Commission hears about illegal dumping, address signage

WELLSBURG – Concerns about illegal dumping and action that may be taken against those who don’t post their citystyle addresses were among issues discussed by the Brooke County Commission on Tuesday.

Wellsburg resident Don Cusick said the county has a lot of illegal dump sites despite efforts by county officials to address them. About two weeks ago the commission arranged for crews with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to collect trash from a site near the Wabash Bridge and another in the Cross Creek area.

Cusick said a dump truck load and two pickup truck loads were carted from the site and already more trash has replaced it. He said cleanup efforts appear to be “a lesson in futility” and suggested the commission block off such areas instead.

Commission President Tim Ennis noted the new material includes tile and dry wall, and other construction materials have been dumped previously.

Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said he was concerned the old tile contains asbestos and it will be expensive to dispose of it. He said asbestos or not, taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the removal of illegally dumped trash.

Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson said his deputies will watch for trucks carrying large loads of trash. He also encouraged residents to report incidents of illegal dumping to his department by calling (304) 527-1430 or (304) 737-3660.

In recent years, state legislators raised fines for illegal dumping. Those who dump 100 to 500 pounds may be fined $100 to $1,000, and those who dump more than 500 pounds may be fined $2,000 to $2,500 in addition to facing costs for the cleanup and court fees.

In other business, Richard Ferguson, a former Brooke County sheriff working with Debbie Dick, the county’s citystyle addressing coordinator, said property owners could soon face up to $500 in fines if they fail to post the number of their new citystyle addresses in a visible location near their home or business.

Ferguson said letters have been sent to some property owners alerting them they haven’t complied with a county ordinance adopted after numbered street addresses were assigned to residents in unincorporated areas of the county.

The new addresses conform with a federal mandate intended to facilitate mail delivery and make it easier for police, firefighters and ambulance squads to respond to emergency calls.

Those with questions about the new addresses should call (304) 737-3660, extension 104.

The commission also:

Received two bids for the demolition of two homes between the county courthouse and former county museum – $49,749 from Keith Yost Excavating of Wellsburg and $26,395 from Mike Pusateri Excavating of East Liverpool, Ohio.

The commission has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the state Development Office for the removal of the Pertko house and the Charnock house, the latter also known as the John Henderson house.

The commissioners have discussed using space occupied by the two houses to create additional parking space or expand the courthouse. But Ennis said the main concern is that they are in poor condition and are a risk to public safety. The commissioners referred the bids to the building commission.

Heard from Carol Churchman of Wellsburg, who said she has been impressed by the new Brooke County Museum and Cultural Center on Charles Street and suggested a volunteer group, like the Friends of the Brooke County Library, be formed to support the museum board’s efforts there.

As a member of several civic groups, she offered to recruit members.

Churchman also asked about summer hours for the museum.

Ruby Greathouse, secretary of the museum board, said the museum is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with visits at other hours possible by calling (304) 737-4060. She added there are plans to extend the hours during the week of Independence Day when the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee has planned events.

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