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Water Tank Project, Donation Requests Discussed at Meeting

By Staff | Apr 5, 2017

Matt Brake, of Swiss Valley Associates, provided the Wetzel County Commission with a report on Tuesday, March 28, regarding the water tank project the City of New Martinsville has undertaken on the county’s 4-H property. Brake said the county owns the property but leased it to the city so that the city may install a water tank on the property.

Brake said part of the project was to improve and extend the access road to the 4-H property. He noted that one slippage of land has been fixed, and two culverts have been added.

However, Brake noted, there have been additional slips. Brake said a quote from Litman Excavating stated that the cost to fix one of the slips would be $5,480.

Brake asked the commission what it would like to do to fix the slips, suggesting that the commission might help with the costs. However, the commission noted that the cost would be the responsibility of the city. Commission President Larry Lemon said the commission would study the contract that had been made between the city and commission, at the start of the project.

In another matter, Brent Croasmun approached the county commission, requesting some financial aid for the Paden City Wildcats’ baseball field. Croasmun said the current baseball field is 32-years-old and is in need of some upgrades.

“The city tells us they have no money,” Croasmun said; however, he added that Paden City officials are currently in discussion with the Wetzel County Board of Education in regards to the possible sale of the baseball field to the board.

Croasmun stated that $17,000 has already been raised, since February, by citizens and parents.

“We have a lot we would like to do,” Croasmun said. “We already have money for a scoreboard, but the biggest thing though is a chain-link fence.”

Croasmun said the current fence is “in bad shape.” He said current estimates are $24,000 to purchase, and install, the fence. However, the cost would only be $13,000 to purchase just the materials for the fence.

Croasmun said additional wants, for the field, include new restrooms, a small press box, and a storage area. The grand total for all upgrades would be approximately $54,000.

Commission President Lemon inquired as to whether or not the fencing and other additions would have to be installed at the end of the current baseball season. Croasmun replied in the affirmative, noting that the current season would be finished at the end of May. The little league teams’ schedules would also have to be taken into consideration.

Lemon complimented the parents and other citizens who had already raised $17,000.

“That’s quite a lot of effort with fundraising,” he remarked.

Commissioner Lisa Heasley agreed.

“You guys aren’t just asking for money. You are working for it,” she stated.

“The parents wanted to get involved,” Croasmun responded. He noted that some funds, however, are used for new uniforms and equipment.

The commission did not make a decision on Croasmun’s request but advised Croasmun to keep them aware as to whether or not the board of education would purchase the property.

In another matter, Josh Jefferson of the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED), requested that the commission allow RED to release county coal bed methane funds in order to award grants to two local businesses.

Jefferson explained that the funds were being given as part of a local economic development initiative. He noted that the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley (CFOV) had received requests for support from small businesses; however, the CFOV only gives to non-profits. Therefore, it was decided that a portion of coal bed methane funds, that are specifically set aside for economic development, be used to award three small businesses with a $5,000, each. Jefferson noted that the first area business to receive a grant was Susie’s Crafts, in Paden City. The second two grants are soon to be awarded to two other businesses.

Jefferson said a stipulation of the award of grant money is that the business document how it uses the funds.

In another matter, Philip Anderson of the Pine Grove Sportsman’s Club requested the commission support the club’s endeavor to purchase a new mower.

Anderson said the club has been using a 1989 model Wheel Horse tractor to mow the club’s five to six acres of land. He said it takes two people to mow the property, with a total of six hours.

Anderson spoke of the variety of ways the Sportsman’s Club supports the community. He noted that the facility is used for local hunter’s safety courses; the facility is also used for boy scouts’ camps, as well as forestry tree judging. A trail ride, to support veterans, also takes place on the property.

Additionally, law enforcement use the shooting range for required qualifying examinations.

Commission President Lemon confirmed that the mower would strictly be used on the Sportsman’s Club property. Anderson replied in the affirmative.

Anderson noted that the club recently poured $1,000 into fixing the 1989 Wheel House.

“Hopefully it’ll run this year,” he said.

Commission Vice President Bob Gorby made the motion that the commission pay for half the cost of a new tractor, $6,000. Heasley seconded the motion, and all commissioners voted in favor of the endeavor.

Also, Susan Scharf, of the Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center, approached the commission to ask that they approve of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant application that she is about to submit; the commission would act as the fiscal agent for the grant.

Scharf said she hopes the center would receive the federal funds, which would go toward hiring a part-time forensic interviewer.

In other commission matters, the commission approved a request for $850, from Wetzel County Relay for Life. This money will be used to hire CA House, to provide music at the annual Relay for Life.

The commission also approved a request to donate $10,000 toward upgrades for Hundred’s swimming pool. It was noted that the commission has developed a good relationship with the volunteers who took on upgrades, at the pool, last year. The commission noted it appreciates what the volunteers are doing.

A request from Hundred Volunteer Fire Department was tabled until the commission could receive more information.

In another matter, the commission approved the levy estimate budget for July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.