Commission To Seek Legal Advice On Fence Installation
By TELINA FRYE
The Wetzel County Commission held its regularly scheduled meeting on October 15 with President Larry Lemon, Vice President Lisa Heasley, and Commissioner Bob Gorby present. Also present was Wetzel County Clerk Carol Haught.
Matt and Nancy Quinet, John Charles Mensore, and Lito Turcios, homeowners at the Beechwood Estates, appeared before the commission with a desire to reach an agreement concerning a proposed fence installation on the Woods property which is owned by the County and is adjoining to their homes.
Jeff Wright also a resident of Beechwood Estates was present and stated he talked to about six other families who live there the night before and the feeling he got from them was that they didn’t feel it was an HOA concern, but more of an individual homeowner issue.
Commission President Lemon stated he feels that would be best because the commission still hasn’t reached a decision either. During the last meeting, the commission pledged to check with the fence company and see if there could be a delay in the installation of the fence. They said the fence company told them they could hold it for one year at the price that was quoted. There was also a question of lowering the fence to three or four feet. The fence company said that the price would still be the same. However, they recommended keeping it at least four feet if they did reduce it. The cost would be $16,000 if the fence were to be reduced to four feet.
The big question for the commission is if they should proceed with the fence or delay it. Lemon noted that the commission, as a whole, has gone back and forth on it. He noted that he is in favor of the fence. However, there are other opinions on it and he didn’t feel that a decision had to be made that day. Heasley stated that she is torn. She was against it previously but in light of some new information, she personally needs a little more time to make a good sound decision. She doesn’t want personal issues to affect her decision.
Morris stated he is personally still in favor of going one year without the fence. Heasley pointed out that after speaking with some of the neighbors, she is found out that no one else really wants to use the property except for the Quinets, Kochers, and Mensores. She previously thought that the rest of the neighborhood would be coming onto their property to walk and run. From what she is hearing, no one wants access to the property except them.
She still wants to make sure that if someone in the neighborhood decides they want to go onto the property and walk, that they are still signing the same paperwork the homeowners are signing. She also doesn’t want the residents to think that they can just go up there at any time. She also noted that it’s not targeting, in response to a comment that Matt Quinet had made previously, or out of spite.
She pointed out that they have lived there for a long time and have seen the HOA get sued over a situation. She also noted that they protect their property just like they are responsible to protect the county property. She stated that it’s nothing personal and not that the commission wants to make their houses look bad by putting a fence behind them. She feels that it’s starting to get personal because everyone out there has different feelings. She also noted that they could all sign off on it, but one of her concerns is what would happen if their kids had a sleepover with a child from town and take them onto the property and they end up in a lawsuit.
Heasley questioned where the right of way is to get onto the property. It was cleared up that there’s no way to get onto the property unless someone goes through one of the homeowners properties. This brought them back to the question of if they should delay the fence and see how the agreement works for a year, or if they should stay with their original plan of building the fence. Lemon noted that it may be in the best interest of everyone to pursue further clarification from Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught on how the agreement would work. Heasley noted that she felt that Haught was thinking of Beechwood as a whole, so it might be a good idea to talk to him. Nancy Quinet noted that with the cameras that the commission has recently put up, she feels it would help with any issues which might arise of any activity that should not be going on there.
The commission decided to hold off on a decision until they could speak to Haught and then get back to the homeowners.
In other business: Jimmy Glasscock from the Folsom Fire Department came before the commission with a request for radio equipment. The Commissioners decided to get with the interested parties involved for a meeting and make a decision at a later date.
Commission Approves New Telephone System
The Wetzel County Commission held its regularly scheduled meeting on October 8. Nancy Quinet, John Mensore, Becky Kocher and Lito Turcios appeared before the commission regarding the fence on the Woods property adjoining the Beechwood Estates. They spoke to Tim Haught who drew up an agreement of things that were acceptable and not acceptable to them that he e-mailed to the commission. Quinet questioned where they stood with the fence company. President Lemon advised that they would get back some of their down payment but they would still have to pay a 20% re-stocking fee of $3,803.00. The commission discussed having a trial period without putting the fence up to see how everything goes before putting the fence up. However, they would like to check with the fence company before making that decision to see how long they are okay with delaying it before the penalty applies and the commission would have to re-purchase the fence if they need to put it up. The commission also questioned if the homeowners would be in favor of paying the re-stocking fee and asked if they could verify with all involved who would be willing to help with that cost. The commission delayed making a decision on the matter until all of that information is obtained.
