Littering takes time before Hancock commission

NEW CUMBERLAND — A New Cumberland resident made a request to Hancock County commissioners — as well as fellow county residents — to take action against littering.

During Thursday’s commission meeting, Ian Wilson told the board the county has a littering problem. He said he’s noticed it throughout every community, and shared a plan to clean up parks and other areas in what he called “Litter-Free Zones.”

Wilson first addressed the commission during the Jan. 5 meeting and expressed his frustration with littering along Washington School Road and Tomlinson Run State Park. He expressed his love for the area, calling it beautiful, with the exception of the garbage.

While once cleaning up Washington School Road, Wilson said he decided to design signs that read “Litter Free Zone. Thank You,” which he posted in areas he cleaned. Those areas, he says, have remained litter free.

“I kept track, watching the garbage, but the signs, I’d say 95 to 97 percent of what I cleaned is still clean,” Wilson said. “And it just amazes me how effective just signs were. A little smiley face with an arrow that says ‘Don’t litter here,’ and the parts I’ve cleaned up are still clean. It’s really, really amazing.”

Wilson, however, noted the signs were illegal and have been removed, but showed commissioners the signs he created, some of which were made from old signs.

It’s his desire, however, that official signs, as well as garbage cans, can be used.

“These streets are a jewel,” Wilson said. “I mean, we could make so much money from tourism from the views and the beauty. We could do horseback riding, we could do ATV tours, we could do riverboat tours, we could have bike trails, but not with the way this county looks now. It’s kind of trashed.”

Wilson advised residents who share his interest in setting up a legal litter-free zone to contact him with any suggestions.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a motion to forward two pieces of correspondence to the county legal counsel for review, which came from the Webb Law Centre, Fitzsimmons Law Firm, GKT Attorneys at Law and Guida Law Offices pertaining to drug manufacturer lawsuits. Commissioner Jeff Davis made the recommendation to allow counsel to review the suits and advise as to which action, if any, to take.

• Commissioners approved a motion to reappoint Ed Huff to a seat on the Grant Public Service District. ‘

The seat’s opening was announced Jan. 5, and although Huff was considered then for the seat, the commission decided to continue accepting applications. Davis noted continuity between the PSDs throughout the county, and nominated Huff based on his knowledge of upcoming projects.

Three other applicants were also in the running: Bryan J. Highfield, Brian Sweeney and Ian Wilson.

• Two personnel changes were approved by the commission. The first was to accept the retirement of Rae Zatezalo, who worked in the circuit court clerk’s office, effective Jan. 31, to which she will be paid $3,631.32 for her accumulated vacation time.

The other was a motion to hire Rudy McAllister of Weirton as a part-time bailiff within the Hancock County Courthouse, effective Jan. 20, made at the recommendation by Sheriff Ralph Fletcher.

The next commission meeting is 2:30 p.m., Feb. 2.

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