Upshur County Courthouse dome cleaning likely to commence this spring

Commissioners approve Request for Proposals for courthouse dome cleaning and pigeon spike installation project

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Upshur County Commission president Sam Nolte and commissioner Kristie Tenney at Thursday morning's meeting.

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Commissioners don’t intend to pigeonhole any one animal, but in the case of the damage that’s been done to the Upshur County Courthouse dome, they’re pretty sure local pigeons themselves are to blame.

At Thursday morning’s meeting, commissioners took the first step to cleaning up the mess local pigeons have created by approving a Request for Proposals for the courthouse dome cleaning and spike installation project. Spikes will be installed as a pest control method to prevent pigeons and other birds from wreaking any further havoc on one of the most iconic courthouse domes in the Mountain State.

County administrator Carrie Wallace told commissioners the RFP newspaper advertisement had been placed in their packets and is also available on the county’s website in the Jan. 10 agenda packet.

“We did require the contractor to purchase 1,700 linear feet of spikes, which our facilities director, Greg Harris, assumes that about 500 linear feet will be leftover after the project, which then can be used for other locations at the courthouse and courthouse annex,” Wallace explained.

Commissioner Kristie Tenney made a motion to approve the RFP, which was seconded by commissioner Terry Cutright prior to passing unanimously.

The courthouse dome cleanup project is expected to start within three weeks of a contract being awarded, which could happen at the commission’s Feb. 14 meeting.

Commissioners also approved another Request for Proposals seeking a contractor to complete the Community Oriented Policing Services – or COPS – camera surveillance project in schools and on school grounds in Lewis and Upshur counties.

Late last year, Upshur County and Lewis County school systems applied jointly for the COPS STOP School Violence: School Violence Prevention Program, which is intended to enhance safety in and around schools through the installation of security cameras. At a fall 2018 meeting, Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus informed board members the grant amounted to $309,000, noting Upshur County was one of only nine school systems in the U.S. to receive the federal safety grant.

The grant specifies that a local government entity – in this case, the county commission – must function as a local pass-through agency for grant funds.

At Thursday’s meeting, Wallace said Upshur County Schools director of student services Jodi Akers, as well as both IT directors from Lewis and Upshur County Schools were in attendance to answer any questions the commissioners might have relative to the RFP.

“We have included the newspaper advertisement in your agenda packet, and we also have a full bid document that will be placed on our website,” Wallace. “There will be mandatory meetings held to visit each location included in the grant on Jan. 28 through Jan. 31. We will only be advertising in The Record Delta; however, there’s a number of contractors that have expressed interest in both Upshur and Lewis counties, and they will be emailed a copy of the packet directly.”

Commission president Sam Nolte said he was happy the neighboring counties had been awarded the highly competitive grant.

“It’s a great project,” Nolte remarked. “It’s nice that we got the grant, and it’s going to benefit both counties”

Prior to adjourning, the commission also:
-Approved a request from City of Buckhannon administrative and finance director Amberle Jenkins on behalf of the city’s Planning Commission to place a survey box in the courthouse annex foyer throughout January. The survey will enable members of the community who may not have internet access or those who prefer to fill out a paper form to weigh in on plans for the city by 2025.

The Buckhannon 2025 survey may also be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPYCTL8.

-Approved a request from Cpl. Rodney Rolenson, president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association for Upshur County, to appoint Richard Kitzmiller to the Upshur County Civil Service Board Law Enforcement. Kitzmiller’s term will begin immediately and expire Dec. 31, 2022.

-Approved a request from 26th Judicial Circuit Court Community Corrections Day Report Center director Cheyenne Troxell to extend Taylor Rolenson’s paid part-time internship through the spring semester. Rolenson will work up to 16 hours per week and be compensated at a rate of $8.75 per hour.

-Approved a request from Upshur County Sheriff David Coffman to employ Danny R. Gould as a part-time Upshur County Circuit Court bailiff at a compensation rate of $11.50 per hour, effective Jan. 20. Gould may not work more than 19.5 hours per week.

The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Upshur County Courthouse Annex.