Commission Tackles Regional Jail Procedures
At a recent meeting of the Tyler County Commission, Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee spoke with commissioners about the possibility of speaking with the DOCR (Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation) to see if it would be beneficial to move the county’s jail population to the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.
“One of the problems is people who are in jail and can’t make bail, stay in jail” stated Furbee. “The vast majority of criminal defenders have a point of return, and in this circuit, the majority of those people are in Moundsville or further north,” explained Furbee. He went on to explain that with several inmates housed in Doddridge County while their public defenders are stationed in Moundsville or Wheeling area, the separation of distance creates a situation where inmates do not see their lawyers as regularly as they should. Furbee feels this lack of communication between inmate and defender is very apparent in the courtroom, which causes quite a delay in the legal process. Furbee added that each day someone is in jail, it costs the county $48.25 per person.
Sheriff Weigle stated that taking inmates to Moundsville would put a strain on the sheriff’s office because of the distance. Officers would have to travel through two counties which Weigle feels will be at least a three-hour process, especially depending on New Martinsville traffic.
Weigle also feels it would be easier to continue to travel to Doddridge because it is closer to Tyler County, which would allow officers to better respond in the case of an emergency. St. Marys Correctional Facility has begun to take inmates, but there is a question as to how long this facility will continue its service, because it is not equipped to handle a large influx of inmates, unlike a regional jail. Sheriff Weigle added if St. Marys updated its facilities to hold inmates, that would be the ideal location. Commissioner John Stender suggested all involved parties meet to discuss the best options. The topic will be continued at a later meeting for further discussion.
In other news, WV Corp. representative Mike Rezac informed the commissioners of the services his company provides. Rezac explained he primarily deals with risk assessment, however WV Corp. as a company even offers OSHA training as well as law enforcement training, driver training, human resources training and social media training.
County Clerk Neil Archer presented a list of names to the commissioners to be considered as 2018 General Election Officials. Archer also requested the purchase of backup software for the clerk’s office and tax office. Archer stated there has been no backup in place since he has started as county clerk. The commission passed a motion to purchase the backup software for the amount of $1,709.66 which includes the first year of maintenance.
Sheriff Weigle announced the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office hired Tim Shreve as the newest officer for Tyler County, as well as Gavan Renner as a Tyler County Bailiff Processor.
OEM Director Tom Cooper stated the Code Red notification system is up and running. If any residents received a call from Code Red that means they are in the system. Cooper also requested permission to purchase a boat for the Tyler County Search and Rescue Team. Cooper presented a bid for an 18 foot 2016 model, Carolina Skiff in the amount of $24,000. Cooper added there is only one distributor in the northern part of the country, so he was wanting to purchase the boat before it was sold to someone else. He added the OEM has the funding for the boat, but it needs the commission’s permission before moving forward. The commissioners agreed to the purchase of the boat once they have obtained a detailed inventory list.
Commissioner David Kelly reported on the success of the first-ever Tyler County Youth Camp and suggested that the county continue with the camp next year. Therefore, the commission passed a motion to host Tyler County Youth Camp again on July 16-18 2019.
Commission Vice-President John Stender reported the 4-H campgrounds will need the new log siding stained and treated. The project will be completed by G.H. Services out of Pennsboro in the amount of $4,000 which includes caulking, stain, and labor. The project is expected to last approximately one week. A motion passed accepting the bid.
The commission opened bids for the new boys dorm to be constructed at the Tyler County 4-H grounds. After reviewing the bid for the project, the commission was able to reduce the bid an additional $73,000 in hopes of attracting more potential clients. When the project first began, the commission received bids upwards of $800,000 or $225 per square foot. Now the cost is around $128 per foot squared, cutting the price nearly in half. Also, the contractor is willing to work through the winter which will allow for the dormitory to be built by the time 4-H camp is scheduled for 2019. Therefore, after reviewing the bids, the commission passed a motion to accept a bid in the amount of $464,000.
Commission President Eric Vincent reported he would like the city workers to meet to determine a proper date to hold ALICE training for each facility. Of course, each training would have to be adapted to fit the specific facility, so there will be multiple trainings.
The Paden City Development Authority had previously met with the commission and requested funding for the HR building in Paden City. The commission announced it is willing to assist with the cost of the roof repairs of the HR building but will not give a specific dollar amount yet. The PCDA also provided two rental options to the commission – $400 a month with a guaranteed location for two years, or $1,000 a month with a guaranteed location for five years. After much discussion, the commission passed a motion to accept the agreement of $1,000 a month for five years.
The commission discussed replacing a window in the former sheriff’s office, which is now being used by Tyler 911. Representatives from WYK will conduct a walk-through the facility to determine what action needs to be taken.
The next Tyler County Commission meeting will be held on Sept. 12 beginning at 9 a.m. and located at the Tyler County Courthouse in Middlebourne.