County OKs welcome-sign improvements

ELKINS — The Randolph County Commission allotted money Thursday to upgrade welcome signs on major roadways leading into the county.

A total of $12,000, to be taken out of the county’s hotel/motel budget line, will be used to upgrade one existing sign and add five additional signs on major roadways leading into the county.

“About two weeks ago, I received a phone call from someone that, around 15 years ago, was instrumental in getting the large ‘Welcome to Randolph County’ sign that we have out on Corridor H,” Commissioner Mark Scott explained. “He let me know at the time that sign was in need of some repair and said he would like to see if it were possible to get that sign lighted.”

Scott said the individual told him there were an additional five signs — while not as large as the one on Corridor H that prominently features a maple leaf and fiddle – that were made at the time but not placed.

“As a result, we looked into the possibility of getting the sign that is currently out on Corridor H fixed and repaired, and also getting lighting for it,” Scott said.

The commission plans to use one 900 lumen LED light on each of the five signs, and two on the larger sign along Corridor H. The lights will run on solar power, with panels on the back of the signs.

“We requested from a contractor what it would cost to do all that and they let us know in order to re-service all those signs — they have been sitting at the Sheltered Workshop for 15 years — they are going to take 1/32nd of an inch off those wooden signs, repaint them and get them to where they are looking really nice,” Scott said.

He said, in addition to the Corridor H sign, they will be installed on U.S. 219 coming out of Parsons, on U.S. 32 coming out of Canaan Valley, on U.S. 33 coming off Allegheny Mountain, on U.S. 250 coming from Snowshoe and on U.S. 92 coming out of Durbin.

“The great news is they are going to try to have them up by the time the (Mountain State) Forest Festival happens this year,” Scott said. “Having a consistent welcome sign is good for tourism. I love that sign, I always have. I admire that sign. Having the opportunity to have that particular sign at all of our major entrances coming into the county, I think, is a wise thing for us for tourism.”

The work is slated to be done by Tim Harris and the crew of Appalachian Signs, located in Elkins.

In other business:

• Commissioners unanimously approved an allotment of $60,000, to be taken out of the courthouse capital improvements budget line, to begin emergency repairs to the Randolph County Courthouse roof.

The damage has led to a water leak on the interior of the Circuit Courtroom near the jury room. The work will be done by Forbes Copper Works in Lewisburg.

• Commissioners unanimously approved the signage of a radio upgrade and replacement grant agreement from the Public Service Commission in the amount of $747,342.50.

The grant was applied for roughly 18 months ago. Upgrades will provide better radio coverage for first responders in the Mill Creek and Valley Head areas.

• Commissioners unanimously approved a funding request in the amount of $2,000 from the Randolph County Homeless Shelter for operational costs.

• Commissioners unanimously approved poll workers for the Oct. 7 special election regarding a road bond legislation presented by Gov. Jim Justice.

• Commissioners unanimously approved the signage of a grant for North Central Community Corrections in the amount of $140,000 for fiscal year 2017-18. The Commission will supply a $60,000 cash-match.

• Commissioners unanimously approved Davis & Elkins College student Ashley Day serving as an unpaid and un-benefited intern for the North Central Community Corrections program for the fall semester. She must complete 120 service hours during the semester.

• Commissioners unanimously approved the hire of Tessa Ware as Randolph County Circuit Court Coordinator, at a rate of $31,000 per year with full benefits.

Ware will begin on Aug. 21 and serve a 90-day probationary period.

• Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Randolph County Sheriff Mark T. Brady as the executor of the Vincent J. Marino estate.

• Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of John J. Wallace IV as the new fiduciary commissioner for Randolph County.

• Commissioners unanimously approved a temporary beer permit for the Fall Gun Bash for the Beverly Fire Department, slated for Sept. 16.