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Restoration Committee Seeks Commission Help

By Staff | Dec 20, 2017

Peggy George, of the Tyler County Restoration Committee, recently sought help and answers from the commission regarding the future of the county home.

George says she and the commission worked diligently the past year to raise funds, raising an additional $23,492.25 to go toward the restoration of the county home. However, the restoration committee is now at a standstill as it is requesting help from the commission, and the fair association, in becoming a 501(c)3. A nonprofit status would help the commission in securing grants.

“Tonya Wade and Elaine Burger are fantastic at letting us know when (grants) are out there, but they keep passing us by because we can’t write them. We need your help and the fair association’s help in becoming a 501(c) 3 to go on,” said George.

Because many community members inquired with George about why the care of the county home was not in the county’s budget, George said she reviewed a copy of the 2017 budget to find $1.5 million in a fund for other properties and buildings owned by Tyler County. George questioned what portion of that was allocated for the county home.

“It didn’t happen yesterday. It didn’t happen in your term of office. It didn’t happen in the fair association’s term of office. This has been going on for years. We can not go back and rewrite history, but we can move forward and write the future. It takes all three (entities) working together,” said George.

She continued, “All our organization wants to do is help. We are not asking you for money, and we are not asking the fair for money, but we can do so much more if we can write the grants and double this money.”

The money raised in 2017 is more than half of the cost of windows and doors for the county home. George pointed out that if the committee was to be awarded a grant, the doors and windows could be purchased.

“We would like to move forward in 2018. We want to go back to the people and tell them that everyone is on board and working together. Can that be answered today or is that something to think about?” inquired George.

Commissioner Eric Vincent reminded George that the county’s plans for the building do not match up with the committee’s plans and that he said he would look at other alternatives.

“I believe the commission has been more than fair. We have allowed access to that property. We have a lot of agenda stuff we have to accomplish for 2018, and we will get that resolved for the coming year,” said Vincent.

Vincent went on to say that the county has no future plans for the building. The county is concerned that there isn’t a use for the home after restoration, and it will go back into deterioration.

“I think we seek ownership of some kind of private partnership that says this isn’t our baby anymore,” said Vincent.

Regardless of what the commission decides, George and the committee raised almost $25,000, and George said she is committed to see that the money is used toward the home.

In another matter, Katy Wells from the Middlebourne EMS, along with Shawna Miller and Vicky Forrester, attended the meeting to receive an update on funding that was requested for paramedic education at the Nov. 6 commission meeting. Miller and Forrester were accepted into the paramedic program at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont. The program takes a year to complete and approximately costs $209 per semester hour, plus $975 in fees. Miller will receive around $3,400 in Pell grants along with a $2,900 subsidized student loan. Forrester wasn’t eligible for financial aid at this time. Tuition is due Jan. 16.

County Prosecutor Luke Furbee is currently working on a contract for the women to sign. The commission will meet with Miller and Forrester separately to go over their individual costs of the program before the Jan. 16 tuition due date.

OEM Director Tom Cooper announced that Rover Pipeline donated $10,000 to support the county’s first responders. Cooper informed the commission that a meeting will need to be scheduled with the first response units to discuss how the money can be used to benefit the units as a whole.

The commission granted Cooper permission to release an article in the newspaper regarding the purchase of backup generators for the sheriff’s department using mitigation funds, and to place a bid for LED signs.

The commission granted permission to Jimmy Wade, who attended on behalf of the Tyler County fire departments, to purchase campaign signs and schedule public hearings Jan. 1 for the upcoming levy. In addition, Wade submitted equipment requests, along with the individual cost for each department, for the commission to review.

The courthouse will close at noon Dec. 22 and will be closed Dec. 25 and Dec. 26.

The commission canceled the Dec. 27 meeting and will meet again Jan. 10