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Commission Discusses Red Cross Updates

By Staff | Apr 3, 2019

The Tyler County Commission met March 26 at 9 a.m. for a regular meeting. The first order of business covered was acquiring approval of the previous meeting’s minutes. Approval was granted for this with a motion made by Commissioner John Stender and seconded by Commissioner Mike Smith. The motion was carried.

Following this, Tyler County Assessor Lisa Jackson gave three exonerations. All exonerations were approved with a motion made by Stender that was seconded by Smith. The motion was carried. A fiduciary report was then given by County Clerk Neil Archer II. Smith made a motion to approve of the report; Stender seconded it, and the motion was carried.

In other business, Sharon Kesselring – executive director of the American Red Cross of Northwestern, W.Va. – presented the commission with some information on what the organization has accomplished in 2018.

She reported 2018 was a very busy year for Red Cross volunteers as there were an abundance of wildfires, hurricanes, house fires, and other disasters. As such, she reported over 8.2 million meals and snacks were served and nearly 400,000 smoke alarms were installed.

Kesselring went on to say the Red Cross had a “tremendous year” in West Virginia with over 1,000 families served, almost 3,000 people supported after experiencing a disaster, nearly 22,000 free smoke alarms installed, and thousands of individuals taking health and safety classes.

In Tyler County the Red Cross responded to five different situations that serviced approximately 13 individuals, had two people take health and safety training, installed three smoke alarms, and collected 60 pints of blood.

Stender then asked Kesselring if she coordinates with emergency services such as the Office of Emergency Management and the 911 centers. The executive director said the Red Cross Disaster Program Manager works very closely with all emergency services in order for them to be notified of house fires and other various local disasters.

It was also asked if there was a cost for the health and safety training courses that cover CPR and first aid. Kesselring explained the Red Cross was legally obligated to charge participants as once they pass the exam, they can be certified for two years.

Stender also questioned if CPR classes could be held through the school system, to which Kesselring responded in the affirmative, if the Red Cross was asked.

Following her answers to all questions, approval was needed for a proclamation in order to acknowledge the month of March as the the American Red Cross Month. A motion was made by Stender to approve of the proclamation, and Smith seconded it. The motion was carried.

Kesselring then explained, as a result of the past few years being busy, each county commission was being asked for financial assistance in the amount of $2,500. Commissioner Eric Vincent said the commission would discuss this request at a later meeting.

In another matter, Vincent told his fellow commissioners that approval was needed for the request of financing from the Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center. This center covers both Tyler and Wetzel counties, and Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee explained the organization interviews all the child victims in the area. Sheriff Brian Weigle told all present that the Lighthouse CAC has “tender hands” to do this job and provides a good service. Weigle also informed the commission that these types of cases are being investigated daily.

Vincent explained the request for financing comes as a result of the CAC obtaining two grants which put it under the obligation to show a community match of 20 percent. This takes the form of a $10,000 donation from the county commission. With a motion made by Stender and seconded by Smith, the motion was carried.

Approval was also needed for a proclamation acknowledging April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention Month. A motion was made by Stender to approve of this. Smith seconded it, and the motion was carried.

Next on the agenda was the signing of a road improvement agreement with Antero Resources, which had been approved in a previous meeting. It was also stated Prosecutor Furbee made the necessary changes to the document. With this information, Stender made a motion to sign the agreement and Smith seconded it. The motion was carried, and the document was signed.

Following this, a quote was given from CSS for a new computer to be installed downstairs in the courthouse, at the cost of $1,251.19. It was said the current computer is very old and in need of a replacement. Approval was granted for the quote with a motion made by Smith and seconded by Stender. The motion was carried.

In a previous meeting, a grant from a Records Management Preservation Board for landbooks was discussed. The grant was given in the amount of $3,901, and approval was needed for the commission to provide a 10 percent match. A motion was made by Smith to approve of this, and Stender seconded it. The motion was carried.

Also in need of approval was a proclamation for April 2019 to be Fair House Month. It was said this was the 50th anniversary of this. With a motion made by Smith and seconded by Stender, the motion was carried.

In other business, Smith brought an update from the Tyler County Public Service District. He told fellow commissioners the Route 18 South Water Project was a bit behind schedule as a result of bad weather, among other issues. Smith explained work is still being done on Clark Ridge and Friendly Hill, but is projected to be complete in early June. By this time, there would be a pressure test completed, and meters would be set.

Smith also said, in regards to the second phase of the Route 18 South Water Project, income surveys were underway. According to Smith, 53 percent of the required 70 percent have been completed. From this, Smith predicted that the project would commence in about three years.

Discussion was then held on the American Legion Auxiliary “planting” a time capsule in the front lawn of the courthouse. Cathy Post, who is with the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 48, explained it was the organization’s 100 anniversary, and members felt making a capsule is the most appropriate way to commemorate the passing of this event. Post explained members plan to plant the capsule on Memorial Day, and for it to be opened in 100 years by someone from the Legion or the State, in the event there is no longer any local Legions.