In other business: Steve Yoho, OES/911 Director was present regarding a new telephone system. Yoho advised the commission that their share of the telephone system would be $145,705.64 and OES/911 would cover the remainder. This will allow them to keep some in their account in case anything happens. This is because of the impending loss of the phone system they have now due to its age. When they bought the other ones, there was a great difference in the price due to the fact that they already have the CAD so they’re giving them a significant discount.
They could almost buy this sytem twice for what it would be for one of the other systems. Since they already have the Zuercher CAD and everything integrates together, there doesn’t have to be any link-belt that would be an additional cost. With the other ones that are twice the price, they would incur an additional cost for the link-belt. He noted that everything the competitors offered is also offered by Zuercher. They also offer 24 hour monitoring which is something that was only offered by one other competitor and their price was almost triple what Zuercher’s was.
With the 24 hour monitoring, a lot of times they will know before OES/911 knows that there is a problem. They will call and tell them that someone is on their way to fix something that’s going bad before they even know anything is wrong. This also integrates the new RapidSOS system that locates a cell phone by the GPS in the cellphone instead of by triangulation of the towers. It will also provide them with text to 911 which is something that is new and we would be the only ones in the area to have that. Someone would be able to text 911 if they weren’t able to talk. You can also take a picture of a license plate if there is a need, call 911 and they will text you a link to send the picture to and they can then send it on to the police.
They have roughly a year and a half and they’re saying it will be four to five months before it can be integrated in because of build time for the system. Therefore, four to five months puts them at about a year before the old system is totally outdated and they won’t service it anymore. This would give them time to work out any bugs if there are any. He feels that they got lucky with the Zuercher CAD system. So far, there haven’t been any bugs. He’s hoping that they can do the same thing with the phone system as well. They’ve had the Zuercher CAD for almost a year now and have luckily not had any problems. The entire system costs $185,705.64. If they buy five years of maintenance now, they would pay $145,705.64. The commission will pay $145,705.64 and OES/911 will pay the additional $40,000.00. The request was approved unanimously on a motion by Morris and second by Heasley to accept the proposal to pay $145,705.64 for the new Zuercher telephone system for the OES/911 Center.
In other matters, the commission approved the contract with Swiss Valley Associates for their engineering professional services at the 4-H Camp to do a study.
The commission also approved the change order by ERB electric for $15,025 for work done at the 4-H camp.
In other business: Jimmy Glasscock from the Folsom Fire Department came before the commission with a request for radio equipment and personal reasons. Glasscock stated that the radios they have do not work they have no communications whatsoever. He said they have talked to people about it but it doesn’t seem to help. Their paging system doesn’t work. There is a system that allows people to see the calls they receive through a text on their phone. One person in their fire department is getting it but no one else is. Jimmy Glasscock Jr. was also present and gave an example of the cost of the radios. He stated that you can find the low ban mobile radios for around $3,000. For a high ban radio, it would be around half the cost or about $1,200.00-$1,500.00. If you can find a hand held radio, you can get them for around $2,500.00 and a low ban for about $600.00-$700.00.
Glasscock noted that about a month ago, there was a wreck in Smithfield and the wrecker couldn’t even inform him that he was on the scene. He worries about what would happen if there were to be a fatal situation.
The commission decided that a meeting with all parties involved and affected would be the most beneficial to reach an agreement.
Glasscock also advised the commission that they purchased the Folsom Schoolhouse and it was in pitiful shape. They are going to have to have it torn down and cleaned up. He invited the commission to come and look at it. He stated that it is full of things and they are hoping to save some of it and possibly have an auction to recoup some of their money. They would like to get some of the prisoners from St. Mary’s like they tore down the firehouse at one time before and help rebuild it back. He noted that he and another person have spent three weeks cleaning it up already. So far, they have at least three tractor trailer loads of metal right now.
