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County Surveyor’s Duties Discussed

By Staff | Aug 2, 2017

Tyler County Commissioners met last Wednesday where County Surveyor Roy Haught conversed with the commissioners about some of his duties as the county surveyor. Haught feels that he needs to be put into a position to where he can better help the residents of Tyler County as a public servant when it comes to the mathematics of property deeds. Haught stated that some of the deeds of the county have not been updated since the late 1800’sand early 1900’s.

Many properties do not close and even more deeds do not have a plat to go along with it. A plat is a map, drawn to scale, showing the divisions of a piece of land. Also, these older deeds were measured out using very archaic methods of measuring which are causing modern problems. It is giving residents a false sense of ownership when they go off these old deeds that are often incorrect. In fact, many times the deed is so far off that a person may end up several acres short of what they thought they actually owned. There are instances of residents building structures on their neighbors property without even knowing about it because the deeds are so poorly constructed. Also, several properties do not connect which makes it difficult to create a map and boundaries.

West Virginia is one of the few states that do not have actual duties for the county surveyor. Haught also mentioned that people will use county tax maps as a reference to their property lines which can often be way off as well.

In other states, the county surveyor would oversee deeds and surveys so that if a property were surveyed, the information would go to the county surveyor who would then deem the survey acceptable or not. In other words, any time a deed would be transferred, it would first have to go through the county surveyor who would then update records accordingly. West Virginia allows for the deeds created over 100 years ago to be transferred without questioning the property boundaries or updated information.

It is evident that there are issues with these old deeds but the question is how do we fix them? Haught stated that the county surveyor could check all surveys and parcel splits. He mentioned that there are codes in place that when a parcel is divided into subdivisions, then a subdivision plat must be recorded along with it. However, that is not being done in Tyler County.

Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee added, “I am sympathetic to all of the point that he (Haught) makes. The problem is that there are no duties for that office nor is there any compensation for that office.” Furbee felt that the surveyors need to lobby the legislature to reenact the form. It was suggested to Haught that he present his ideas to many of the state elected officials. The commissioners agreed to write a letter of support for Haught to present his theories at the next Association of Counties meeting.

Josh Fulks of the Tyler 911 services requested permission to advertise for a new hire for dispatch. Fulks also stated that he is waiting to hear back from A1 in regards to the stairs.

Sheriff Weigle reported that there was a typo with the new bailiff/processors name and the correct name is James Michael Grimm. Weigle also inquired about the the new phones and computers being up and running before getting moved into the new Sheriff’s office. He mentioned to the commissioners that the Sheriff’s Department will be extra busy this week with all of the fair activities happening. There will be more late night patrolling.

Tom Cooper with the Office of Emergency Management presented a list of LEPC committee membership names to be approved by the commissioners. He also reported that Eureka Midstream has purchased a trailer for the OEM and so they would have more funds for supplies for the spill kit trailer.

Cooper stated that he is not allowed to use government money to offer food and beverages to the LEPC volunteers and we would like to see that regulation changed. He feels that when these volunteers devote their time they should at least be allowed to have a bottle of water. Cooper stated, “I’m not permitted to buy food or solicit for food yet it’s my responsibility to feed these people.” He would like to see these volunteers reimbursed in some way for their efforts.

Commissioner Vincent wondered, “My only question would be, does the fact that we provide insurance for them create an employee situation?”

Cooper has discussed the topic with Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee who would have to address the Attorney General about the matter. Furbee also mentioned that there are several technicalities that go along with ethics act which can cause some road blocks.

Assessor Jack Hayes requested that there be a change in the fees for paper copies provided by the courthouse. There will be a 1 dollar fee, per page, for black and white copies and 2 dollars, per page, for color copies to cover the costs of ink and paper.

Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee announced to commissioners that he has been in contact with Mr. Turack’s law firm in regards to the opioid litigation. Mr. Turack would like to meet with the commissioners in executive session to discuss the case against pharmaceutical drug wholesalers who have over-prescribed the state.

Commissioner John Stender announced that the Fire Marshal had given his report on the 4-H campgrounds and there is a 15 day response time limit. Stender stated, “They lost one building, and we’re gonna have to do a major upgrade to the Assembly Hall.” They had anticipated replacing up to nine doors but found out that it would not be that many. There is a good deal of work to be done however, Commissioner Stender feels it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He also requested that they increase the pay for the guys working on the camp.

Commissioner Stender announced that they have hired a full time secretary for the extension office. Patricia Silliman will begin her new job immediately and will be on a three month probation period.

Commissioner David Kelly stated that he has been approached by a resident who requested a second handicap parking spot along the side of the courthouse. The commissioners agreed that there should be more handicap spaces available and so they will look into correcting the problem.

Commissioner Erik Vincent reported that there was a utility vehicle request for the courthouse with an attachable snow blade. There were a couple of estimates brought into the commissioners but it was stated that the vehicle would have to be bid out. The topic will be addressed later after the bidding process.

It was mentioned that the Honorable Judge Hummel has requested office space for a probation officer and so the county officials will look for a space that will adequately meet the needs of the officer.

Camel technologies will be expending their remaining funds by upgrading the E-911 cameras. The grant needs to be closed out and the cameras need upgraded.

A motion passed to accept the CSSI Hardware Maintenance contract for 2018 year in the amount of 6,489 dollars.

A motion also passed to appoint Roger Yost to the Tyler County Development Authority.

The next scheduled Tyler County Commission meeting is scheduled for August 9 at 9:00 a.m. located at the Tyler County Courthouse.