Resident expresses concern
Tyler County commissioners listened to concerns from local resident Terry Heintzman concerning destruction of a roadway in Union District, Craig Lane Road.
A timbering company, Atkins Timber Products, had been logging on neighboring property in the past few months, explained Heintzman.
“They’re either out of Lowell, or Beverly,” Heintzman said. “As a result, the road (Craig Lane) is completely torn up. If someone got hurt, you couldn’t even get an ambulance out there.”
“They were supposed to come out and repair this road,” added Heintzman, “but it’s going on five months now, and nothing has been done.”
“I’ve spent $1,000 on gravel myself,” he noted. “That doesn’t even count the cost of gasoline and labor involved. Where do I go from here, to get help with this problem?”
County Attorney D. Luke Furbee advised Heintzman to get in touch with the WV Dept. of Highways. Furbee also suggested contacting the Dept. of Natural Resources Forestry department.
“First, I would contact the state road people,” Furbee advised, “and see if anything is being done to address this matter. You and other affected residents may want to consider contacting a private attorney, as well, about filing a civil suit.”
“They came, got the timber, and drove off,” said Heintzman. “They left the mess for us to clean up.”
Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith told Heintzman he would personally contact District 6 DOH representatives on the matter. “I’ll make some calls as soon as this meeting is over, and get back to you,” said Smith. “If this is a state-owned road, then it may be up to them to hold the timber company responsible for repairs, or to do the repairs themselves.”
Heintzman thanked commissioners for listening to his concerns and said he was considering contacting an attorney about the situation.
Jim Davis, Legion Director of Mountaineer Boys State, also addressed commission, asking commissioners to consider donating to their organization’s upcoming camp.
“Mountaineer Boys State began in 1936, one year after the organization was begun in Illinois,” said Davis. “We are the only state who is still using its original meeting site in Jackson’s Mills.”
“It’s a great program, and it’s still going strong,” said Davis. “Last year, fifteen boys from Tyler County attended. This year, we have 23 boys interested in attending camp.”
“We are asking you consider donating $1,000 to send five boys to camp this year,” said Davis.
Commissioner John Stender remarked he’d attended Mountaineer Boys State himself, “many years ago.” Stender was elected to the camp’s House of Delegates at that time. “It was a good experience,” said Stender.
Commissioners told Davis that upon considering the upcoming budget, they would make a decision on whether or not the county could afford to contribute financially.
OEM Director Tom Cooper informed commissioners that the ATVs approved for purchase at an earlier meeting had been ordered. “We came in under budget, and will use the remaining money for lighting and other accessories to the vehicles,” said Cooper.
“Where are you going to store them?” asked Commissioner Stender. “One at the Sistersville VFD and another at the Middlebourne VFD would be nice.”
Cooper said that as yet, options for storage were still under consideration. “Space is the issue,” he explained.
Cooper then brought up the subject of purchasing a vehicle for OEM, which was initially discussed at the last commission meeting.
“We’re going to have to look at the budget. We haven’t made a decision on that yet,” said Commissioner Smith.
Sheriff Earl “Bob” Kendle spoke briefly to commissioners about the upcoming Bullring Bonanza event in May. The Sheriff’s Office is expecting an influx of over a thousand people to the event.
“”It’s going to be a huge crowd, is my guess,” said County Commissioner Eric Vincent.
Kendle told commissioners he would be meeting with event promoters concerning safety issues and manpower. “There are going to be two, possibly three events like this in the county,” said Kendle. “We need to know who will be responsible for providing security.”
In other matters, Commission approved a request from Toni Van Camp to make an adjustment in the county budget due to an accounting miscalculation concerning the VOCA grant; and also approved the VOCA grant budget for 2012-2013. Commission serves as fiscal agent for the grant funds.
Commissioners voted their approval of a donation in the amount of $500 to the Large Animal Rescue Team (LART). “With the amount of people here in the county who own large animals, I can’t see how we can refuse to donate,” said Pork Smith.
“It will actually help us get better service with veterinarians,” commented Tom Cooper. “When a vet comes out to a rescue, he will be reassured to know there is a volunteer team in place to help.”
Commission also approved a request to gather in front of the county court house on Friday, May 3, for the community’s participation in National Day of Prayer.
A request from the WV State Council of West Virginia Veterans for donations for a WV traveling “Wall” (similar to the traveling Vietnam traveling wall) was tabled until more information could be learned about the project.
Commission went into executive session at the request of Teresea Hamilton, then voted on payment of bills and adjourned.