He said the building started out as eight apartments and there were people living in it. He noted that when Sam Lively bought it from the school, the grass stayed mowed and there was a playground for the kids. However, there is nothing like that now and the building is in bad shape. When they bought the building, they were hoping to savage it and use the building but it’s beyond repair and has to come down for safety reasons. They will also be using the property as a landing zone. He noted that their first step would be to try to get the prisoners to come and help get the inside cleaned up. He is hoping to be able to fill the basement with the brick and cover it. They paid $70,000.00 for it but they felt that they had no choice because land in Folsom is very limited.
Also, they have an ambulance down. If they take it to Morgantown Ford, the engine is knocking and they want about $20,000.00 to fix it not including the labor. The ambulance has about 80,000 miles on it so he feels that it’s not worth putting that much money into it. They feel that it would be better to purchase a new one. He stated that they asked for donations as advised before. EQT gave them $40,000.00 that they have in the bank. However, it is for a rescue truck for a grant that they had applied for previously. The grant closed September 30 and they weren’t denied or granted money because they ran out of time. They have an e-mail in to them now to see if they can switch the money over toward an ambulance instead or if they will have to give it back but haven’t received a response.
He feels that their biggest priority right now is the ambulance because they only have one right and they’re taking care of a large area with only one ambulance. The commission suggested that they send them a letter attaching the cost of the ambulance they have in mind. They are hoping that by the time they get that to them they will have an answer from EQT and they will take it under consideration.
In other matters, Carla McBee from the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce appeared before the commission with a request for help with Santa’s Gift Shop on December 7. Firstly, she requested use of the Shiben Building. For their Christmas Day activities, they always set up their crafters, vendors, and people selling food in there. Second, she requested a donation for their Christmas activities. This will be the fourth year and each year it has grown. She noted that they open it up to all children but for a lot of the children, this is the only Christmas gift they get.
She said they will have a station, which is a Christmas activity like decorating a Christmas bulb to hang on a tree. The Children’s Center is also involved and will be having them to make reindeer food. Every time the child goes to a different activity, they check it off at that station and then they can go to Santa’s gift shop. According to how many stations they have gone to is how they determine what quality of prize that they get. They usually try to get enough money so that the children go home with a quality prize no matter how many stations they go to. They start in the morning from 9-11 and feed all the kids breakfast. This is also the same day as the parade. They will have probably 6-7 stations for them to do things all day and then they will come to the Chamber and choose the gift. They have already had a donation to give two bicycles. Last year there were skateboards and doll babies. Last year they had 150 children and that number has gone up from 69. This year they’re planning for 200. She noted that anything the commission would be able to give would help pay for the gifts.
Commissioner Lisa Heasley made a motion that the county donate to Santas gift shop for the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $2,000.00. The motion was seconded by Morris, and upon vote, was passed unanimously. The commission also approved the request for the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce to use the Shiben Building on December 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also, Rhonda Spencer, Recorder for the town of Pine Grove, came before the commission with a request for help with the purchase of a Vac Pump. They have had two Vac Pumps but they are now running on one. The one pump had gotten water in it. They changed the filter like they normally do. However, with the water getting in the pump, it burned the pump up. Therefore, they are now down to one. The fire department has had to be called twice because of smoke rolling out of the building due to only having one pump. They called a company and they said that they would salvage the pump for $18,967.70. There is a new system being installed in the Spring and when that occurs, the pump will not work with that system. However, when that happens, the town has agreed to sell the pump to another town that still uses the system they have now. The request was approved unanimously on a motion by Morris and second by Heasley to buy the pump for $18,967.70 for the town of Pine Grove.
In other business:The commission chose not to take action on the proposal by Thrasher Engineering for the Shiben Building Renovation.
The commission also chose to delay action on the estimate of Alan Miller for the rebuilding of the steps of the Wetzel County Commission Office. They have decided that it does not need to be done immediately.
The commission approved the request by the Child Advocate Center to move Lindsay Eddy into a full-time position from a part-time position.
The commission approved the issue of an order adopting evaluations that were set forth in the correct evaluation for 2019 involving EQT and Southwest Productions.