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Courthouse Cleaning To Cost $100K

By Staff | Apr 27, 2011

Wetzel County commissioners on April 19 agreed to spend more than $100,000 to have the courthouse exterior powerwashed and restored.

Commissioners will pay General Preservation of Columbus $107,900 to do the work, which will include powerwashing, the removal of remaining soot and grime with chemicals, and the repair of mortar joints.

Commissioners were pleased with the estimate, noting they had expected the project might cost in the $150,000 range.

Workers with General Preservation are to come to New Martinsville this week to do a preliminary testing of chemicals on the courthouse masonry, said Commissioner Scott Lemley.

Work is to begin in two weeks, and take 45 days.

In other matters, commissioners met in a closed-door session with representatives of Stone Energy, which has been seeking to do natural gas drilling on Wetzel County-owned property.

The session lasted about 15 minutes, and afterward the commissioners took no action.

“There will be no drilling on county property,” Commissioner Robert Gorby said.

Commissioners also said next week they will consider a motion to place a fire and ambulance levy before county voters this year.

Commission President Donald E. Mason said the move is necessary as more and more of the county’s small volunteer fire departments face rising worker’s compensation costs.

“They are just not going to be able to pay some bills,” he said.

He cited as an example the Jacksonburg Volunteer Fire Department, where annual premiums have risen from $4,000 to $28,000.