POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission approved a proposal to tear down tennis courts it has been maintaining in Hartford to make room for a second softball field for use by Wahama Junior High School.
At Thursday’s regular meeting, Commissioners Rick Handley, Miles Epling and Bob Baird listened to a proposal which focused on an area located behind Corner Stone Academy and behind the existing softball field. In this area is a tennis court which has become rundown and by some accounts has not been utilized for the last five-plus years. WHS Softball Boosters feel this would be an excellent place to serve as a practice and playing field for the junior high school softball team.
The commission was consulted on the matter because it last held the lease on the property though the property is owned by the Mason County Board of Education. Construction on the second field is likely to begin this summer.
Both Sheriff Michael Roach and Chief Deputy Jeff Fields addressed the commission about mandated changes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning the use of certain radio frequencies. Basically, the changes will affect how many watts will be available for radio use and many law enforcement agencies as well as other first responders are switching to newer, digital radios. Fields presented the commission with a cost estimate for these newer radios (this includes radios for deputies, home confinement and process services) which came to around $163,000. Commissioners ask County Administrator John Gerlach to check on lease purchase agreements and if there is a state bid price available on these radios since the FCC switchover is affecting agencies statewide, as well as nationwide. Commissioners also asked Roach and Fields to find out if any money can be gained by getting rid of the old radios or if there are any grants available. There was no motion made or action taken until more information can be gathered for the best possible price.
The sheriff’s department will need the new radios by September. Fields said the newer radios purchased with grant money in a previous administration were not compatible to the new FCC regulations and since they were purchased with grant money, he wasn’t sure if they could be resold.
Commissioners approved the hire of Justin Cox and Jeremy Ferrell as deputies as recommended by Roach.
Gerlach reported the project to replace the roof at the Mason County Fair Grounds was going well. He also said a fire alarm at the Mason County Health Department went off this weekend though there was no fire - Gerlach said the heat sensors activated the alarm and they are being inspected. He also said venting the attic may have to be done.
Commissioners remarked on meeting with their counterparts, the Gallia County Commission in Gallipolis, Ohio on Thursday, where the conversation was about common problems the two areas share, such as infrastructure and employment needs.
Commissioners wished the Point Pleasant High School Baseball team good luck at their game Friday.
The following meeting dates were set: 9 a.m., June 8; 4 p.m., June 21; 4 p.m., July 12; 4 p.m., July 26.
Prior to the meeting, commissioners recognized local track and field standouts from Wahama High School and PPHS. Receiving certificates and recognition from WHS were Jacob Buzzard, Benny Youkers, Jacob Ortiz and Crandale Neal. Receiving certificates and recognition from PPHS were Caleb Riffle, Marquez Griffin, Anthony Darst, Zach Canterbury, Chase Walton.