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Secure storage discussed at Commission

By Staff | Dec 3, 2014

The Tyler County Commission decided during their Nov. 25 meeting to go a different direction than previously thought for a secure storage area.

The Tawney building in Middlebourne had been the topic of discussion at previous meetings for the purpose of a storage facility of confiscated vehicles and for the holding of vicious animals and other evidence.

Commission President John Stender said he had looked at the building and felt it would require a lot of work just to get it in shape to meet the needs of the county. Commissioner Charles “Pork” Smith said the county owns property where they could erect a pole building which would better suit their needs. He said he felt it could be done at less than what they would have in purchasing and remodeling the one under consideration.

County Attorney Luke Furbee agreed, mentioning the space now being used to store evidence at the sheriff’s office is nothing more than a broom closet. Stender asked Furbee how large a building they would need and how many vehicles they have in storage at this time. Furbee said he wasn’t sure of the size and he thought there may be anywhere from two to four vehicles which are now being held as evidence.

Commissioner Smith asked if a building which could hold four vehicles plus other evidence would be large enough. Furbee seemed to believe it would be. Stender asked what the county was paying at this time for storage and Furbee said he didn’t know as the bill doesn’t come to him, it goes to the county. Smith then said he just feels the county would be better off checking into a new pole building which he believes could be erected for around $25,000 to $35,000 for a fairly large building. He said it would be a place that could be locked up and cameras could be installed. Assessor Jack Hayes mentioned the property is located where the cameras could be connected to the 911 center and sheriff’s office would have 24 hour watch over it.

Stender asked Furbee to look into what size is needed. Furbee said he would consult with the sheriff and see what meets his needs.

The Town of Middlebourne recently passed an ordinance which would authorize annexation of the credit union into the town limits. The ordinance was brought before the commission for approval. After a period of discussion on the matter, it was decided to table it until the Dec. 9, meeting, which would allow the commission time to gather more information on the proper way to handle the annexation.

Commissioners again discussed the possibility of accepting credit cards for transactions at the county offices. The discussion centered around which company would provide the equipment and training to the county and their associated costs. It was decided to table the matter until the Dec. 9 meeting.

Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper once again brought up the problem of slow computers and internet service at the OEM office. He said he is actively working on getting it resolved and has been told the work to correct it is covered under the county contract. He said there would be some cost to the county, but it should be minimal. He said it looks like they will be able to beam the signal needed over to his offices. If not, they would have to run fiber optic line. He also asked the commissioners to sign an approval for grant funding. He said if it comes through it would be for $2,000 or less-possibly two $1,000 grants which would be for law enforcement. He was seeking pre-approval due to time restraints. Commissioners granted the request.

Commissioners approved a Frontier equipment purchase of $587.84 for a headset and other equipment for the clerk’s office. County Clerk Teresa Hamilton, requested an additional headset which would be used in the front office. She noted the headsets make it easier when you need to put someone on hold. She was told to get the cost of the headset and bring it to the next meeting. It was mentioned this should finish up everything with Frontier and the new phone system.

Commissioner Eric Vincent revisited the request from Community Resources, Inc. for funding. He said he had spoken to the commissioners from Wetzel County and they have given, but nowhere near what they requested from Tyler. He moved to extend Community Resources $500. After a brief discussion about the work they do and where their funding comes from, the motion was unanimously approved by the commission.

Vincent said he also received a notice from Wetzel County Commissioner Don Mason which showed there had been an agreement in 2008 between Wetzel and Tyler counties whereby Tyler County would pay $3,000 per year for EMS services to Paden City. He said an initial payment had been made, but nothing has been made since. “It appears we are $12,000 behind,” noted Vincent. None of the commissioners, other than Smith, were in office at the time and the question was why did they wait until now to bill them. Apparently this came about when Marble King requested to be covered by Tyler County EMS for insurance purposes, which was approved by the commission. Commissioner Vincent agreed to talk to Mason and get clarification on the matter.

Commission President Stender reported being in meetings where the main discussion has been the change of the political guard in West Virginia since the elections. He said change is coming and one of the things being discussed is the requirement of paying prevailing wages. He said the way it stands now, they have to pay based on New York rates. He said the discussion centered on paying union scale wages instead, which he believes will save the county a significant amount when bidding projects. Stender also said he received a check for 911 services from Senator Mitchell in the amount of $91,185.95.

Stender said he has a couple meetings coming up in December where they will be discussing ways to bring in more revenue to the counties. He said gas money from the well head to the point of sale is not presently being taxed, also mentioned was taxing some of the equipment which is not being taxed. He said the counties and state are losing money from the loss of coal, which the oil and gas was supposed to replace and it isn’t happening. Another point of interest was the revenue from the Rover pipeline which will be coming within the next couple years.

Patty Boggs from the sheriff’s office reported to the commission she had received a check from oil and gas severance in the amount of $328,700.98 which would go to the county.

Also during the meeting the commissioners approved the assessor’s exonerations and the county clerk’s fiduciary report.

Minutes from the Nov. 12 meeting were approved and the next regular meeting will be held on Dec. 9.