Commission updated on citystyle addressing

WELLSBURG – Former Brooke County Sheriff Richard Ferguson said with citystyle addresses issued to all unincorporated areas of the county, residents and businesses will be expected to display their new street numbers.

Ferguson told the Brooke County Commission Tuesday he and others are checking to see if the numbers have been posted in a clearly visible location. An ordinance adopted by the commission last year requires the numbers to be posted on homes or businesses or if the buildings are more than 50 feet from their road, at their driveway or property’s entrance.

The numbers should appear on reflective decals or signs that can be seen at night. The county is offering such signs for $20 each, with an additional $5 for installation. For information or questions about the requirements, call (304) 737-3660 or (304) 527-1430, extension 104.

Ferguson said most residents and business owners have cooperated.

“We’re probably at 90 percent compliance now, much better than I expected,” he said.

Ferguson noted the new numbering is part of a federal mandate aimed at improving response by police, firefighters and ambulance crews and delivery by postal carriers.

He said various notices have been sent to those who haven’t complied, with a pink slip to serve as the final warning that a property owner may be fined.

The ordinance establishes a $500 fine for non-compliance.

Ferguson said he and Cheryl Dick, the county’s citystyle addressing coordinator, are reviewing a master street address guide compiled by Frontier Communications for corrections. Once adopted, the guide will be used to update the county’s emergency 911 center, he said.

Ferguson said in the future he may ask the commission to consider whether to sell the county’s list of numbered street addresses to companies that supply such information for global positioning systems.

He said the information would include only the numbered address and its geographic location since the names of occupants can change over time.

Ferguson said he didn’t know how much, if anything, the county might receive for the information.

He estimated more than 700 Brooke County roads currently can’t be found with global positioning systems because they weren’t formally named until the addressing process began.

County Clerk Sylvia Benzo said she’s had mail sent by the courthouse to Windy Hill Road returned and asked why.

Ferguson said regional officials with the U.S. Postal Service have been working with the county on the addressing but some post offices may not have been updated yet.

In other business:

Norm Schwertfeger, vice chairman of the Brooke County Economic Development Authority, told the commission those interested in starting a new business may pitch their idea to potential investors at an event held by the West Liberty University Gary E. West College of Business and Center for Entrepeneurship.

The contest will be held Sept. 26 at Intellectual Capitol, the center’s business incubator complex in the first state capitol building. Reservations should be made by Sept. 20 by contacting Carrie White, the center’s director, at (304) 336-8159 or

Schwertfeger has asked the economic development board to consider holding a similar event in the future.

Wayne Buxton of Animal Advocates-Brooke County said the group will be taking dogs from the county’s animal shelter to an adoption event at the Washington, Pa. PetSmart this weekend.

He said the event is part of a national promotion by the pet store chain and the shelter will receive a $30 donation from PetSmart for each Brooke County dog adopted during it.

Buxton said three dogs from the shelter were adopted during the group’s visit to the store last weekend.

The commission appointed Jack Krzywdik to the Hammond Public Service District board, filling the last vacancy on the three-member board. The commission earlier appointed David McGowan and Lloyd “Peanut” Van Horn to the board.

The board is set to meet at 4 p.m. today at the district’s office at 736 Charles St.

(Scott can be contacted at