Storm damages Hancock County 911 system

NEW CUMBERLAND — Hancock County’s emergency management services experienced damage to its equipment last week due to a storm.

During Tuesday’s meeting with Hancock County Commission, Office of Technology and Communications executive director Bob Vidas discussed the damage that occurred to the 911/Office of Emergency Management following a severe thunderstorm last week.

According to Vidas, damage included the loss of the microwave system at the building, the 911 center’s simplex system which is being worked on; and the HVAC heating/cooling unit, which was eventually reset. The 911 center eventually switched to a backup generator and a backup system after the building itself took a hit.

“We have T-1 backups for the northern end of the county,” Vidas said. “When the microwave went down, we went straight to T-1. The microwave was right where we replaced (Monday), and they are back online as our primary source right now.”

Also related to communications, Vidas said his office received two estimates for two different-size 208 towers. He said the goal was to have the new towers installed near the current towers, and then tear down the old ones at another time.

In a separate matter, Vidas announced the commission should be able to receive, by its next meeting, all bids for the surplus police cruisers along with bids for work on the restoration of the Hancock County Courthouse.

Plans for restoration include renovation of the west side of the courthouse from top to bottom, funded partially through a grant from the West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority.

When asked by Commissioner Joe Barnabei whether or not work on the courthouse would happen this year, Vidas stated, per the agreement, it would happen as it would have to be completed by the end of the year.

“It’s part of what’s in the bid that it has to be completed by the end of the year so that we could use the grant funds,” Vidas said.

In other business:

— The commission approved the general county bills totaling $55,582.22, with P-card payments for all funds amounting to $20,249.60, and all expenditures for the month of June at $1,116,375.65.

— The commission approved the first revision for Fiscal Year 2018-19 of the Coal Severance tax. Finance director Karen LaScola said the revision, which is to be submitted to the county auditor’s office, showed unencumbered estimates in the tax.

— The commission also approved the depository bond with United Bank, made at the request of the prosecuting attorney’s office.

— The commission approved the revised schedule of meetings, which will now take place on the second and fourth Thursday, after being held for several years on the first and third Thursday of the month, under the condition the commission can change the meeting times and dates if necessary.

The meetings will continue to be held at 2:30 p.m. in the commission meeting room at the Hancock County Courthouse.

The schedule change, as discussed the past two commission meetings, was to allow the Finance Department extra time to present information that is closed. The office staff struggled, it was reported, to keep up with paperwork that has closed, with the closing dates usually falling after the commissioners meeting.

The new meeting dates — subject to change — are Aug. 9 and 23, Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and 29 (although that day is Thanksgiving), and Dec. 13 and 27.

The next regular meeting is scheduled 2:30 p.m. July 26.