Brooke Commission discusses road concerns

DISCUSSING ROADS — The Brooke County Commissioners, from left, Tim Ennis, A.J. Thomas and Stacey Wise, discuss the condition of roads in the county during Tuesday’s meeting. -- Taryn Linder

WELLSBURG — Brooke County commissioners were questioned Tuesday on the formulas used by the state to distribute funding for area road repairs.

According to resident Walter Ferguson, Brooke and Hancock counties are scheduled to share $5 million to repair their secondary roads, while Marshall County will receive $27 million from the state. He pushed commissioners to investigate the way funds are allotted.

“I want to know the formula for the distribution of the money,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson went on to describe the roads in Brooke County as “disastrous.”

Commissioner Tim Ennis agreed, but said trying to get funds for road improvements is like aiming for a moving target. In addition, Ennis added that although he has seen that funds were budgeted by Gov. Jim Justice for roads, he did not see the distributions that Ferguson described.

“Brooke County was asked to submit a list of secondary roads that needed to be fixed,” said Commissioner A.J Thomas. “I am pretty sure every secondary road was on the list.”

In addition to roads, the commissioners discussed vehicles for the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department. In a unanimous vote, the commissioners voted to advertise for bids for four police vehicles and one house arrest vehicle.

In other matters regarding the department, Sheriff Larry Palmer sent a letter announcing promotions within the department.

Sgt. Mathew Beatty was promoted to lieutenant, Cpl. Patrick Graham was promoted to sergeant and Deputy Devin Baker was promoted to corporal.

Brooke County Emergency Management Director Bob Fowler attended the meeting Tuesday to seek approval to hire an engineering firm to start work on the Brooke Pioneer Trail.

In April, the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted more than $2.2 million for repairs to the damages to the trail that occurred as a result of flooding.

“It will not cost Brooke County a cent,” said Fowler.

At the end of the meeting, Ennis announced a special session will be held at 8:30 a.m., Friday at the courthouse. The only item on the agenda is to finalize agreements between the commissioners and the county Board of Education regarding prevention resource officers.