Braxton Citizens' News, Community, Town Meeting

County moves forward with emergency communications upgrade

One of many actions taken by the Braxton County Commission at their most recent meeting on Friday, August 18 was the approval to begin upgrading the communications equipment for the county’s branches of emergency services. John Hoffman, OES/9-1-1 Director, reviewed the project with the Commissioners. He explained that the new system would replace what is known as the Legacy Radio System which is primarily utilized for dispatching emergency units. The system is old and parts are no longer readily available.

Hoffman recommended that the contract be awarded to Tanner Communications of Arnoldsburg at a total cost of $387,400. All the transmitters on county towers will be replaced, the old equipment will be removed, and battery backups will be installed. He also emphasized that the work needed to be undertaken before winter weather. President Lisa Godwin added that the Senate Appropriations Committee had moved the budget bill to the full Senate for consideration. That bill contains $1,880,000 to fund the final step of upgrading the system which would put radio equipment in the hand of the county’s seven fire departments, EMS and area police agencies. The bid was accepted on a motion by Larry Clifton.

Hoffman also reviewed a request from the county’s fire departments asking that the Commission provide funding from the ARP money to purchase basic high angle rescue equipment for each department in the county. He further requested that the contractor be awarded to ROCO Rescue Inc. in the amount of $14,838.91. The request was approved on a motion by Larry Clifton.

Gary Crutchfield and Kenny Summers of the Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department came before the commission to report on the Emergency Shelter and Auxiliary facility they are proposing for the Burnsville area.

Crutchfield stated that the information given to his department during their first visit to the Commission had been successful. They had contacted the Braxton County Development Authority and the environmental assessment that was being required for the property could be paid for with the Brownfield Grant awarded the BCDA.

He went on to explain that with the $43,000 committed by the fire department, $20,000 allocated by the Town of Burnsville, a $67,050 USDA Grant, they were nearing funding completion for the new facility. He stated that due to the USDA funding the project could not get underway until next year and that they were concerned that inflation would drive up the overall price estimated at $135,000. Crutchfield requested that the Commission contribute to the community project. After a brief discussion, action on the matter was tabled while the commissioners checked to see if funding from the ARP monies could be utilized for the project.

Others to address the commission included Robin Smith and Gary Beamer with the Town of Sutton. The pair requested the use of the Courthouse Square in conjunction with the Sutton Fall Festival on October 7 and the Sutton Christmas Parade on December 2. The requests were approved.

Linda Dean representing the Burnsville Senior Center requested turbine vents for the facility. Following a brief discussion, the matter was tabled until the county’s maintenance department could review the problem and make sure the vents were the proper action to take.

Marie Lockard, Director of the Braxton County Testing Center presented the Commission with her agency’s activity report for the month of July. That report revealed that they had conducted 266 drug screenings.

Tiffany Prior, EMS Director, requested the hiring of two individuals for the county Ambulance Service. She requested that Justin W. Foster be hired as a part-time EMT/Driver at an hourly rate of $15.50. She also requested that Philip Thomas McKown be employed as a part-time ambulance driver. McKown is currently a full-time 9-1-1 dispatcher. He will be paid $13.00 per hour.  Both requests were approved via separate motions.

Sheriff Lou DellaMea provided the Commission with a report on the Home Confinement Fund. He said the fund currently contained a balance of $78,101.14 with $3,000 to $4,000 monthly income, depending on the number of participants.

In other action, the Commission approved the short form settlements as presented by the Fiduciary Supervisor for the following: Gretchel Deneice Barlett, Josua Ryan Dean, Martha E. Godfrey, Mabel J. Hall, Raymond Dale Hamrick, Catherine Ann Hayes, David M. marple, Thomas Martzall, Charles Fredick Mowery, Carolyn M. Stover, and Marvin M. Williams.

They also approved corrections of erroneous assessments for the following: Linda & Ritchie Anderson, Cheryl Currence, DCG Contracting, Inc., Danie & Shelby Sartin, Hallie Baxter Estate, Christopher & Shawnna Stout, Larry Perrine, and ST Perrine Heirs.

The Commission approved a consolidation of contiguous tracts of land for tax purposes request from Brittany and Jared Frame.

Two purchase orders were approved. Meadows Septic will perform work at the Animal Shelter costing $525. General Appliance LLC will install a new AC Unit for the Courthouse new additional at a cost of $6,800.

Following a brief discussion, Larry Clifton made a motion that Lisa Godwin represent the Commission on WV’s American 250th Commission Advisor Council Board.

Separate motions authorized a new heating and AC unit for the voting equipment room at a cost of $3,117 as well as plumbing work on the hot water boiler for the courthouse at a cost of $734.84.

Following a review, the county and EMS invoices were approved for payment as well as the minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of August 4.

Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:42 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will convene on September 1 at 9:00 a.m.