POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission is moving forward with upgrades at the Mason County Airport and a complete overhaul of the basketball courts at the old Ordnance School.
At Thursday’s meeting, Shawn Tucker of Chapman Technical Group, presented Mason County Commissioners Bob Baird and Rick Handley with an engineering agreement concerning the airport project. Tucker said the grant is in place for the project which is 90 percent funded by the federal government and 10 percent funded by the state — this means the county has no money in the improvements but will reap the benefits.
The notice of award for the project was issued to Stealth Limited out of Cross Lanes in the amount of $70,100. Tucker said the contract is scheduled to begin on Sept. 4 with the end date on Dec. 12. This will include a major overhaul of the electrical system at the airport among other work.
Also, work is to begin on the complete overhaul of the basketball courts near the old Ordnance School starting Sept. 4 and continuing throughout the month of September. A fence will be placed around the work area to keep those off the new asphalt and area until it’s completely ready. This work will include tearing out the old court completely due to an unstable surface, building a new base, repaving and repainting the area. Myers Paving got the job with a bid of $56,000.
Also, commissioners approved the financing package for new police radios which are required for operation after new federal mandates were put in place starting in September. The total cost of the new radios and equipment which will be compatible with new Federal Communications Commission regulations is $177,250. Of that total, the county had to finance $77,250 at 3.15 percent interest for three years through low bidder Country Roads Leasing out of Bridgeport. The county’s monthly payment on the loan is $2,200 per month.
County Administrator John Gerlach said much-needed repair on the courthouse’s roof will hopefully take place next week and he had talked to the roof contractor that morning about the issue. The roof, which is still under warranty, has been leaking badly on the upper floors, causing multiple problems to the ceilings and walls in some offices which keep buckets nearby to catch the overflow after a good rain. Gerlach said after talking to the contractor, the fix to the roof will include cutting out sections of the roof, replacing those sections, re-patching and re-foaming them. After this is completed, the interior damage will be fixed, Gerlach said.
Commissioners thanked Chuck Lanier for his service on the Mason County Public Service District Board. They then appointed Kenny Flemming to the PSD Board.
Commissioner Rick Handley reported he’d traveled with Point Pleasant Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant, Mayor Brian Billings and City Clerk Amber Tatterson to Charleston to a conference where fire chiefs asked the state fire commission to consider how some unfunded mandates are hurting volunteer fire departments. Handley said fire commission members said they would rethink some of these mandates and sit down with fire chiefs to discuss a solution. If volunteer fire departments fail, it falls to the county to provide fire coverage for residents.
Commissioners approved a proclamation proclaiming Sept. 23-29 as Mason County Retired School Employees Week.
Commissioners approved a list of poll workers and and polling places for the November election as presented by County Clerk Diana Cromley. Cromley also reported some of the voting equipment had been inspected last week and was ready to go.
Commissioners took a moment to remember the tragedy involving the shooting death of a West Virginia State Police Trooper, Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey, earlier this week. They also mentioned Trooper Eric Workman who survived the shooting as being the son of Clay County’s County Clerk. They also mentioned Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Westfall who was also injured in the shooting and is the husband of the Roane County Assessor and brother to Lisa Westfall. Commissioners also took a moment to remember the late Dr. Michael McGinnis.
Also, commissioners took a moment to recognize former county employee Jane Bird who recently took home the top pie prize at the West Virginia State Fair for her Chocolate Caramel Pecan Moose pie. She won a blue ribbon, a collectible Fiestaware plate from the fair and of course, the bragging rights to having the best pie in the state. Commissioners presented Bird with a certificate while Bird presented those at the commission meeting with a free, and sweet, sample of that award-winning pie.