Vets concerned about memorial

A representative from the Tucker County Veterans Association spoke to the Tucker County Commission Wednesday evening concerning the state of the Veterans Memorial in Parsons.

The memorial is deteriorating and several parts of the setup, including lights and wiring, no longer function. Several plaques hanging on the main memorial were under consideration by the commission to be moved into the County Courthouse, or in the Courthouse Annex, but commissioners wanted to hear the opinions of those in the Tucker County Veterans Association before moving forward.

The veterans also had a strong desire to make their voices heard, and member Daniel Barkley was elected to speak for them. He asked for the memorial to remain in its current spot and for the plaques to remain hanging on the structure.

“The present state of that memorial doesn’t show the respect the veterans deserve,” Commissioner Mike Rosenau said. “I don’t mind if it stays there but not in that condition.”

Barkley agreed and said he would be meeting with other veterans Wednesday evening to begin the process of submitting a formal letter to the commission, stating exactly how they would like the memorial to be preserved. Commissioners requested that the veterans submit the letter of intent.

He also said that, in future weeks, he would work with the commission and Tucker Community Foundation to procure funding for restoration of the memorial.

Robert Burns, representing the Tucker Community Foundation for a separate reason, was also present at the meeting. He submitted his annual proposal Run For It funding, a race/walk which takes place each year during the Leaf Peepers Festival in Davis.

Burns asked the commission for $5,000 in funding. He said the event has grown since the first year of the race – from 325 racers in 2007 to 888 racers in 2012.

In addition, he said more than $20,000 has been given by the commission, in total, for the race in the past, and more than $243,000 has been distributed into Tucker County through the TCF over the past six years.

“This has turned into one of the biggest events in the county,” he said.

“I think it’s a good, worthwhile project,” Rosenau said.

Commissioners told Burns they would take his proposal into account and would make necessary allotments for the TCF when the annual budget is completed later in the year.

– Also during Wednesday’s meeting, Jim Nelson, owner of Nelson Towing, told the commission he was concerned about the rotation of emergency towing in the county and said he is not receiving his fair share of towing calls.

Darla Stemple, E-911 director for Tucker County, explained the rotation to the Inter-Mountain following the meeting. She said each towing company in the area is on a list and that emergency towing calls are routed to towing companies on a rotating basis.

In the case of Nelson, for instance, if his service is on a list of three towing companies, then he should be called by 911 services on every third emergency, unless a specific company is requested by the caller. But Nelson said the rotation is not being followed correctly.

To address the issue, the commission will be contacting the local towing companies and will have them submit proposals about how they think the rotation should operate.

Once proposals have been submitted, a meeting will be conducted at which the commission, towing companies and 911 services like the county fire departments and county sheriffs will meet to finalize a system for better addressing fairness in the rotation.

– In other news, commission members said they returned Tuesday from a County Commission Association of West Virginia conference in Charleston.

Members said they spoke to West Virginia delegates Randy Smith and Mary Poling, state senators Dave Sypolt and Bob Williams and West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.

They discussed issues relevant to the county and state, including the completion of Corridor H, the Cheat River Water Trail, construction on the Davis Center, the Heart of the Highlands trail system and the decrease in map funding that is affecting the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Commissioners said it was a great opportunity to explain county concerns and to meet commissioners from other counties in the state, to see how they are addressing problems affecting their own local regions.

Contact Casey Houser by email at