Tyler County Sheriff Bob Kendle approached the county commissioners at their meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, about the condition of the “poor farm.”
Kendle stated that the “poor farm” is in every bad shape and is a hazard. He went on to say that due to the condition, the structure is danger. Often times when an event is held at the fair grounds, children are often times found inside the structure.
Locks, which have been placed on the building, are broken off and windows have been broken as well. Kendle considers the place a safety and hazard. The commissioners questioned whether or not this structure could be renovated or secured. Commissioner Charles Smith said the last quote was over one million dollars and that was just to replace the roof.
The commissioners were in agreement that renovation costs were just to high with the condition of the building. “Suppose you could renovate it, what would you do with it,” asked Smith. No action was taken but it was agreed something would need to be done before someone gets hurt. Discussion on installing a chain link fence was also held.
This structure, called the ‘Poor Farm’, includes the house and surrounding property. According to a release from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the home “Also known as the ‘Poor Farm’ or the ‘Poor House,’ was built in 1915. The home and associated pauper’s cemetery are a testament to the forgotten disadvantaged and poor who struggled to help build this county and state.”
The property sits in the middle of the Tyler County Fair Grounds and was once a self-sufficient farm for indigent people and operated as such until 1951. The 2009 Endangered Properties List, released annually by the Alliance, includes eight properties throughout the state considered at risk of being lost to decay and demolition.
In other news, the four inch box gutter and downspout on the back of the Magistrate building need to be replaced.
Assessor Jack Hayes said it is in bad shape and has caused water to enter inside and records have been lost and the ceiling tiles have been put back up twice. It was also mentioned that the new duct work for the heating and air conditioning has never been insulated and will eventually cause a mold problem. Commissioners agreed to get an estimate of the costs to repair the problems.
The demolition of the Maupin property behind the courthouse was also discussed. The commissioners agreed they want it taken done. It was mentioned to get asbestos removal bids and pre-bids from contractors so they can see what work needs done.
Luke Peters representing the Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council (MOVRC) presented the commissioners with a courthouse facilities grant resolution, which needed to be signed. Commission President Eric Vincent signed the resolution with unanimous approval of the commission.
Josh Fulks from the 911 center was given permission to proceed with upgrading the 911 radio system. Fulks said 911 has $116,000 in checking and $132,000 in a certificate of deposit.
Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper ask the commissioner for permission to sell the old OEM van to Doddridge County for $7,000. He was granted approval pending the county attorney’s decision on whether it should be bid out.
Courthouse employees Patty Weekley and Sarah Smith approached the commission asking for school support. They said they wanted to decorate the exterior of the courthouse in support of the county’s high school. Commissioners gave approval for them to spend up to $300.
County fire departments presented the commissioners with their financial records to study so a decision on giving financial support can be made.
Also approved was the appointment of Kelly Jackson to the Board lay member position for the second Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corporation.