By Jean A. Flanagan
Director of the Hardy County Office of Emergency Management and 911 Center Paul Lewis told the Hardy County Commission, calls for service in July increased significantly compared to the calls for service in June.
“It’s up more than 100 calls from last month,” he said.
The Hardy County Commission met on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
In June the 911 Center received 715 calls for service. In July, that number jumped to 822. The primary increase was to both the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department and the Moorefield Police Department.
The Hardy County Sheriff’s Department had 371 calls for service in July. There were 313 calls in June.
The Moorefield Police Department had 315 calls for service in July. There were 245 calls in June.
[private] The West Virginia State Police had 67 calls for service.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police had 13 calls for service.
*includes traffic stops.
Fraley Ambulance Service had 103 calls for service.
The Hardy County Emergency Ambulance Authority had 64 calls for service.
The Wardensville Rescue Squad had 19 calls for service.
The Moorefield Volunteer Fire Department had 22 calls for service.
The Mathias/Baker Volunteer Fire Department had 19 calls for service.
The Capon Valley Volunteer Fire Department had 10 calls for service.
According to the call reports, both general complaint calls and traffic stops increased significantly for the Sheriff’s Department and the Moorefield Police Department. Burglar alarm calls also increased in both jurisdictions.
Lewis also told the commission he is still looking for a tower site along State Route 259 in the Lost River/Mathias area. “Once we find a site, I will work on obtaining a grant from the PSC (Public Service Commission) for that tower,” he said.
Commission President Harold Michael asked if the tower would be compatible with cell phone usage.
“It should,” Lewis said. “It has to connect to the Helmick Rock tower for us. If we can, we’ll connect to Wardensville too.”
The Office of Emergency Management is planning a regional exercise on Sept. 19. “We are planning several different incidents so we can tax our system and our first responders,” he said.
The commission approved resolutions for nearly $50,000 in grant contracts. That is funding which has been approved for fiscal year 2018. According to the contracts, funding will be reimbursed once conditions of the grant have been met.
The commission approved a $11,368 grant from the West Virginia Division of Justice Courthouse Security Fund. The grant will pay for additional security measures in the courthouse, specifically in the Circuit Judge’s offices.
The commission approved a $31,500 grant from the USDA-Community Facilities program. The funding will provide 35 percent of the cost of two vehicles for the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department.
The commission approved $5,940 from the West Virginia Division of Tourism Fairs and Festivals. The funds are to support the Moorefield Lion’s Club Independence Day Celebration. The money comes to the county and is passed to the Moorefield Lion’s Club. Michael commented that the amount was considerably less than in years’ past. “At one time, we got $25,000,” he said.
The commission voted to provide a letter of support for the Hardy County Emergency Ambulance Authority’s grant application to the Charleston Area Medical Center Foundation for $13,876. The funds are to purchase a Lucas Chest Compression device.
The commission also voted to amend a contract with Crystal Cleaning, exercising a second-year extension. County Coordinator Rose Helmick requested that the strip and re-coat of the floors be done in the Spring, instead of the Fall.
Mach also provided terminology changes in the contract to reflect current practices.
Fran Welton, chair of the Local Emergency Preparedness Council repeated her request for the commission to fund a mass communication system, also known as a reverse 911 system.
The system would automatically call people in the event of an emergency, man-made or natural disaster. The system could be programed to call only those areas affected.
Recently, Pendleton County introduced a system there and Welton said both Grant and Hampshire already have the service.
“American Woodmark said they would partner with us,” Welton said. “The Board of Education may do so as well. They already have a system, but it’s more expensive than sharing with us.”
Lewis said he would have to confirm cost prices and would bring that information back to the commission.
At previous meetings, Lewis reported the cost of the system would be in the $5,000 range, with an additional annual maintenance fee.
Wardensville Town Clerk Theresa Ramsey and Councilman Ed Klinovski requested the commission consider funding hookups for and emergency generator.
“We have the generator,” Ramsey said. “We need the hookups to our water, sewer and emergency shelter.”
Ramsey said the cost estimate is $14,000.
“We spent all our surplus,” Michael said.
“You have $100,000 in a fund,” Ramsey said.
“That’s our contingency money,” Helmick said.
Michael suggested Ramsey pursue grant funding.
Klinovski requested funding for the town park.
“We have been maintaining the park with volunteers,” he said. “The pool didn’t open this year because of problems acquiring lifeguards. The tennis and basketball courts need fixing. They really get used a lot.
We’re looking for funding for the general operation of the pool and park.”
“Red Funkhouser used to get state funding through state highways,” Michael said. “Five percent of state highway funds go to parks, but you have to apply. It’s called T-21 funds.”
“There are lots of grants out there for parks and recreation,” Helmick said.
“We were hoping to get county funds,” Klinovski said.
“The money we get for parks goes to county parks,” Michael said. “I suggest you pursue grants.”
Hardy County Assessor Jim Wratchford requested the commission consider two special exonerations. According
to state code, the assessor can authorize a refund for incorrect assessments the previous year. Anything
older than a year must be approved by the County Commission.
“Darl Reel had a mobile home that been assessed twice since 1984,” Wratchford said. “If we go back four years, the amount refunded is $120.”
The commission approved the refund.
Kenneth Miller was assessed in Class III and he should have been in Class II,” Wratchford said. “His refund would be $2,005 for the four years.”
The commission approved the refund.
•The payroll register for July 1 – 15 was $69,393.38.
•The payroll register for July 16 – 31 was $67,830.50.
•The regional jail bill for June was $45,162.
•The county’s contribution to the Farmland Preservation Board in July was $10,347.70.
•The commission approved the list of poll workers for the Oct. 7 Special Election.
•The commission approved the use of paper ballots only for the Oct. 7 Special Election.
•The commission approved the Sheriff’s commission of $15,000 for the successful collection of taxes.
•County Clerk Gregg Ely reported a credit from Mountaineer Gas of $1,800 because of budget billing. Ely suggest the county return to actual billing. The commission agreed.
•The commission approved a transfer of $50,000 from the Ambulance Fee account to the HCEAA.
•The next meeting of the Hardy County Commission will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 5 beginning at 9 a.m. Anyone wishing to be included on the agenda should contact the County Clerk’s office at 304-530-0250. The meeting is open to the public.