WELLSBURG - Crews are preparing to replace the roof of the Brooke County Courthouse, and a bid for a new garage for the county's ambulance service was opened Tuesday.
Commission President Marty Bartz noted crews with Mansuetto Roofing of Wheeling on Tuesday began setting up equipment and materials needed to replace the roof over the newer section of the courthouse.
The $101,480 project will be funded in part by an $80,000 grant awarded by the state Courthouse Improvement Council.
An earlier $80,000 grant from the council was used to fund the $106,000 replacement of the roof over the original section of the courthouse a few years ago.
Bartz said the work is expected to take at least three weeks.
The roof hasn't been replaced since the new section was added to the courthouse more than 40 years ago.
Bartz suggested the commission hire a part-time inspector to oversee the project on the commission's behalf. As facilities supervisor for Brooke County Schools, he noted it's standard procedure for school districts to employ an inspector known as a clerk of works for major building projects.
The comissioners are expected to discuss the idea further next Tuesday.
The commission also opened a bid for a 40-by-60-foot garage to house ambulances for Brooke County Ambulance Service's station on the north end of Follansbee. Hukill Construction of Wellsburg submitted the sole bid, in the amount of about $46,000.
Plans call for the prefabricated steel structure to be built on a concrete slab near the station, so it may be moved in the future if needed, said John Schwertfeger, the county's ambulance director.
Schwertfeger, who was called for comment, noted the station's ambulances currently must be parked outdoors. This presents a problem in the winter because drugs used by the squad may not be stored in cold temperatures, he said.
The new garage will enable the squads to store drugs and equipment inside the vehicles so they will be ready when called, Schwertfeger said.
Bob Fowler, the county's emergency management director, said he plans to rent space in the garage, using state funds allocated to the department. He said the project will be funded by several state grants secured by state Dels. Roy Givens, D-Wellsburg; and Phil Diserio, D-Follansbee; and former state Del. Tim Ennis.
Schwertfeger also acknowledged the late county Commissioner Bernie Kazienko for helping to secure permission from RG Steel, the property's owner, to build on the site.
Several years ago plans were made to build a new ambulance station atop the hill above Cross Creek Road and across from Brooke High School, but the commission lacked the needed funds. Instead, stations were established on state Route 2 at Follansbee's north end and at Marshall Terrace off state Route 67 and not far from state Route 2.
Schwertfeger said plans to build on Cross Creek Road have been tabled for now because the two stations are in good locations to serve the northern and southern ends of the county. But he added he will be retiring in August, after more than 30 years with the ambulance service, and his successor, yet to be named, may have other plans.
In other business:
The commission opened two bids for two 15-kilowatt commercial heaters for the storage building of the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority near the county's animal shelter at 44 Hollow.
The bids were from H.E. Neumann, in the amount of $7,725; and Johnson Boiler Works, in the amount of $10,300. They will be reviewed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, which awarded a grant to the solid waste board for the heaters.
Ruby Greathouse, a rural resident, said she's received mail with her new numbered citystyle address and asked if she should be using it now.
Brooke County Sheriff Richard Ferguson, who has been heading up efforts to assign the new addresses, said some residents are receiving mail with their new addresses and some have requested them in advance to satisfy banks and other businesses that now require a numbered address.
But Ferguson said cards will be mailed to residents advising them of their new addresses and they will have up to a year after that to notify pertinent parties of the change.
He noted residents who receive their mail at post office boxes may continue to do so. But the new addresses will be used by the county's emergency 911 center, and residents and businesses will be asked to post the numbers prominently on their property.
Ferguson said the county's Buffalo District has been mapped, signed and addressed, and efforts have turned to the Cross Creek District now.