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Tyler County Commisison Accepts Levies

By Staff | Jan 17, 2018

Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee discussed several upcoming levy elections with the county commission at its Jan. 13 regular meeting.

Furbee explained the EMS levy would be a four-year levy and would raise approximately $214,455 a year for a total of approximately $857.820. The levy is broken down to an approximate split between Middlebourne and Sistersville EMS organizations. A motion passed, allowing a special election for the EMS levy and approving the special election ballot.

The Fire Department Levy election and ballot had been previously approved. Furbee explained that a change had been made to show the approximate annual split of the money on the front of the ballot. Furthermore, an amendment states that approximately $37,000 would be given to each Alma, Middlebourne, Shirley, and Sistersville fire departments. An amount of $17,586 would be distributed to Paden City’s fire department. Approximately $280,086 will be raised yearly for a for a four-year total of approximately $832,344. Furbee stated the levy’s numbers are not new, but the ballot will now better explain where the funds will be used. The commission accepted the new amended ballot.

Furbee then addressed a request to fund educational programs for paramedic candidates. Furbee said he considered this to be a necessity for the county.

Furbee had constructed a contract which states that each class would cost approximately $7,951 not including class materials. The contract clarifies that the commission would pay the enrollment fee as long as the candidate remains continuously enrolled in the class and maintains passing grades.

The candidates must also present an invoice for all materials that the commission pays for, as required by law.

The commission agrees to cover the cost of text books, upon receiving an invoice.

The candidates must also agree to work in the county for at least a five-year period unless a valid reason would present itself. If the candidates fail to meet any of the requirements, they will be responsible for any and all payments.

Applicants must be from Tyler County, and they must be accepted by a paramedic squad before applying to the commission, and the applicant must be committed to completing the course.

The commission then agreed to accept the applications of Vicki Forester and Shawna Miller for the EMS classes.

In another matter, Dave Cutright, of Sistersville EMS, stated that Sistersville EMS has recently purchased a new ambulance, with the use of the levy funds. Sistersville EMS would like to trade in its old ambulance for a newer ambulance. Cutright said he has found a 2012 ambulance for $51,000, but that is with the trade-in of the old ambulance.

The county commission holds the title to the old ambulance and would also take over the new title.

Katy Wells, with Middlebourne EMS, spoke with the commission regarding reimbursement for certain calls.

Wells explained there have been several truck wrecks that take time from the ambulance department as EMS workers are required to be on scene until all incidents are cleaned up, in case of an emergency. It was suggested to start charging a fee for being on scene to make up for lost time. In previous cases, EMS would not charge unless someone was taken by ambulance, but now it is taking a toll on the county. It was noted that the EMS department could charge just for arriving on scene, which is a common practice in other counties as well.

It was decided that there needs to be written clarification, that describes what services are being paid for, if this plan were to move forward.

Also, Sheriff Weigle presented a quote to the commission for a new sheriff’s vehicle. The quote was for a 2018 vehicle in the amount of $33,497. Weigle also requested a new computer software program which will be beneficial to 911 and other services in Tyler County.

The cost of the software is approximately $30,000. Information will be updated on a more modern system for easier access throughout the county.

Also, 911 Director Josh Fulks said he has found a tower that is owned by Mon Power, but if he is granted permission to use it, it will provide coverage over the entire county. Fulks also requested funds to purchase a cab for the 911 tractor. The cab will cost approximately $1,500.

Tom Cooper of the Tyler County OEM informed the commission that he has been awarded $87,000 in grant money to be used for the purchase of LED signs. The signs will be placed on at least four different locations throughout the county. The grant for a generator to be placed at the sheriff’s office is still pending. The Rover Pipeline donations will be spent towards a heart monitor for Sistersville and a new cot for Middlebourne. Each agency was awarded $1,666.

Commissioner David Kelly addressed county EMS workers and other first responders by stating, “I want to take this time to thank the ladies that are going to school and the firemen for what you do.”

In another matter, Commissioner John Stender stated that two buildings will need to be demolished at the 4-H campgrounds, according to the state fire marshal. He also wants the commission to purchase property from Joe McLaughlin in the amount of $79,000 as part of the annexing of the town of Middlebourne. A sales contract will need to be determined before moving forward.

James Swiger of WYK updated the commission in regards to courthouse upgrades. Swiger said there are several projects that are still yet to come to the courthouse, including an elevator.

He will also be taking bids to complete the masonry work to the courthouse on March 1. Swiger said he is also going to meet with the state fire marshal in regards to the 4-H grounds and the buildings that will be constructed in place of the ones being demolished.

Also County Assessor Neil Archer requested that Sarah Smith be promoted to the Chief Deputy position. The commission gave its consent on the promotion.

The next scheduled Tyler County Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Tyler County Courthouse.