By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The regular session of the Tucker County Commission meeting took place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the traditional courtroom in Parsons. Pastor Neil Parsons opened up the meeting with a word of prayer, followed by guest Aaron Myers leading The Pledge of Allegiance. Commission President Diane Hinkle welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order.
The agenda began with the reading of the minutes from October 10, whereas there was one spelling correction, and all approved. Audience and Guests proceeded with Aaron Myers giving an update on the status of the varmint and trash issues in the Bretz community. “Everything is still so-so, they’re still parking in the road, and we still got burn up house beside me to look at everyday”, Myers began. He was informed a dozer is being brought in to “bury the garbage”, which he questioned the correctness of the method. “As far as the rats and everything, they’re doing a lot better , they’re pretty much under control and no longer chewing through the floors and walls”, Myers claimed. “Of course we still got the carcasses decaying”, he stated. Since the house was burnt, he has noticed a decrease in rodent activity at his residence; however, he’s unsure of the rest of the neighborhood.
Myers then asked the commissioners for an update on the formation of the ordinance to control such issues. “The first step we did, we killed the old ordinance that wasn’t enforceable”, responded Hinkle. “We’ve started a process, he’s (Dennis Filler) took a class, he’s now a certified litter control officer”, she said, though he has not been designated as such by the county. Hinkle continued, “He (Filler) has been researching state codes to see what’s enforceable even before we adopt a new ordinance, he’s been working with our prosecuting attorney on that”. “We will continue to have a series of work sessions with the goal of developing an enforceable ordinance, and those are all public meetings”, Hinkle reiterated. “This will not be a dilapidated building ordinance, it’s a litter and nuisance ordinance”, specified Commissioner Lowell Moore. Myers expressed concern over the ordinance not including literature regarding dilapidated structures as that is frequently the starting point of the varmint issues. “Well, I think we’re moving in the right direction and it’s unfortunate it took this situation to light a fire under that”, proclaimed Hinkle. She reassured Myers several county entities are involved in the development of this ordinance to ensure all areas are covered and the consequences of failure to comply will be extensive. Hinkle also assured Myers the commissioners will make sure he is made aware of the work session schedule so he can be involved in the process.
Due to the early voting, there were no elected official reports, therefore Hinkle moved to employee reports. Brett Ware gave an update on behalf of OEM due to Kevin White’s absence. A region four exercise which consisted of a mountain deluge and the scenario involved heavy snowfall and ice with heavy rainfall causing major flooding. “We had a lot of strengths, usually the identify communications as a weakness, however our backup systems worked wonderfully”, explained Ware. Within the scenario, an issue with debris management from the potential downfall was a concern. The training exercise was facilitated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was well attended.
Ware shifted gears to his department of 911 to inform the commissioners of the status of the communication upgrades. “Adam Arbogast has been a wonderful help for me, we’ve been upgrading all of our networks, running new cables through the walls, and getting us up to national standards”, Ware continued. The vendor is due early next week to install their software and getting the program ready to become functional, with a cut live date set for February 25, 2019. Ware also added a report dictating wrecker statistics and rotations will be provided to the commissioners to offer balance to the companies.
Hinkle asked Ware when the next Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meeting would be held, which will be the first Thursday in December. Ware also noted they attended a statewide emergency response conference obtaining their annual hazmat training requirements to qualify for funding. With this training, it opens up grant opportunities ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 that can be used for community training, classes, surveys, and studies. At the next LEPC meeting, Ware is suggesting to hold a hazardous materials series. The series will be open to all first responders in Tucker and surrounding counties. Ads are also being run in the paper for part time positions within 911, Ware announced.
There were no correspondences, moving on to the unfinished business. There was one county board appointment requested to renew the term of Alan Tomson, the Vice President of the Tucker County Development Authority. All were in agreement in the renewal, and there were no road names at this time.
Moving on to new business, there were no erroneous assessments and payments were all approved. This brought the meeting to the commissioner’s reports. Moore began with complimenting the turnout at the county roundtable event earlier in the week. He continued stating he and Hinkle attended a roundtable event in Keyser with the county commission association and stated it was an informational session.
Commissioner Patrick Darlington reported that at the Development Authority meeting, they extended Director Steve Leyh’s contract. “We have a couple possible attendants for the industrial park and metal building we are reviewing”, Darlington commented and they are waiting for proposals to be submitted. The Parks and Recreation Board are preparing the land for the building to be delivered and the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) met to approve the winter advertisement budget.
Hinkle continued with her report on the planning commission continuing their efforts on the subdivision ordinance and a need for a housing roundtable. The Historic Landmark Commission didn’t have a quorum, which is a common issue with only five members. She also attended the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) meeting, and the Cultural District Authority is in contact with the Benedum grant for potential funding from them. Hinkle also updated, “we had the first review of the EMS ordinance just to do some updating of the language to get it ready for next year”.
With the agenda being completed, Darlington made a motion and the meeting was adjourned. The next regular session of the Tucker County Commission will be Wednesday, November 14 at 9 a.m. in the courthouse courtroom. This will be the only meeting held in the month of November and is always open to the public.