Sen. Robert Karnes, R-11, seeks funding for a high tunnel at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Karnes seeks funding for high tunnel at middle school that would enable kids to grow strawberries

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission agreed to contribute $1,000 to help establish a high tunnel at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

Sen. Robert Karnes, R-11, attended the Oct. 5 Upshur County Commission meeting to request a one-time financial contribution from the commission of $1,000 for the project.

“Folks from the school reached out to me as a state representative, so myself, Senator Hamilton and [Delegate] Robbie Martin looked at this and tried to figure out how we can help, and of course, we do have some access what we call ‘leader funds,’ so we’re all going to contribute some leader funds, but it helps with that leader funding to have some of that local support coming in from the county,” Karnes said. “I’ve talked to the mayor here, and he’s indicated the city will go support some as well.”

Karnes said Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt is also going to kick in some money for the project.

“We have this project coming together, and I think it’s a really great project for kids,” Karnes said. “We don’t see enough youth involvement in agriculture, and this is a way to let them get their hands on that.”

He said the students have a plan to grow strawberries for future Strawberry Festivals.

“I think in addition to the agriculture, they might see some of the economic side of how agriculture works as well, and who knows? Maybe some of our future farmers will come out of this high tunnel, here at the middle school,” Karnes said.

The Upshur County Commission voted to contribute the $1,000.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved a Property Use Agreement renewal between the Upshur County Commission and the Upshur County Youth Soccer Association, Inc. to lease the 13.84-acre Wellness Complex Property located on Brushy Fork. A Certificate of Liability insurance has been received.
  • The commission agreed to sell a tract of land located in Selbyville, Banks District, Upshur County, to the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Department. The property is more particularly described in the description of survey prepared by William Malcomb dated Aug. 3, 2023.
  • The commission approved requests for bids and minimum vehicle specifications for one truck for the Upshur County Maintenance Department. Sealed proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.1, 2023, at the Administrative Annex at 91 West Main Street, Suite 101. Bids received by the deadline will be publicly opened, reviewed and read aloud by the Commission on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.
  • The commission approved and signed the Upshur County Fire Board, Inc. incentive for tax deputies who process fire fees collected in the sheriff’s office. This supplement will begin with the first pay period in October and will be contingent upon an annual review each year.
  • The commission approved Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility volunteer Brianna Pearson.
  • The commission approved the reappointment of Jacob Mills as a community representative to the Buckhannon Upshur Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Upon approval, the term will be effective immediately through June 30, 2025.
  • The commission approved the appointment of Randy Kirchberg as county representative to the vacant seat on the Upshur County Farmland Protection Board. Upon approval, the term will be effective immediately through June 30, 2027. 

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