By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor
WELCH, W.Va. – The McDowell County Commission met for a regular meeting Wednesday afternoon, June 24th, 2020.
Two Infrastructure Resolutions
The Commission approved two resolutions authorizing the McDowell County Economic Development Authority the use of Coal Bed Methane severance tax funds for projects at Berwind Lake and Blackwolf Links Golf Course.
$21,500 was authorized for the Berwind Lake project, allowing for the installation of sprinkler systems and hardwired smoke detectors in the six cabins and trailer located around the lake.
$24,000 was also authorized for the repair of bridges damaged during the flooding in May 2020.
“We put the beams across the creek and we locked them all in to keep the water from washing the bases out. We’re purchasing 1 inch metal grating to deck them with and we’ve got Ricky Muncy doing the work,” said Greg Strong.
“You guys moved that up close to 15 feet didn’t you,” asked Brooks.
“The one is 16 feet off the water,” said Strong.
“It looks nice,” said Brooks.
“Probably the best it’s been,” said Patterson.
It was approved unanimously.
Another item on the Commission’s agenda was a Pole Attachment Agreement for the Bull Creek/Isaban Broadband Project. It was also approved unanimously.
“Region One worked with us on this. We’re going to own the power line and sublet it to the provider to get some high-speed internet down in that area,” said Patterson. “The company couldn’t afford to do it so this comes through a grant to run the line and then sublet to a contractor to manage it.”
“It’s going to help them down there, Panther, Bull Creek, down into Isaban,” said Brooks. “They’ll probably have better internet down there than we have in Welch.”
Vehicles Donated to War
Mayor of War Robert Beavers approached the Commission in regards to Dodge cruisers recently bid out by the Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve got one of the same model, it still runs good but we need some body parts for it. I was wondering what the City could pay for it to get the parts.
“No one bid on them right,” said Cody Estep. “Let’s give them to him.”
“I second Cody’s motion,” said Brooks.
“Technically you should bid it out to them, auction it off,” said Prosecuting Attorney Emily Miller.
“We’ve donated before to cities, as long as its a government agency,” said Patterson.
“We bid them twice in the past and didn’t receive anything,” said Brooks.
“I can make my recommendation but you all can still make your decision however you see fit,” said Miller.
“I’m not disagreeing with you but they’re junk and just for parts,” said Patterson. “I think we should give it to them.”
“Give it to them then,” said Estep.
It was approved unanimously.
Bradshaw Sewer Request
Mayor of Bradshaw Brian Harrison approached the Commission about grinders for the town’s sewer system.
“Our sewer plant is going to be replaced, but we’re still two years out. We’re asking for grinders to keep our old plant working until they get the new one going.
“How many do you need,”asked Patterson.
“Lawrence can make do with 2, but he’d like to have 4,” said Harrison. “Right now we have none, he used the last two the other day.”
“That’s an allowable expenditure,” said Patterson.
“It can be, but whoever does it needs to have three estimates, and the entire cost of the project has to be upfront,” said Miller.
Miller told Harrison to return the project details to the EDA to request funding.
Moment of Silence
“Before we dismiss, we’ve had a tragedy in the county with one of our firemen. These ladies and gentlemen are volunteers that put their life on the line.
“I just told President Patterson that in lieu of everything that transpired in Iaeger, that before we dismissed our Commission meeting that we would just have a moment of silence for Mr. Roberson and his family. We’ve discussed that later on, we can do a proclamation and present that to his family on his behalf.
Like Cecil said, these volunteers don’t make a dime and are out there all hours of the night and we feel like that’s the least we can do.
Moment of Silence
“Before we dismiss, we’ve had a tragedy in the county with one of our firemen,” said Patterson. “These ladies and gentlemen are volunteers that put their life on the line.”
“I just told President Patterson that in lieu of everything that transpired in Iaeger, that before we dismissed our Commission meeting that we would just have a moment of silence for Mr. Roberson and his family,” said Brooks. “We’ve discussed that later on, we can do a proclamation and present that to his family on his behalf. Like Cecil said, these volunteers don’t make a dime and are out there all hours of the night and we feel like that’s the least we can do.”
Everyone in attendance held a moment of silence before the meeting concluded.
Other items also on the Commission’s agenda included:
- The Commission certified the results of the June 9th Primary Election.
- The Commission had requested bids for a dump truck, but instead received a bid for a trailer the Sheriff’s Office owns. The Commission voted to rebid the dump truck.
- Solid Waste Authority Board Member Danny Thornsbury was renewed for another term on the Board.
- The County Building Commission announced that Carmello Miano wished to not serve and recommended his replacement be Jim Redmond. The Commission approved Redmond.