The Wetzel County Commission met last Tuesday and heard a presentation from Lisa Moore and Susie Nelson, on behalf of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. The community foundation builds charitable funds throughout the local counties. They have listings of businesses that are accepting donations for anyone that feels that they would like to give back to the community. There are several funds to donate toward such as donor advised funds, scholarship funds, donor designated funds, field of interest funds, agency endowment funds, and unrestricted funds. In fact, there are around 65 funds available. There is a fund setup specifically for Wetzel County to help those in need. The Community Foundation makes sure all of the legalities are done correctly for charitable donations and for tax purposes. Over the last two years, $13,500 has been given through grant making to non-profit organizations. Six thousand dollars was recently given to four non-profit businesses. CASA for Children, Hundred VFD, Pine Grove VFD, and Youth Services all received grants through the Community Foundation. Nelson and Moore want to spread the word of available funds for those in need. It was stated that Wetzel County has one of the more active advisory committees in the area. The Community Foundation was able to raise $356,000 through an online charity event and they hope to reach $500,000 this year. Some of the committee members are even hoping that the influx of oil workers will cause an increase in donations; after all, charitable contributions make for good tax breaks. For more information you may visit the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley website at CFOV.org.
Chuck Clegg conversed with the commissioners concerning the idea of restoring the Wetzel County Cannon Monument. The sandstone monument has stood on the front lawn, in front of the courthouse, since it was built in 1902. Prior to 1942, the sandstone monument held a cannon from the civil war era. Early in the Second World War, the metal cannon was removed and used for scrap metal to support the war effort. To preserve its historical significance, a ceramic picture replaced the actual metal cannon.
At some point in the last fifty years, the picture has disappeared and its location is unknown. Boswell Monuments will be able to re-create the 4x6 inch ceramic picture from an old photo. The new ceramic picture will be inset, into an indentation, in the monument to help prevent future theft.
The base will be cleaned, and several of the cracks will be filled with an epoxy to help prevent water damage. The monument should be restored to a stable condition, hopefully making it last another 115 years.
The cost for the restoration is estimated at $1,000 There was $569.00 dollars left over from the Wetzel County Time Capsule project that will be used toward the restoration and the commissioners passed a motion granting $431.00 towards the cannon restoration. The project will begin in the late spring to early summer.
David Grandstaff, Penny Morris, and Dr. Dave Kappel requested funding from the commission to help with the New Martinsville Vintage Regatta. On June 10 and 11, they would like to host a race located at the old yacht club for vintage style boats. These vintage boats are at least 30-years-old and are guaranteed to put on a show. They are anticipating that their budget will cost around $20,000. The trio have received much support throughout the community in hosting this event. They would like to feed into the nostalgia of the old boat races and "trying to preserve those pieces of history." Morris stated that they do not want to interfere with Regatta Fest in the fall, but felt that this could be a good opportunity to provide some entertainment to the community. The commission received a budget for the costs but stated that they would need an official letter requesting funds.
Susie Scharf, from the Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center ,thanked the commission for its help and support throughout the years.
"You've been there during the good and the bad, and we appreciate that. You guys are true champions for children," Scharf said. She mentioned that she will be applying for a community service grant in the amount of $77,331.00. Scharf asked the commission if it would consider being the Child Advocacy Center's fiscal agent. The commission has been the fiscal agent for the CAC for a while now and will continue to be for at least the next year. Scharf stated that her organization would like to eventually become its own fiscal agent but is not quite to that point yet. Scharf has sent in a letter of request to the commission to be accepted. She also announced that Jim Holler, internationally known speaker, will be speaking at two local schools about crimes against children. The topic of discussion will be "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Social Media." Holler will discuss cyber bullying, sexting, and internet predators.
In a previous meeting, the commission opened bids for a 2017 Dodge Durango. The Durango will be used by the new officer to be hired by the sheriff's department. Stephen's Auto Center won the bid by offering a 2017 Dodge Durango for $32,549.00, which includes all wheel drive, 5.7 liter V8 Hemi engine, 8 speed auto , A/C, tinted windows, backup camera, and other standard equipment.
Terri Tyler of the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority requested funding for the litter control program. The clean up crew gathered over 15 tons of garbage alongside the roads of Wetzel County. Tyler is also pursuing the action of fining people who are littering along the highways. She is interested in appointing a county litter control officer; however, that officer can only be appointed by the county commission. There is a grant available from the Department of Environmental Protection, which could be matched by the county commission, to go toward a county litter control officer. The commission agreed to donate to the litter clean up program in the amount of $50,000. The program will begin in May.
The commission also re-appointed Mike Barth, Johanna Lemasters, and Jim Colvin to the Wetzel County Emergency Ambulance Authority Board of Directors.
The next scheduled commission meeting will be today, March 8.