While the commissioners told Post they’d have to work out the details, they had no objections to the time capsule being put in the front lawn of the courthouse. Vincent also advised Post to make instructions for the future regarding the time capsule and how and when it is to be dug up.

Post then reminded commissioners that, in the previous year, they allowed the American Legion to put a table out near the doors of the courthouse for Military Child Month in April, and she asked for permission to do the same this year. The commission had no objection.

Smith then informed his fellow commissioners that approval was needed for the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget. In regards to this, Vincent said putting this budget together had gone smoothly, and thanked everyone involved in the process for the time and effort dedicated to the task.

With a motion made by Smith and seconded by Stender, the motion to approve the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget was carried.

Following this, Stender gave an update on the work being done at the 4-H grounds. Stender reported the drywall had been hung in the boys area, and workers would be moving on to mudding the area before they begin painting.

He then reported an issue with the flooring in the assembly hall. He explained the floor is extremely uneven, and a contractor is needed to advise the steps to take in fixing the problem. Stender also said it was suggested to cut the current flooring out, level it, put down oriented strand board, and then put commercial tile on top. No decision has been made, but the issue is being addressed.

Stender then told all present that an inspection had been done on the bridge at the 4-H grounds in February, and it needed some attention. As such, he said this issue needs to be addressed.

In a later discussion with county officials, County Clerk Archer clarified the bridge was safe for travel, as did County Commissioner Eric Vincent.

After discussion on this subject, approval was needed for the Arthur I. Boreman field trip to the courthouse on May 17. Vincent said this trip is a great experience for the students involved. A motion was made by Stender to approve of the trip. Smith seconded it and the motion was carried.

Luke Peters from the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council reported on a meeting with the Tyler PSD board. In regards to the first phase of the Route 18 South Water Project, he said all current invoices from the contractor and the engineer had been reviewed and approved. The total of all invoices was $179,325.71, which also needed the commission’s approval. Of the total amount, $151,807.99 originated from the contractor’s invoice.

Peters explained that $100,000 was taken from the USDA as the grant money was being delayed, and the contractor preferred to have a cash flow.

A motion was made by Stender to approve of the total amount of the invoice for the Route 18 South Water Project. Smith seconded it, and the motion was carried.

Discussion was then held on extra funding for this same project. Peters explained the project was more than 61 percent complete, and there had been a few changes regarding the budget. While some of these adjustments reduced the cost, others caused the cost to rise. As such, it was said the the engineer might be required to return to the county commission in order to sign a contingency.

Peters said that the engineer is currently requesting an additional $25,000 to cover inspection fees as a result of the extra time spent and the presence of three separate crews that required its own inspection. Peters explained they aren’t asking for anything “open-ended,” but the engineer will give them the adjusted amount at a later date. Peters said he would keep the commission updated on this matter.

Following Peters, 911 Director Josh Fulks addressed the mission concerning EMS coverage in Paden City. He explained since the Paden City EMS disbanded, Paden City residents have been under the emergency coverage of Wetzel County EMS. However, Fulks said the Tyler County residents of Paden City are still paying EMS levy taxes while not receiving care from any Tyler County services. He went on to say any 911 calls received from the Tyler County side of Paden City have to be transferred to Wetzel County.

However, it’s in part because Wetzel County EMS moved its station to the hospital that Fulks is of the belief that Sistersville EMS can reach Paden City quicker. Fulks explained that the most important thing to consider is how emergency services can get to the people as quickly as possible. This, he says, might come in the form of Sistersville EMS taking on all Paden City residents.

Vincent added Wetzel County faces “unique issues” in the form of problems with the train, traffic, and upcoming bridge work.

“It comes down to patient care.” Fulks said. “It doesn’t matter who goes, but we need to get them help as quickly as we can.”

Fulks said he had talked with Wetzel County 911 Director Steve Yoho about this, and it was said Yoho would be willing to work on an agreement on this subject. However, Fulks explained the Tyler County Commission would need to speak with the Wetzel County Commission and the Wetzel County Ambulance Authority in order to come to an agreement.

Stender questioned how far north would Sistersville EMS covers, and Fulks speculated the Garden Apartments might be a cut-off. However, he said details such as this would have to be worked out with Wetzel County.

Fulks then informed the commission that this action might require them to take over all emergency services in Paden City, including Paden City Police Department and Paden City Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) as Tyler County would receive all 911 calls. It was also said discussion would need to be held with Paden City Council.

Immediately following this discussion, budget revisions were discussed. There was one in-house budget revision under the fire levy for Shirley VFD to transfer $5,000 from its training and education fund and $3,000 from billing to an equipment fund. A motion was made by Stender to approve, and Smith seconded it. The motion was carried.

It was also said the Tyler County Office of Emergency Management had received $12,500 in grant money, and a correction was needed from a previous budget revision. The amount would need changed to $725,459 from $729,221. Stender made a motion to approve, and Smith seconded it. The motion was carried.

Approval was also needed for the bills. This approval was granted with a motion made by Stender and seconded by Smith. The motion was carried.

Smith made a motion for the meeting to be adjourned, and Stender seconded it. The Tyler County Commission will hold its next regular meeting April 9 at 9 a.m.