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Commission Approves Change In County Flood Plain Ordinance

By Staff | Sep 16, 2009

The Wetzel County Commission approved the second reading of an amended flood plain ordinance, as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make communities eligible for National Flood Insurance.

The primary change, explained Commission President Don Mason, was for all new construction to be at least two feet above flood plain level. In the past it was only required to be at or above the flood plain level. It also changed the permit charges from $10 to $20 for the first $1,000 of construction and $2 for every additional $1,000.

“This is the minimum amount of requirements we can put in this,” explained Mason. “We tried to stick to the minimum amount of regulations.”

In addition to those substantive changes, several definitions were added to the ordinance.

A group of pony pullers from Ohio will be required to pay $300 for destruction of property at the Wetzel County 4-H Camp over the weekend. Also, if they want to rent the facilities again they will be required to come before the Wetzel County Commission first and seek permission.

West Virginia University Extension Agent Mindy Mall reported that some of the pony pullers wanted to get in the front gate after it was locked at 9 p.m., so they took the bolts out of the gate and broke in. Then at 2 p.m. Grounds Caretaker Bob Sellers saw lights at the front gate again. He went and investigated the incident and found more people with the pony pull were breaking the gate hinges for a second time.

Sellers estimated the repairs cost between $250 and $300 dollars. In addition, he is going to fix the hinges so cannot be disabled again.

“We basically could have had them arrested for breaking and entering two separate times,” said Mall.

The pony pulling group rents the grounds once a month for five months, paying a total of $265 for the use of the horse ring, barn, and one campsite. This past weekend they also rented the Mollohan Center.

“Basically we’re not making anything,” said Commission Vice President Gorby.

Mall continued to relate there has been a history of some problems with the group. They didn’t know in the beginning that they were using the barns. They only found out several months later when Sellers reported the barn was not being properly cleaned.

Mall’s office is currently holding $450 worth of deposits from the group for this past weekend’s usage. The commission agreed that the damage should be assessed at $300 and $150 can be returned to the group.

They further agreed to have Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught look over the rental policies and contracts with the intent of adding a clause that notes if there is deliberate, intentional destruction to the ground, there will be penalties.

The commission opened bids for a phone system for the E-911 center. The three received were from Progressive Communi-cations, $198,979.37; Miller Communications, $223,125; and Lauttamus Communications, $209,656.66 less a $5,000 discount if paid up front. The project had a cost estimate of $200,000.

The commission gave the bids to Office of Emergency Management Director Ed Sapp to review and bring back a recommendation. Sapp estimates it will take six weeks to install the system after a bid is approved.

The entire E-911 center project is approximately one month behind schedule. The RC General Contractors has entered a change order for a 28-day extension because of rain. A substantial completion inspection will be done at the end of the month.

In another bid opening on the agenda, the commission received only one bid for engineering architect services to design the portico ceiling at the courthouse. This project would eventually replace a temporary ceiling that has been in place for several years. The bid from Swiss Valley Associates of Hannibal was for $4,200, plus $35 for each set of bid package documents for prospective contractors and $200 for each requested inspection.

Swiss Valley Associates have done work at the courthouse in the past, including the elevator project, stairs to the southern entrance of the courthouse, and making restrooms handicap accessible. The commission approved the bid unanimously.

Finally, the commissioners approved a revision to take $510 out of the coal severance fund, in addition to the $1,500 previously allotted, for the building of a new back deck on the caretaker’s house at the Wetzel County 4-H Camp.