Tyler Commission considers grant
By HEATHER SMITH
Tyler County Commission held their first meeting of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Thomas Cooper, director of emergency management for Tyler County, addressed the Commissioners asking for the approval of a grant in the amount of $7,000 for a satellite phone system from SkyTerra Communications.
Cooper informed them the grant is 100 percent reinburstable and it is funded by the Homeland Security. According to Cooper, the EPA will pay half of the cost for the service and would cost Tyler County roughly $35 a month.
Cooper said, “This system will work in any type of weather and can be taken anywhere and it would be a great thing to have in the county.”
Cooper stated that this will be used in a last resort type of situation and used for emergencies only. He said that if Tyler County would have an ice storm, the cell phone and EMS towers would not work.
The members temporarily approved it until next meeting.
At the Oct. 9 meeting, Jim Corry, a representative from SkyTerra Communications, presented several equipment options to the group for interoperable and survivable communications using satellite phones.
This is the same company which has established a WV group with Preston and Mineral counties.
SkyTerra Communications has established nationwide SMART (Satellite Mutual Aid Radio Talkgroup) talkgroups. They include public safety, public health, EMS, fire, critical infrastructure, and law enforcement. Each of these SMART groups are monitored 24/7.
Cooper also informed the members that Recruitment and Engineering Products and Services, (REPS) is an independent contractor to study, examine, analyze and document vulnerabilities, due to natural and or man-made disasters, that might affect the critical infrastructure of Tyler County. REPS shall provide the services as set forth a a fully burdened hourly rate of $55. A maximum level of efforts of 113 hours is authorized under this agreement. The total amount allowed under this project is not to exceed the amount of $6,250.
The study will focus on the safety of citizens as well as on the business continuity of the county’s collective critical services and will identify, quantify and quality the respective agencies’ human resources as well as their physical and virtual infrastructure capabilities.
This project will include various tasks of gathering, confirming, analyzing, and reporting information that is related to the continuous operation of Tyler County’s critical services if Tyler County was to face major disasters or service outages due to unforeseen disasters.
Tyler County Sheriff Bob Kendle attended the meeting to discuss concerns of a major water leak in the storage part of the Sheriff’s Office.
Kendle informed them that the whole ceiling came down due to the leak. He also said that the roof was last done nine to 10 years ago.
He also stated that the roof is too dangerous to be up on it when its frozen.
Larry Underwood, a Tyler County resident, voiced some concerns regarding the dog ordinance. He asked the Commission what is being done about dogs that run at large since there is not an animal shelter in Tyler County.
“Is there an ordinance when dogs are allowed to run or bark”, Underwood asked.
The Commissioners told Underwood there is an ordinance and it is enforced.
Kendle reiterated their statement, stating that the City of Middlebourne does enforce the ordinance and they follow state code.
In other matters, the members approved the sale of the 1990 cargo trailer to the Sistersville Fire Department for the amount of $800.
Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith stressed the importance of the election for the ambulance levy coming up in May. He said it is important to keep our system going and also stated that there will not be an increase in taxes.
The next regular meeting will be held on Jan. 26 at 9 a.m.