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Broadband Expansion Discussed

By Staff | Oct 11, 2017

The Tyler County Commissioners met last Wednesday where they discussed broadband expansion with Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council representative Luke Peters. Peters explained that there are grants in place to expand broadband throughout the county. Broadband expansion is becoming to be viewed at as a utility. It has become a service that people are now reliant upon. Broadband is under-served throughout the county and the way it is setup, if one person in a census gets sufficient service then the whole census gets marked as sufficient.

Eric Peters stated that the Development Authority is taking on the broadband issue but they feel that we are topographically challenged. However, they also feel that this is a major step with helping businesses that depend on reliable internet. “Broadband is the new water and sewer” claimed Peters. “When individuals or smaller businesses want to locate, they need broadband in order to generate their business.” The MOVRC and Development Authority will work together to develop a plan and map locations that locate access points that are close to optimum connections. Luke Peters stated that he will bring in the results of his research on the October 25th meeting.

Katy Wells inquired about training for EMT’s and to make sure the EMS levy would be approved. It was suggested that Wells get a list of names of those interested in the EMT classes. She also mentioned that after an EMT gets properly trained, they can begin offering EMT training courses locally. It was mentioned that Ritchie County offers a contract where commissioners pay for the training and offer a payback option upon completion. It the person would fail to pass the class or forfeit the class, they would be responsible in full of the costs. Commissioner Stender stated that he would like to see one of these contracts to look over.

The state auditor told EMS workers that they needed an itemized list of what the levy money would be spent on before the levy could pass.

The auditor also mentioned that the applicants could write in a clause stating that if all the line items were depleted, then they could go to their county commissioners to request money to be transferred from another source.

Sheriff Weigle presented a bid for petition work to be done in the new Sheriff’s office. The commissioners passed a motion accepting the bid to allow Steve Walker to work on the petitions. Weigle also brought in an insurance policy from Frontier internet which had lapsed. The contract covers all of the phones in the county. Also, there was a quote to get new phone lines in the new Sheriff’s Office. Weigle mentioned that they are working on grants to get funding for security in the new Sheriff’s office.

Josh Fulks of Tyler County 911 announced that they have hired Jason Wayne as the new 911 dispatcher. Fulks later mentioned that there have been three cameras upgraded. The cameras will have 30x200m zoom capabilities and are capable of moving.

The Tyler County OEM requested that some grants be signed by the commissioners. There was the 2106 EMPG grant in the amount of 36,992 dollars, a grant from homeland security in the amount of 25,000 dollars to be used towards an air compressor station, and another homeland security grant in the amount of 4,000 to be used towards TK-5820 k2 UHF (SIRN) Radios. These radios are for Paden City to be able to communicate with Tyler County Emergency Services.

Diana Mace, VOCA Coordinator, explained that there were some supplementary conditions to the VOCA Grant. It was also stated that there were three policies that needed to be in place. They are policies Arrest/Conviction, Human Trafficking, and Internet Usage. These policies are in place to prevent discrimination of arrest records, prevent human trafficking and prevention of unlawful use of internet especially downloading illegal materials. Mace also proclaimed that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She was given permission by commissioners to hang a wreath on the courthouse doors in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness.

It was announced that there will be a special election on December 16th on the Tyler County BOE Levy.

Commissioner Kelly stated that a couple of students had been researching the county about tourism and they submitted their letters to the Assessors office and suggested that everyone read them over. “These students wanted to educate themselves as well as others and I just wanted to bring that to everyone’s attention” stated Kelly. He then went into the appointment of two names to the Tyler County Development Authority, one for Sistersville and one for Friendly. Kelly explained that the Development Authority is a necessity to keep everybody in line with code. The names submitted by Sistersville were Greg Gage, Alex King, and Brandon Chadock. The names submitted from Friendly were Scott Northcraft, Bill Hostutler, and Steve Thomas. After careful deliberating the commissioners chose Brandon Chadock and Scott Northcraft to represent the county on the Development Authority.

Commissioner Stender reported that the 4-H grounds are moving along and they are in the process of putting heating and air in the top and bottom of the Assembly Hall. They also need to move the furnace from the Assembly Hall to the girls dorm. Stender explained that the plan is to get the grounds to where they can be utilized year round. Also, there are plans to completely replace the boys dorms, in accordance with the Fire Marshal, by camp of next year.

Commissioner Vincent reported that the Courthouse Christmas Dinner will be held on December 13, 2017 directly after the commission meeting. Also, the October 11th Commission Meeting has been canceled. Commissioner Vincent took time to proclaim October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and explained the importance of Breast Cancer awareness and how it affects everyone.

County Clerk Neil Archer announced that Precinct 3 will not go back to the Stealey Green Center for polling. They will be setup at the Board of Education Office.

The next scheduled commission meeting is set for October 25, 2017 located at the Tyler County Courthouse.