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Hancock Commission addresses grass concerns, supports bridge name

NEW CUMBERLAND – The Hancock County Commission announced Thursday it has taken steps to address concerns about grass cutting at some of the county’s cemeteries after hearing from a county resident at its last meeting.

Commissioners, on Sept. 9, heard from resident Mike Gibson over the grass cutting and maintenance of Union Cemetery in New Manchester.

Gibson noted instances where he has taken it upon himself to cut grass in areas of the cemetery, and even take care of grave markers which had fallen.

“Since then, the county has been able to hire an individual,” Commissioner Jeff Davis said.

While the name of the company was not mentioned, Davis said they would be looking at additional options to assist with other cemeteries in the county.

The county commission each spring advertises for bids for grass cutting in the county’s cemeteries, parks and other county-owned properties. Commissioner Eron Chek indicated that contract had come to an end.

In other business, the commission agreed to lend its support to a proposed name for the new Ohio River bridge crossing currently under construction between a point south of Wellsburg and Brilliant.

The commission, by a 3-0 vote, agreed to send a letter of support to name the bridge the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge, at the request of Beech Bottom Village Council and Beech Bottom Mayor Becky Uhlly.

A letter from Uhlly noted the bridge, set to be completed in 2022, will connect to West Virginia’s Purple Heart Memorial Trail, which runs from Chester to Huntington, and was designated to honor the state’s Purple Heart recipients.

A name for the bridge must be approved by the West Virginia Legislature.

In other business, Thursday, the commission:

— Tabled a notice of resignation from Mallory Markowicz from the Hancock County Parks and Recreation Board, with Davis saying there is a possibility Markowicz may be able to stay.

— Heard from Nick Travis, of the Park Board, who announced the next Open Air Market will be held from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 10 on Gas Valley Road.

— Agreed to apply for the 19th cycle of the West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority grant program

— Agreed to advertise for open positions on the Hancock County Parks and Recreation Board, and appointed Tiffany Gale, of Weirton, to the board

— Hired Brian Staley as a full-time assistant maintenance technician

— Appointed Weirton Fire Chief Kevin Himmelrick and Chad Sparks to the 911 Advisory Board

— Moved Monica Sprouse from part-time 911 dispatcher to a full-time post

— Approved the hiring of Nyla Michelle Clevenger as part-time animal care technician

–Agreed to advertise for an open assistant prosecuting attorney

–Approved Brandon Tibbs, Justin Shaw, Connor Lang, Morgan Haddox and Corey Lang for the Hancock County Sheriff Reserve

–Appointed April Manypenny-Raines as fiduciary commissioner for Hancock County

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