Jackson County Commissioners approved a grant and bids for work at the Jackson County Airport, and gave the preliminary go-ahead for establishing a Teen Court in Jackson County among a host of items covered during Thursday’s meeting at the courthouse.
Jackson County Commissioners approved a grant and bids for work at the Jackson County Airport, and gave the preliminary go-ahead for establishing a Teen Court in Jackson County among a host of items covered during Thursday’s meeting at the courthouse. Commissioners conducted a conference call with Ken Ross concerning an FFA grant offer and contracts for AIP 19. The total three-year grant award is $375,200 which includes $150,000 per year from the FAA with an additional $50,000 more possible which will basically provide the Jackson County Airport with a new T-hangar with no local matching money required. GraCon Construction is the low bidder for the hangar construction project with a base bid of $348,500 and an additional $1,700 for a spare door motor for a total of $350,200. NGC’s portion is $25,000 for design, inspections and related services. Greg Fowler, coordinator of the Teen Court in Mason County for four years, addressed the commissioners about establishing the very successful program in Jackson County. Fowler said the first step is to authorize an additional $5 fee on all county and state police citations which will go to fund the program. The second step is to get the cities of Ripley and Ravenswood to authorize the same $5 fee addition on citations. The Teen Court handles all first-offense misdemeanors committed by teens such as truancy and tobacco possession on school property. The court is youth run with the Prosecuting Attorney serving as judge. According to Fowler, 93 percent of youth offenders passing through Teen Court never return to the judicial system. Future plans could see the formation of a Teen Circuit Court including Jackson, Mason, Roane and Calhoun counties, Fowler said. Commissioners were in favor of the program and Fowler’s involvement to set it up here to help the youth of Jackson County. IT Manager Greg Thomas presented an activities report to the commissioners. Thomas reported that the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ThinkPen Project is complete, along with a fiber optic project (not activated) and wireless network. Thomas reported that changes are needed with the 9-1-1 CAD cables (power cables and some 32 data cables). The cost of the changes is estimated at some $5,160, and will provide three to four extra data cables. Commission president Joe Pitts said the commissioners will talk to OES director Walt Smittle. Thomas also reported that additional data cables are needed in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. A low bid of $1,540 has been received from Pro 1 Electric, LLC. The commissioners approved the installation of the cables by Pro 1. Thomas said civil rights training has been completed. He also said that cell phone signal strength (60 lines currently involved with county officials) has decreased. Thomas said he is working with Verizon and will also contact AT&T for options to improve the service. Steve Stewart of Appalachian Power thanked the commission and 911 for their help during the June 29 storm power outage that crippled Jackson County. “We’ve never experienced anything like that in the 110 year history of our company,” said Stewart. “At one time during the outage, we had 573,000 customers without power, 100 transmission lines down, 100 substations out and 1,500 poles down. We had crews in here from as far away as South Dakota helping restore service. We rebuilt a system in two week that took 100 years to build. Our biggest difficulties were with our call center which was overwhelmed. We’ve learned may things and will improve many things in the event we eve face anything like this again. Among improvements, there needs to be more cooling centers all over the state.” Sheriff Mike Bright and Amy Haskins for the Anti-Drug Coalition addressed commissioners about the titling and storage of the new trailer-mounted drug incinerator for disposing of prescription medicine collected in “Take Back” events. The diesel-fueled incinerator has been built and mounted on a 6 x 12 trailer. It is the first of its kind in the state of West Virginia. The commission committed $2,800 to the project and additional funds have been committed from Sheriff’s Department forfeiture auction proceeds. The commissioners agree to have the trailer titled to commission and insured. Winter storage is suggested inside the Exhibit Hall at the Jackson County Fairgrounds at Cottageville, and will be coordinated through Hannah White, who schedules use of the county farm. In other action, the commissioners: • Approved and authorized President Pitts to execute a Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority grant application. Pitts commended Sandy Garrett for her work on this. • Approved the estimate from Pro 1 Electric LLC in the amount of $7,280 for the installation of seven light posts on the Courthouse lawn. • Approved and authorized President Pitts to execute a contract with American Plate Glass Inc. retroactive to August 28 for replacement of all glass entry doors at the courthouse in the amount of $32,085. • Scheduled “Trick or Treat” in unincorporated areas of Jackson County for October 30 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. • Tabled action of airport mobile home bids. • Canceled the September 13 meeting.