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Hundred Bridge Gets Help From Stimulus

By Staff | Nov 4, 2009

The West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways has retained federal stimulus money and has agreed to pay 80 percent ($350,000) of the cost to reconstruct the Wetzel Street bridge in Hundred. As part of the agreement, on Tuesday the Wetzel County Commission earmarked $70,000 for the county’s 20 percent match. No start date for construction has been set.

The Wetzel Street bridge was closed in April 2008 when a bridge inspector deemed it unsafe. Since that time Hundred Town Council has been trying to find a way to get it repaired and reopened, as the county did not have enough funds to fix the county-owned bridge, one of three such structures.

The council had looked into taking ownership and fixing it themselves and had sought help from various government entities. Many Hundred area residents were concerned that without the bridge they were left with only the U.S. route 250 bridge across Church Fork. In the event that the bridge would be blocked by an accident, there would be no way to travel from one side to the other. This could be a real problem in case of an emergency.

In another matter before the commission, Jo Lee Ramsey and Donna Wilson spoke on behalf of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 2006 to address the commission about the union’s disfavor of Verizon’s plan to sell to Frontier. Presently, Verizon plans to transfer its local exchange and long distance business in West Virginia to Frontier Communications.

The representatives presented several reading materials and research into the situation, and presented an argument that Verizon’s plan to sell to Frontier could threaten jobs, customer service, and technological advances for West Virginia. The CWA Local 2006 union is working to stop the pending sale and furthermore requesting that Verizon meets its responsibilities to West Virginia.

The union’s request to the county commission is to sign a resolution that would go to the Public Service Commission stating their adoption of the resolution to deny the sale. The commission agreed to read over the materials and look into the situation further before deciding to sign the resolution.

The commission plans to revisit this matter and make a motion at an upcoming meeting.

It was brought to the commission’s attention that the pay phone at the War Memorial building was costing the county around $90 a month to maintain. After discussion with Tim Haught, the commission voted to take the pay phone out.

In a continuing issue, the commission is making headway on treating the termite infestation at several buildings on the 4-H grounds. They are currently waiting for the presentation of a six-year treatment and maintenance contract.