Residents Question Hunting Restrictions At Lewis Wetzel
Jim Briggs and Wayne Fetty met with the commission Tuesday morning regarding hunting regulations posted above Lewis Wetzel Pool. The two stated they have hunted in the woods up above the pool for years and have never had or heard of any hunting related incidents and did not understand the need for the signs to be posted. “Kids are more in danger of falling into the pond,” said Briggs. Briggs and Fetty wished to come to a compromise with the commission on where it is permissible to hunt in that area. The two noted that hunters are very responsible and safe in their practices, and understand the laws and the logic not to shoot toward the park, pool, and residential areas. They suggested that gun hunting should be permitted above the water tank and that bow hunting be permitted both above and below the tank.
The commission stressed the signs were posted merely as a liability issue for the county. “The signs are necessary on our part,” said Commissioner Bob Gorby. Fetty stated his understanding of hunting laws recently amended to not require posted signs, but rather required written permission forms and liability waivers to be signed between the hunter and the property owner. The conversation turned to understanding the blanketed liability insurance the county has on all its properties, to which Briggs and Fetty questioned if hunting incidents were already covered under such provisions. The commission noted the question and assured Briggs and Fetty they would discuss their concerns and suggestions with Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught.
New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Commission Director Bev Gibb also met with the commission regarding matters at the Lewis Wetzel Park. Gibb announced the city’s planned project to put a dog park above the Lewis Wetzel Family Center. Gibb stated at this point in the planning she simply wanted the commission to be aware of the project as she is surveying the land in that area to determine the best space for the park, which may cross into the county’s property.
The dog park is proposed to be a large fenced in area for dogs to run and play unleashed. The area would be double gated and also be separated into areas for large and small dogs. There would also be a doggie bag station and watering area. Additionally, Gibb said she’d also like to use a small part of the area to put in handicap parking. For the most part the park would be unmanned as Gibb noted pet owners wanting to give their dogs regular exercise would logically be responsible pet owners who could police the park on their own. Gibb also shared that studies show dogs who get regular exercise are better behaved and fewer end up in shelters because of bad behavior. “I think this would be a great facility to add to New Martinsville,” Gibb underlined.
The project is estimated to cost $20,000 and the Parks and Recreation Commission plans to acquire most of the funds through grants. The commission showed their favor for the project and asked Gibb to return if it is determined the park needs to be on a portion of the county’s property.
In other matters, Dana Indermuhle was in attendance to introduce the commission to a new service Swiss Valley Associates now provides. This new service is the installation of a fire alarm and/or security system in both residential or commercial buildings. Indermuhle noted several advantages to this type of system.
For starters a customer can customize their system to be either a fire detection or security system, or get a combination of services to protect his or her home or work place. Also, unlike larger security systems, there is no monthly fee for service.
The biggest advantage to this system is in its direct line to local authorities and aides. Indermuhle explained that with larger security systems the program is set up to monitor customers’ buildings while the actual service center is centralized in a large location far away from the area. When the security providers receive a distress signal they in-turn call local authorities. However with Swiss Valley Associate’s service, the system can be programmed on a personal voice dialer attached to the phone line so that depending on which alarm is triggered, a call will be made directly to the appropriate local outfit and to a customer’s cell phone if desired.
The fire alarm system detects both smoke and carbon monoxide gas, and Indermuhle added a hard-wired carbon monoxide system is also available for installation. There are many different features available for security purposes such as controlled entries into buildings, panic buttons, and motion sensors. “It’s a reasonable cost system for those in this area,” Indermuhle underlined. He added that the cost is similar to other larger companies, but does not include monthly fees like the international services require.
Lastly, the commission granted the Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s request for a matching fund partnership to aid in the cost and requirements of promotional materials. The Wetzel County CVB requested a donation of up to $250 to be used toward advertising in the West Virginia Travel Guide to promote county tourism. The travel guide is distributed statewide to rest stops and visitor centers. The $250 donation will come from the professional services budget.