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Commission Updated on the Communication Towers

By Rick Loy - Staff Writer | Oct 13, 2021

The Wetzel County Commissioners met for the weekly meeting on October 5, 2021, to hear from Sheriff Michael Koontz and Chief Deputy Rob Hayes on the bad radio communications in the county. All commissioners were present.

Commission President Lisa Heasley led the Pledge of Allegiance and then called the meeting to order, turning the floor over to Sheriff Koontz and Chief Deputy Hayes.

Chief Deputy Hayes said that the radio communications in the county for their department are not working well and he feels it’s a safety issue because of officers missing important life and death calls for quick responses. Sheriff Koontz and Chief Hayes brought a vendor, Bearcom, represented by Eric Fecat and Paul Staley, to help with a solution to the outdated communications problem.

Eric Fecat said that there are four towers that could be tied together by simulcast with equipment called Mircowave-Link to connect all the towers into one with good reception.

The towers are in Duffy, Barker, Hundred, and Five-points in Doddridge/Ritchie County. Bearcom estimated the approximate cost to update the towers would be $630,000 with a monthly maintenance fee that covers any repairs 24/7.

Sheriff Koontz requested $2,500 for Bearcom to apply for the licensing to get the ball rolling if Commission was onboard with updating the radio communications, which can be used by Wetzel County Schools, EMS, and Fire Departments as well.

Commission voted unanimously to give Bearcom $2,500 to apply for the license.

Doug Brake of Swiss Valley Associates was present to recommend the bid for the Courthouse Bell Tower Project to be awarded to JDE Construction for a cost of $127,900.

The recommendation was given unanimous approval by the commission.

Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught was present to suggest a resolution on the opioid liquidation of certain claims being dismissed.

Commission agreed.

The minutes from the September 28, 2021 meeting was approved unanimously by the commission.