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Commission Approves PDS Water Project Expenditure

By Staff | May 15, 2013

Ricky Heely of Belomar Regional Council appeared before the Wetzel County Commission May 7, requesting that the commission sign-off on another draw down for the Public Service District One waterline project.

“There was an invoice submitted to us by the firm Snyder and Hassig, that was doing the legal work, for $9,658.45. The board approved that invoice to be paid out of the grant funds . . . This is draw number seven for that project.”

He also had an update on the bidding process:

“Yesterday we had a pre-bid for the PSD One waterline project and it looks like there is some good interest from the contractors,” he noted. “Our bid opening for that project is scheduled for May 16, so we’ll have the bid opening on that date and hopefully we’ll get good bids on both of the contracts.

Heely noted that hopefully the project goes under construction this year. “There are three legs that go out on this project,” he noted. “One long one which is Chiselfinger, and a couple of short ones.”

In another matter, John Cochran, Government Account Executive for Verizon Wireless, approached the commission regarding contractural issues.

Cochran stated that the county’s government agencies have not been receiving their government discount because they are not signed with one of the possible government contracts. Cochran recommends that the commission gets on the WSCA (Western States Contracting Alliance). “As you know, the more people involved, the more customers, and the more discount,” Cochran noted. He further described the several discounts that signing with WSCA would give the county’s government employees, stating that they would receive 18 percent off their monthly service and 25 percent off of accessories. There would also be no early termination charge.

Cochran also described Verizon’s Crisis Response Team. Cochran gave one instance of VCRT’s response to crisis, saying that during the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster several years ago, Verizon’s personnel in the Charleston area went to the location and set up a COW-a cell on wheels. Cochran stated that tablets, Wifi devices, and cell phones were also handed out to FEMA and FBI employees, as well as victims’ families.

“We handed out waters and tents, and we were there 24/7 for about a week. There was no charge to that. As a matter of fact, they were not customers of ours. They are now, but it’s something we do that you don’t hear a lot about.”

He added, “We’ve helped with the Virginia tech shooting, Katrina . . . we sent towers, because as you know, the more people involved in one location, the networks get overwhelmed.” Cochran stated that Verizon also gave assistance after the Boston Bombing incident, “We sent towers, phones, and all types of devices, so people can communicate . . . We do that for free.” Cochran gave cards to each of the commissioners with the Crisis Response Team number, 1-800-981-9558, in case they or any other nearby government entity would ever need help communicating during a disaster.