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Commission Approves Memorial Park Bench in Honor of Shelby Titus

By Staff | Nov 1, 2017

On Oct. 24 the Wetzel County Commission met with a representative of Valley High School class of 2003 to discuss the placement of a memorial bench on courthouse grounds. The memorial bench is in memory of Shelby Titus who was the Chief Tax Deputy of Wetzel County until she died on Oct. 11 from a fatal car accident.

Tamara VanDyne, representing the class of 2003, requested that the commission approve the placement of the bench on courthouse grounds. VanDyne noted that this bench was going to be purchased from donations from people from the county, along with the class of 2003. She wasn’t sure if everyone who donated should be included on the plaque considering the amount of individual donations. Commissioner Robert Gorby stated, “It would be nice in a way, but in another way… it’s a memorial to her.”

VanDyne agreed but was unsure of some of the other specifics regarding the bench. She explained, “We have a couple of options going around to either put ‘In Honor of Shelby Titus for 31 years of Service’ or to put ‘In Loving Memory of Shelby Titus for 31 years of Service.’ Then the colors too… we were thinking either black or yellow or black and gray with gray writing or even granite, so we were wanting suggestions for that too and what size you would feel is appropriate for that. I was personally looking at was the 8-foot benches.”.

VanDyne also mentioned that there were a couple of different options for the material making up the bench. She pointed out that there are corrugated or concrete benches available and noted that corrugated bench is harder to vandalize, and more resistant to damage from flooding.

Gorby questioned whether the lettering could be removed from the bench and VanDyne assured him that the lettering was permanent. VanDyne also pointed out that black and yellow lettering would be significant because Titus graduated from Valley and the sheriff’s colors are also black and yellow.

The Commission approved the motion to agree to the request to place a memorial bench, in the memory of Shelby Titus, on the courthouse grounds.

County Commissioner Lawrence Lemon went on to assure VanDyne, “Shelby was a dedicated employee for our county and we are most happy to support any effort to acknowledge her many years of service.”

In other county commission news, Peter Conklin, representing the Boy Scouts, requested use of the 4-H camp from June 10 to June 14. Conklin stated that the Boy Scout program had grown considerably and had record sign-ups already for this year. He then presented the commission with a plaque to thank them for their continued support of the program. The commission approved the request for the use of the 4-H grounds by the Boy Scouts, at no cost, from June 10 to June 14.

Jim Richmond from the Wetzel County Fire Association requested use of the Mollohan Center on Nov 19 for training purposes and asked that the rental fee be waived. Richmond stated that they may need to train two classes, so they will possibly require the use of the building for the entire day. The commission approved the request.

Roger Spragg approached the commission concerning the utilities and fees owed from Autumn Fest. Spragg was not clear about the terms of the agreement concerning the cost of the rentals and the fees.

Spragg stated, ” Bob stopped and asked me who was paying for the garbage bags and the toilet paper and the gas and the water and the electric well I didn’t know that I was supposed to pay for the gas or the water or the garbage bags or the toilet paper because we never did it before which is not a problem if I had known it I’d buy it, that’s all there is to it.”

The commission was able to clarify with Spragg exactly how much was owed for the grounds and the campers that were on the 4-H grounds. The total amount was $1343 and the commission waived the fee for the garbage bags and the toilet paper.

The commission went on to approve a salary increase for the Wetzel County Sheriff’s office to compensate for the salary changes resulting from the untimely death of Shelby Titus. They also approved the hiring of Mary Kemp, a temporary part time tax deputy in the sheriff’s department, effective Oct. 16.

The commission also addressed an agreement reached between Total Renal Care, the county commission, and the building commission. There is a need to do drainage corrections on the land but the tenant, Total Renal Care, requires permission from the land owners to make changes. The county commission and the building commission own the property and Total Renal Care owns the building. The commission passed a motion to sign the agreement.

The commission approved the resolution for the contract agreement of the VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) grant for the CAC (Children’s Advocate Center) and they also approved the contract agreement and resolution for the VOCA grant between the county commission and state victim advocate program through the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Finally, they approved the JAG grant (Justice Assistance Grant) that funds the PRO officer at Valley High School in the amount of $18,000.