Handley appointed to highway commission


September 13, 2012

POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Commission President Rick Handley has been appointed to the West Virginia Blue Ribbon Highway Commission.

Handley’s appointment was brought up by Commissioner Miles Epling at Thursday’s regular Mason County Commission meeting.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has put together a special commission of legislators and interest group representatives to study the highway issues facing the state and has particularly charged them to find a new means of funding highway projects. The West Virginia Association of Counties is one of the participating organizations named in the executive order and has asked Handley to represent county government and counties’ interests on the commission.

Handley has said he’s honored to have been chosen to sit on the highway commission and looks forward to working with other government and business entities to find funds to build more roads.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Linda Roush and Lorrie Wright approached the commission about what they feel is a much needed upgrade at the county’s 4-H camp - namely, a new dining hall. Roush said the floor is leaning, the roof is leaking and there is only one unisex bathroom in the dining hall.

Due to construction and labor costs, this could be a costly adventure with no money to help complete. The commission suggested Roush and Wright develop a plan of what they will need and start going to state delegates and senators, as well as applying for local grants to help raise funds. Both Roush and Wright are going to attempt to get this project off the ground by following the commission’s advice and hoping the community steps up and helps improve the camp which benefits children from across the entire county.

County Administrator John Gerlach said representatives with Chapman Technical Group had recently met with Sheriff Michael Roach to go over the needs of the sheriff’s department once it’s moved into the old Point Pleasant Hardware Building. This meeting will result in a preliminary floor plan.

Gerlach also reported the work to completely replace the basketball courts at the old Ordnance School should be completed in two weeks.

Gerlach added he was going to look into getting a cost estimate on a digital sign to place outside the Mason County Health Department which would not only promote events at the health department, but, due to the building’s backup generator, could display emergency updates during power outages.

Gerlach said the portion of the courthouse roof which had been causing headaches for several offices has been repaired though it will take the next hard rain to know for sure if the leaks have definitely stopped. Sections of the roof were cut out, replaced and re-foamed with the foam sloped to ensure the water runs faster off the roof. The circuit court records room had been damaged from the water. The loose plaster, wet carpet and wainscoting affected have been removed to dry and air vents have been cleaned. Once it’s determined the leak is indeed fixed, the records room will be repaired. The roof was still under warranty.

Commissioners set Trick-or-Treat times for all county non-municipalities for 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25.

Commissioners set their October meetings for 4 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 18 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 25.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Commissioner Bob Baird was treated to a surprise birthday cake for his 79th birthday. Baird has served on the commission since 2000 with his last term to end on Dec. 31.