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Commission seeks additional funding

By Staff | Dec 1, 2010

The courtroom at the Tyler County Courthouse could receive much-needed improvements should an application for grant funding send money to the county.

County Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith signed a resolution on Monday morning, after the commission at-large approved a motion for Smith to submit an application requesting money through the West Virginia Courthouse Facility Improvement Authority.

The Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund was created by the West Virginia Legislature with the enactment of House Bill 2844 on April 14, 2001. Thus, the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority was created to administer the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund, with the primary purpose of providing funding assistance to counties for the improvement of existing courthouse facilities or the construction of new courthouse facilities.

These finds can be used to create improvements to courthouse facilities, including general exterior and interior improvements, repairs to the exterior walls, as well as renovation of roof, windows and doors, fire safety, ADA compliance, structural integrity, and security. If funds are procured through the grant, Tyler County will use the funds for repairs and renovations in the courtroom.

The commissioners polled the judges who were the county to see what their concerns were. According to Circuit Clerk Candy Warner, they all expressed dissatisfaction with the size of the grand jury box, the size of the witness box, the security, and the sound system, as well as minor repairs to the plaster in the walls.

As evidenced by a photograph found in the courthouse dating back to 1924, the furniture in the courtroom is outdated as well. In the application for funds, the commissioners alloted monies for the replacement of desks, chair, etc., as well.

Grant Coordinator Tim Meeks from the Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council was on hand to deliver to update the County Commission on the status of the Community Participation Grant awarded by the West Virginia Development Office.

The $3,000 grant will enable Tyler Alive and the Sistersville Heritage Foundation to market the greater Sistersville area.

The project will include marketing for river cruises, events at Sistersville City Park, as well as events held in Middlebourne. It will include funds for advertising in newspapers, radio and on billboards, Web site design, banners and other promotional activities.

This grant was written into the budget for the 2010 fiscal year with the help of local legislators.

The County Commission also approved a motion to allow for the donation of $5,000 to the Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge in Sistersville.

Located on 174 acres of donated property, Olive Branch is a non-profit, no kill organization dedicated to providing a better quality of life for animals. Striving to put an end to cruel abuse, suffering and neglect of all animals, Olive Branch also fills the void created by the lack of a county animal shelter.

Filled to capacity and adding new animals on a consistent basis, the veterinary bills incurred by the organization are quite high. For this reason, Commissioner Bob Wable told his comrades it is vitally necessary for the county to help ease the burden.

Aside from donations form the county, all funding for the Olive Branch is through the generosity of those within the community who care for the well being of animals that need to find homes, have been neglected, abused or abandoned.

For more information on the Olive Branch, visit their Web site at www.olivebranchwv.org.

The Tyler County Commission will meet again on Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.