Resident Disputes Use Of Former County Home Land
The Tyler County Commission met on December 20 with a busy agenda. Several matters were discussed including purchasing tasers for the Sheriff’s Office, the purchase agreements of the Willey and Franklin properties, and the proposed placement of the Veteran’s monument.
The meeting began with the approval of the minutes, exonerations, and the fiduciary report. Following this, Sheriff Brian Weigle requested the Commission purchase new tasers for the Sheriff’s Office. He reported any spares would come to the courthouse to help enhance security. The total cost of the tasers was reported to be $13,016.00, and this includes the subscription and handling plan over five years, 13 rechargeable tasers with extra battery packs, and a license plan. Weigle reported there should be nine extra to be used for the Courthouse. A motion was made and quickly approved.
Sheriff Weigle also requested the Commission reimburse Paden City Police Department for the cost of the Academy and bulletproof vest that they had spent on Deputy Lowe. Lowe was recently hired at the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office. The motion was approved, and the meeting moved forward to the next item of business.
Chris Hoke was present at the Commission meeting to voice her concerns about the placement of a proposed Veteran’s Memorial at the site of the County Home. She said she is not opposed to having a Gold Star Mother’s Memorial here in Tyler County, but feels it should be placed elsewhere in the county. Hoke reported she had researched other monuments throughout the state and had found some beautiful monuments.
Hoke explained she felt the memorial would be better placed in the grassy area across from the senior citizens building, by the river in Sistersville, or even Conway Lake. Hoke also reported she disagreed with the original plan of planting apple trees, stating she has found that they are “high maintenance and short lived.” She also voiced she feared many children would be tempted to climb the trees, causing a liability.
Commissioner Eric Vincent reported that none of the Commission’s funds are going to be spent on this project, nor are they in charge of planting and maintaining. He reported the Commission was approached asking for a site for the memorial, and the site of the County Home was the one that was given.
Hoke said she felt she needed to voice her opinion on the matter, proposing the site of the County Home could have been a place to house homeless veterans. She reported she had researched the matter. “The Tyler County Home would have been an excellent place for transient homeless veterans. The WV Coalition for Homelessness could have provided apprentices from local unions to rehab the place as they did with an apartment in Wheeling,” Hoke reported. She suggested a fitting memorial on the site would be to build a group home for Veterans.
Moving forward, Ken Holmes was present to speak with the Commission about Long Reach Church. Holmes has been helping take care of the Long Reach Cemetery, and he reported people have come to him requesting to help tear down the Long Reach Church. Holmes said the building has fallen in, but he does not feel he has the authority to tear down the church without permission. He was seeking help on where to go to get the authority to do so. Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee reported he would look at the information and try to help him go through the proper steps.
The Commission then moved to table the matter regarding finding a replacement for the Little Kanawa Rural Development and Community Council. The motion to table was approved.
Luke Furbee reported Mr. Willey was requesting sixty days past closing to vacate the property the Commission is purchasing beside the old Sheriff’s home. Seeing no objections from the Commission, a motion was made and quickly approved.
Following the approval of budget revisions, the meeting adjourned.