Resource Officers Requested For Schools
At a recent Tyler County Commission meeting, Sheriff Brian Weigle spoke with the commission in regards to school safety and a request to hire a Prevention Resource Officer for Boreman Elementary School and Sistersville Elementary School. Sheriff Weigle noted these schools are farthest from the sheriff’s office, and he wants to be proactive about safety. Weigle informed the commission about previous incidents when officers were requested. He explained the job of a PRO officer is to be at the school at all times for school safety.
Commissioner Eric Vincent informed Weigle that federal funding has increased for school safety. He also noted, “We, as a commission, feel the safety of school is extremely important, even to the point that we are willing to assist, if not fully fund, those positions.”
Commissioner David Kelly noted, “I personally feel this is a position needed in every school. It is better to be proactive, than it is to be reactive to something that has happened.”
Sheriff Weigle noted parents could feel more at ease, knowing the schools are better protected.
Vincent added, “In no way are we trying to push our agenda on the board of education, but we feel this is an important topic and the commission is committed to assisting.”
It was noted the matter will take time before any officers are put into place, and there would have to be a hiring and training process to ensure the right person fills the position.
Weigle also requested the purchase of 30 desk chairs for the conference room, interrogation room and offices. A motion passed to purchase 30 desk chairs at state bid for $3,344.30. In another matter, the commission was reminded about the consolidation of voting precincts. Precinct 7 (Shirley Fire Hall) and Precinct 1 (Alma Grange) will be combined. Also, Precinct 12 (Alvy Community Building) and Precinct 10 (Boreman Elementary School) will be combined. Voters affected by the change will get proper notification through the mail.Luke Peters with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council presented consultant recommendations for the upcoming broadband expansion. Peters felt there were three concrete candidates within the recommended price range. Each company will give a 45 minute demonstration to the MOVRC about what the company can offer. The companies will provide answers about the potential challenges faced, such as limited fiber and how the company approaches providers. There is a working group consisting of Charles Delauder, Eric Peters, Kristen Cunningham, David Kelly, Rosanne Eastham, and David Smith who will be sitting in on the interviews, along with Jim McMullen. Peters also invited the commissioners to attend the interviews as well.Peters informed the commission that there were five homes on the Route 18 South Water Project that received their tap fees waived. There were also administration payments in the amount of $4,235.50 to be paid. A motion passed to pay the drawdown fees. The bid opening for the project will be Aug. 21 with hopes of breaking ground in October or November.
Peters presented information about a grant which offers funding for courthouse security and judge safety. The application deadline is Oct. 5. There has already been a grant applied for courthouse cameras, but this is mainly focused towards judge safety. It was suggested that the judges write a letter of support when sending in the application.Peters added that Phase II of the South 18 Water Project is estimated to cover 165 customers, but the project is still several years before breaking ground. This will also allow time to get the funding in line for the project. It is a rough estimate that the project could begin in 2022. 911 Director Josh Fulks wanted to provide an update on the new windows for the 911 Center, and the commission passed a motion to move forward with the bid process for the windows. Fulks also requested permission to do some deconstruction in the new 911 location while the windows are being ordered. There is a wall and two closets Fulks would like to tear down. The commission advised Fulks to contact county maintenance to help with the deconstruction. Commissioner Vincent added he had attended a 911 meeting where he learned about haloing power so that if there was a power outage, the 911 Center would not be affected.Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper informed the commission that the OEM went with the lowest bid for the LED Sign Project. A motion passed to use Aladdin Sign, Inc. to complete the project in the amount of $83,750.85. These signs were made available through grant funding and will be located at Tyler Consolidated High School, Proviron, Tyler/Wetzel Health Department, and at Sistersville Hospital. Cooper added there had to be a pre-bid meeting in regards to the sheriff’s office generator because of the use of mitigation money. This allows bidders to view the sheriff’s office to get a better idea of what is needed.Commissioner Kelly reported there needed to be a date set for the auction of items on the McLaughlin property that the county purchased for annexing the courthouse. There will be a public auction on the courthouse steps on Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. with an open house house available on Sept. 6. There will be a Jeep, previously used by the EMS, that will also be auctioned. An advertisement with terms of sale for auctioning off the mobile home will be published in the newspaper. Also, a separate ad will have to be published for the Jeep.Commissioner John Stender reported that he has contacted H.G.H. Services to clean up the McLaughlin property, which will include cleaning the ravine, three lots, and an alley. Trees, brush and stumps will all be removed, and the property will be cleaned up for the amount of $14,000.Commissioner Vincent reported that he sent an e-mail to the Department Supervisor of the Department of Transportation about the traffic issues caused by oil and gas traffic on several roads of the county. He stated he expressed concerns over the safety of the citizens, but he has not received a response yet. In another matter, Rosanne Eastham encouraged every citizen, who is having issues with unreliable phone service, to file a formal complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission. She stated she contacted Governor Jim Justice’s office and was advised to not just call-in a report, but to file an actual complaint. Eastham advised that there are forms available via the WV PSC website and at the Tyler County Public Library for submission.
The next Tyler County Commission meeting will be held on Aug. 8 beginning at 9 a.m. and located at the courthouse in Middlebourne.