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Energy Efficiency Updates Will Progress

By Staff | Dec 14, 2010

Eric Fecat of the Belomar Regional Council met with Wetzel County commissioners Dec. 7 to give them an update on the energy efficiency grants from the Department of Energy.

The Wetzel County Commission has received a $91,200 grant to replace windows at the courthouse, Pine Grove was awarded $30,000 for new windows and doors, and New Martinsville garnered $15,150 for new HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) at the old city hall building.

Fecat said Belomar is currently working with John Schneider, Moundsville’s new building inspector. “He is going to be extremely good help to them,” said Fecat. Schneider, a man who has worked extensively in industry and government projects, already knows laws such as Buy American laws, etc.

With his time donated by Moundsville, Fecat is working with Belomar to create specifications for HVAC systems. Once those are set, then Fecat said contractors can bid “apples to apples”. Specifications on windows, the issue at the courthouse and in Pine Grove, are much easier to develop. Fecat is helping with those too.

“That’s going to be starting real soon,” said Fecat.

When Commission President Don Mason asked if it would be possible to change the scope of the project – like perhaps from windows to lights, Fecat said, “It could happen.” However, after some discussion the commissioners agreed that they would stay with the original request of window replacement.

Also, Fecat had the commission sign a release of funds that need to be sent to the state for the Hundred Littleton PSD. Nothing has changed in the project for the replacement of water lines, but it needed to be signed for the engineering firm, Thrasher Engineering.

Assessor Ralph Phillips came to the commission to discuss an issue with building permits and flood plain permits. He said he is not receiving them from the county, but he does get building permits from New Martinsville and Paden City to alert them to new construction.

Phillips said the ordinance indicates the assessor’s office should get copies of flood plain permits.

“We have never revised a building or flood plain ordinance, not since I’ve been a commissioner,” noted Mason.

Theresa Hoskins also approached the commission about the possibility of processing a Title V grant for $25,000 through their bookkeeping. She said the grant will pay for her to be an educator with adolescent health programs such as bullying, internet safety, gay/lesbian, AIDS, and sexual issues. This will be in addition to her Family Resource Network coordinator duties, a separate endeavor.

Hoskins has performed this function for four years and has been in all the county high schools and just recently got into Long Drain School. She also does several programs with church youth groups. “This needs to be a community-based program,” stressed Hoskins. It was previously administered through the Gabriel Project.

She noted that last year the funding was cut, but it has since been reinstated for five years. It is “renewable on a yearly basis”, meaning Hoskins will be reevaluated each year to make sure she’s doing her job. The grant pays for her payroll, nominal supplies, and any administrative fees that the county would charge.

It is a reimbursable grant, which means the county would need to front the funding each month and then be reimbursed through the grant. Hoskins said she is willing to do all the needed paperwork, except for, obviously, the check issuing.

State Director Patty McGrew is willing to come to the courthouse and go through all the specifics of it. Lemley said he is fine with the arrangement as long as the state director comes up to set it up.

“However we need to do it, I don’t care,” said Hoskins. “I would hate to lose this money. I know I’ve touched these kids. I know it,” said Hoskins. She plans for her and McGrew to return to the commission in late December to work out the particulars.

Finally, Rhonda Thomas of Reader appeared before the commission to request the closing of a portion of a street near Eight Mile Road. She said no one uses the designated street, but if people would park there, she could lose access to property she is buying.

Commissioner Scott Lemley asked if she had had any problems with people parking there. “Not yet, but I just don’t want to take the chances,” she said.

“Just looking at it, it seems we’d have no problem doing that,” said Mason.

However, since Thomas is just in the process of purchasing the property and doesn’t own it yet, they advised her to come back with the request when she has ownership. In the meantime Mason said the commission would go to Reader and check on the situation.