Douglas Brake of Swiss Valley Associates, Pat Durant of the City of New Martinsville, and Keith Nelsen of Public Service District One all appeared before Wetzel County Commission concerning the possible installation of a water tank.
"We are working with the city to possibly build a new water tank," Brake stated. "We are looking for possible sites, and for a tank site, it has to be the right elevation; it has to be accessible, and near enough to water lines that we could connect to it . . . One of the options we are looking at is the field between the 4-H Camp and Beechwood. It's on top of that property. It looks like it'd be the right elevation, and right now, that's the most promising site we have."
Brake further described the property: "It's kind of just on the north edge of the property; we would want to put it closer to Beechwood to keep it out of the way. We would want to put it as close to the edge of the property as possible."
Durant stated that the water tank in the Beechwood area would have many benefits. "There's not fire protection out there," he stated. "This way, with the tank out there, it'll give them the fire protection. The way we'd be looking at it . . . replacing the line going out Route 7, the one that feeds PSD 1, feeds Beechwood . . . that would help PSD 1 too."
Nelson stated that the tank would replace the tank above the old hospital, "the one we no longer have access to in the city, because of a slip issue."
Commission President Don Mason, along with Commission Vice President Bob Gorby, both stated that, at a glance, they had no issue with the new water tank but wanted to run the issue by the county's attorney, Timothy Haught.
Eric Fecat of Belomar Regional Council appeared before the commission for an initial public hearing concerning the use of Small Cities Block Grant Program funds for 2012. West Virginia is expected to receive approximately $12 million from Housing and Urban Development Funds for the Fiscal Year 2013 Small Cities Block Grant Program. The public hearing notice states that "These funds will be distributed to communities through the state for eligible community development projects which meet the national objective of 51 percent benefit to low and moderate income persons . . ."
In another matter, Melody Glasscock of Wetzel and Tyler counties' Child Advocacy Center, requested that the commission be the center's fiscal agent for a grant that comes through the Department of Justice and Community Services. "It's similar to the VOCA grant," she stated. "It's a reimbursable grant."
Glasscock explained that previously the center has had Tyler County Commission be their fiscal agent, but recently, they applied for national accreditation through the National Children's Alliance. "Even though we serve two counties, we can only have one county accredited," she explained. "The center is being used more by Wetzel County. Our medical component is in Wetzel County. It's makes sense to accredit Wetzel County . . . Our office is in Paden City, in Wetzel County."
One issue that concerned the commission was the issue of reimbursement. The commission would have to pay the director, Shawna Griffin, her salary, taking out all necessary deductions. They would then be required to send in a copy of the check, the pay stub, as well as a report that would be required by Griffin. "In other words, we would be at your mercy," Mason noted. "There's no question the child advocacy center is an important asset to Wetzel and Tyler counties," he said, but added that the commission has had issues in the past with reimbursement because different organizations were not living up to their end of the bargain by supplying reports.
The commission would be required to pay the salary and benefits. Glasscock stated that it would take six weeks to get the first reimbursement, but after that, "It's about a monthly basis."
Glasscock noted that if the center is accredited, they will receive about $100,000 in grant funds next year and will not have to raise as much on their own. Right now, the center has to find about $40,443 in matching funds.
She noted that the numbers at the center are increasing. "We are glad we do not have to do interviews in the back of police cars or at school, in front of children's peers." Glasscock also spoke positively of New Martinsville City Police Officer Donnie Harris, stating that he is at the center "almost everyday."
The commission requested additional time to look into details and responsibilities and stated that they would give Glasscock their decision at next week's meeting.