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Development Authority Nominations Discussed

By Staff | Sep 27, 2017

The Tyler County Commissioners met recently where there was some controversy over the Tyler County Development Authority Board appointments for Sistersville and Friendly. The commissioners had jumped the gun at the last meeting by selecting Steve Thomas to the Development Board although his nomination had not been official since the Friendly city council members had not voted on the appointment. However, Alex King and Steve Thomas had been busy getting nominations organized in time for the commissioners to make a decision at this meeting. King asked what else needed to be done before they make a decision. The commissioners explained that they had not looked over the minutes from Sistersville council and they were going to put the decision on hold until next meeting. King told the commissioners that they had all of the information needed and he couldn’t understand why the decision was being put on hold. Commissioner Kelly made the comment, “We rushed into this last meeting and we want to make sure that it is done properly”. Kelly continued,” two more weeks isn’t going to hurt”. Steve Thomas explained that his nomination had been issued by the mayor and that council was not aware.

After Friendly’s recent council meeting they had gone through proper procedure to make sure the nominations were correct. Thomas commented, ” I have the letter right here from the prosecutor and I appreciate his promptness on a decision”. Commissioner Kelly continued, “We are going to hold off on a decision, I think it is the right thing for everybody, we want to make sure that we do it properly…we don’t want to have to do this again”. The board was formerly made up of mayors. Thomas wanted it to be clear that he had taken initiative to make sure things were compliant in a timely manner. King added that he had the topic placed on the agenda knowing that Friendly and Sistersville’s nominations had been done correctly and in a timely manner so that a decision could be made promptly.

King stated, “I feel like I’m getting the run around and as far as propriety and attention to detail, I just wish the same amount of concern had been shown by the commissioners and the prosecutors office when we had a commissioner not living here for the better part of a year” Commissioner Kelly responded with, “That should not even be an issue and I’m sorry you feel that way”.He continued, “You may not agree with the way things were done in the past but let’s not live in the past, let’s move forward”.

Fred McDonald, representative of the Lee Day Center, explained some of the uses of the center as well as the drug court program. It was mentioned that there are currently two people in Tyler County currently in the program. McDonald stated that, “Tyler County has historically low” in participants using the Lee Day Center. Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee stated that there are three people currently going to the lee Day Center for drug testing but he added that he feels many people would rather face their time than seek treatment. A probation officer stated that there is a current push to get more eligible criminals to enroll in drug court. The ones that go through drug court and actually finish the program have a 70 percent success rate. A motion passed to continue to use the Lee Day Center for future cases.

Sheriff Weigle asked commissioners if he could apply for grants to help increase courthouse security. He feels that we are behind on the times and with a recent shooting of a judge at a courthouse, Weigle feels that we need to move forward with security. It was mentioned that there was a metal detector in the building that had never been setup. Weigle felt that it was a waste of time to be packaged up and he will look into locating the detector.

Josh Fulks, 911 director, mentioned that a tracker has come in and they will be attach a blade to it so that they can spread some gravel around the new sheriff’s building.

Tim Stanley of the Middlebourne EMS introduced himself to the commissioners and requested a response vehicle for the EMS. Stanley feels that the current vehicle is unsafe to use and he explained that the seat moves around while being driven. Stanley was told that it would probably be next spring before a vehicle could be available. The commissioners advised Stanley that a list of state bid vehicles comes out regularly and that he may be ahead to check that list. Stanley also mentioned that the ambulances need upgraded, which he understands could take some time.

Stanley also inquired about possible funding towards training programs. He stated that you can get an EMT card at the age of 16. Commissioner Stender recommended talking with the Board of Education to possibly setup an after school program. There is currently a program available that the commissioners had setup where they would pay for training for an EMS program as long as the applicant passes the courses.

Mary Rader spoke to commissioners about the current Air Evac situation. She mentioned that coverage has expanded and contract renewals were up. The entire county is covered by Air Evac, with the exception of elected officials, for the price of $64,566 per year and Air Evac can transport patients to any major medical center in the country. A motion passed to accept the Air Evac contract.

Bids were opened for the purchase of a Polaris Ranger. Larry Britton won the bid with an offer of 2,225 dollars.

Commissioner Stender reported that they are still working on grants for the 4-H campgrounds. There is a 10,000 dollar grant being applied for to go towards installing all the doors, windows, and new siding. D&J construction, located in Wick, will be doing the work on the campgrounds. There are also some heating and air projects that will have to be bid out but the commissioners would like to discuss the matter with the prosecuting attorney before moving forward.

Paula Keplinger spoke with commissioners in regards to the Little Kanawha Resource Conservation and Development. Keplinger explained that there is a project sharing option available for non-profits, schools, churches, senior and child care centers, and 501(c) organizations.

The program partners with with other organizations to provide products to assist other 501(c) non-profits as they work to serve the under-served in the area. There are also mini grant programs, recreational trail grants, and revolving loan fund programs available. For more information you may contact 304-679-3639 or look for Project Sharing on Facebook.

Gus Suwaid, district 6 engineer of the WV DOH, gave a presentation about the upcoming road bond election and the potential benefits that follow. Suwaid mentioned that the less that they spand on parkways, the better off we are in the area. The raised gas tax of 3.2 percent has already been implemented so there will be no other increases if the bond should pass. Some of the roads included in the project are Route 340, Route 2, Route 35 I-70, I-79, I-77, and I-64. Suwaid also mentioned that there are smaller road to be addressed such as Wick Road. Suwaid mentioned that 1/3 of our roads are classified as poor or dismal. Suwaid also added that when you widen roads, accident rates decrease. For more information you may visit www.transportation.wv.gov.

A motion passed accepting the excise tax which is $1.65 per 500 dollars of value.

The next commission meeting will be held on October 4th located at the Tyler County Courthouse at 9:00 am.