking of technology, Camel Technologies LLC. was awarded the bid to start working on the Tyler County Security System.
Tom Cooper, director of Tyler County Office of Emergency Management, announced that he was unable to get a grant to pay for security cameras around the office building and storage facility. The combined list of items for both buildings comes to 24 cameras, two recorders, three network switches, cabling and 20 hours of labor at a total cost of S7,200. The commissioners agreed to pay for the security upon receiving a contract and a detailed itemized list.
Commissioners appointed Chad McKnight to replace Bob Barringer on the Northern Panhandle Workforce Development Board.
Commissioner John Stender gave a report that there was a pump replaced at the 4-H grounds that cost around $800. The cabinets have been replaced, the kitchen floor has been tiled, and the bank has been cleared off. Stender mentioned that he would like to eventually purchase tables and chairs for the dining area, to replace the cafeteria style tables. He also added that there are two men there working diligently and wanted to thank them for their help.
Kenna Smoyer of Air Evac introduced herself as the new representative of the Air Evac program and informed the commissioners that their contract was up. The commissioners had been waiting on an invoice and so after a little deliberating, the commissioners decided to renew their contract for another year.
Lisa Diehl, Mid-Ohio Valley Coordinator of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, appeared before the commissioners to share some facts about Medicare and affordable health care expansion opportunities. She stated that over 9,000 people, about 24 percent, in Tyler County rely on Medicaid. Also 600,000 people throughout the state rely on Medicaid for health coverage and long term care. Diehl stated that Medicaid pumps about $4 billion into our state by supporting hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceuticals. She said around $5 million was spent in Tyler County – a figure that does not include drugs and administrative costs. Medicare spending for the 2017 year is projected at $4 billion and this is the first year in which West Virginia will have to pay for the Medicaid expansion. The way the agreement was set up, Diehl said, the federal government paid 100 percent of Medicaid for West Virginia for the first three years. Now that the time is up, the state will have to pay approximately $1 billion dollars to the federal government.
The commissioners gave a letter of consent to the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council who has been working on a grant to purchase an early warning monitoring system for the Middlebourne Municipal Waterworks. The system is designed to detect contaminants in the water at a more refined level and gives information regarding such contaminants.
The next commissioners meeting is schedule for 9 a.m. Dec. 14 at the courthouse.