POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Mason County Commission held its regular meeting last Thursday, appointing a dilapidated buildings board and setting Trick-or-Treat.
The commission voted to set Trick-or-Treat for unincorporated areas in Mason County for Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
As proposed by Sam Nibert, president, during the last commission meeting, a dilapidated property board — a resurrection of the Mason County Protection Agency — and a litter control officer, was appointed.
The litter control officer will “issue citations for violations of the provisions of the Mason County Protection Agency as set forth and prescribed by Chapter 7, Article 1, Section 3 of West Virginia code; address certain abandon[ed], severely dilapidated buildings and litter,” according to a document presented at the meeting.
A litter control officer correlates with Senate Bill 368 put into effect July 1, 2001, “authorizing DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] to develop Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Program,” according to the West Virginia Legislature’s website.
“That’s the person who’s really going to implement any citations or anything like that,” Nibert said.
Steven Cavender was presented as the code enforcement/litter control officer, starting part-time on Oct. 1. Commissioner Tracy Doolittle made a motion to accept Cavender for the roll and all were in favor.
“He will go through Mason County, looking for any open dumps, taking any complaints of any open dumps and go out and do some door-knocking,” Nibert said. “Also with the committee with the abandoned properties and dilapidated properties, the committee decided that we have 10 homes in Mason County that need to be called upon, he’ll go out and call upon [them people].
The Mason County Protection Agency will then “act on written complaints acquired against those properties in Mason County that pose a hazard to the community,” according to a document presented at the meeting.
The board for the Protection Agency is set up with specific members from the community. The board presented to the commission were Vickie Bale, building consultant; Ken Marcum, sanitarian Mason County Health Department; Jeremy Bryant, Point Pleasant Fire Chief; Don Linger, member-at-large representing the northern part of the county and Lisa Stepp, member-at-large representing the southern part of the county.
Commissioner Rick Handley motioned to accept the board and all members were in favor.
The board’s first meeting will determine officers where three members will serve for three years and two members will serve for two years. There will also be an update to amend the county’s ordinance on dilapidated and abandoned properties with several examples from across the state to review. The last update to this ordinance was Sept. 27, 2001.
Nibert said the first month of the committee will involve heavy paperwork as well as some state training.
“I’m super excited about this,” Nibert said.
Nibert reported during the meeting that he visited the New Haven/Mason area, including the food pantry. He said the pantry served 92 families one day of the week he visited. There are two different box options for families to receive from the pantry.
Nibert said the pantry organizers walked him through the pantry and the process used.
“[They’re] doing a tremendous job, really clean and nice, right there at the old Mason School,” Nibert said. “By visiting with folks, I learned that sometimes they need some financial help getting closer to the holidays, they also need some volunteers. They did have Eastern High School to come over.”
Nibert stopped and spoke with Wahama High School Principle Melissa Van Meter about students helping with the pantry and he said several school organizations were willing to get involved.
It was reported that the Henderson food pantry was broken into sometime last week. The organization is currently looking for a new location.
“I would like to ask the commission to take in consideration to help the food pantries here, we’re getting close to the holidays,” Nibert said.
Nibert said those in Mason said they currently give out a turkey breast for Thanksgiving and it costs about $3,500 to supply those.
“You know they are in need, like the homeless shelter,” Nibert said. “It was great visiting.”
In other commission news, Tiffany Franklin, deputy director 911 center, asked to add High Road Towing and Truck Repair, LLC to the current wrecker rotation that includes Stapleton’s Towing and Red’s Towing, Auto and Truck Repair. This will add an additional heavy duty towing and hazmat cleanup company to the rotation. Previously Red’s Towing was the only one that handled hazmat cleanups.
Franklin asked to bring on Jason Shultz as a part-time 911 operator. Handley motioned the hire and all approved.
Franklin also gave an update on pricing for needed software, equipment and a restoration of a backup trailer to use. The software was $112 with Doolittle making a motion to pass and all in favor. The trailer estimate is currently under $10k, which is “way under” budget Doolittle said.
Mason County EMS Director Elisabeth Lloyd asked the commission to hire Arden Painter as a general mechanic/maintenance starting Oct. 1. Handley made the motion and all approved the hire.
It was also approved that Izzy King help the WVU Mason County Extension office for around 24 hours per week.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @bhively1 or reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext 2555.