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Brooke commission awards contract for HVAC project

PROJECT AWARDED — The Brooke County Commission Tuesday selected a contractor to install a new heating ventilation and air conditioning system for the county courthouse. (Photo by Warren Scott)

WELLSBURG –The Brooke County Commission Tuesday selected the lowest of three bidders to install a new heating ventilation and air conditioning system for the county courthouse.

The commissioners chose Schenerlein & Sligar of Steubenville, which submitted a bid of $874,320 for the project after opening three bids at a special meeting Thursday.

Also submitting bids were Huckestein Mechanical of Pittsburgh, whose bid was $897,000, and Casto Technical Services of Charleston, whose bid was $969,000.

The project will be funded in part by a $100,000 state Courthouse Facilities Improvement grant secured by County Commissioner Stacey Wise, who said the work will begin as soon as possible.

Wise said the commission was granted an extension on the grant after bidding from available contractors was delayed by the pandemic.

She said the new system will allow courthouse staff to adjust the temperature in each room of the building.

The commission also heard from attorney Michael Gaudio, who petitioned the commission to close Westview Boulevard near Archer Hill Road.

He said the street exists only on maps, with nearby property owners occasionally mowing the grassy area where it’s been designated.

Gaudio said owners of abutting properties have signed the petition to indicate their support.

Wise questioned whether the paper street is part of the state road system and noting it ends with a cliff, questioned whether property owners would want to assume responsibility for any slips that may occur there.

Gaudio said the “road’s” ownership is another matter to be resolved.

The commission agreed to accept public comment on the closing at its next regular meeting, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday instead of Tuesday, when the courthouse will be closed for the general election.

This week the commission met in the magistrate courtroom because its meeting room is being used for early voting.

County Clerk Kim Barbetta noted Saturday is the last day of early voting for registered voters who don’t plan to vote on Tuesday.

Early voting will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day until Saturday.

In other business:

¯ The commissioners adjusted their budget to reflect the receipt of about $388,109 through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Act.

Wise said the money will be applied to improvements to the county’s emergency 911 center and related equipment.

“We decided to use it that way because it would benefit everyone in Brooke County,” she said.

¯ Interim Sheriff Scott Adams said that unfortunately,Deputies Kenneth Shuman and Jonathan Griffin, have been let go.

The two had been hired to serve as resource officers for Brooke County Schools, but the school board has chosen to seek retired officers to serve in that capacity following a breakdown in negotiations between it and the commission. Adams said Shuman and Griffin have been offered temporary positions with the Wellsburg Police Department.

¯ Commission President Tim Ennis acknowledged the loss of John Bado, a former Brooke County constable and sheriff’s deputy, on Sunday.

Ennis said Bado, who was 96, will be remembered for his life of service to his community and country, including the Army Air Force during World War II.

April Eltringham, community wellness representative for the county’s health department, said it’s encouraging trick-or-treaters to make a cloth mask part of their costume, noting costume masks normally don’t prevent their wearers with COVID-19 from spreading it to others.

She said wearing masks under costume masks may make it difficult for children to breathe and shouldn’t be worn by children under 2 and those with respiratory issues.

Eltringham said everyone should continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing.

¯ Ruby Greathouse, curator of the Brooke County Museum, thanked the Ennis family for donating a U.S. flag bearing 48 stars, 110 78 RPM records, including many dating to 1915, and player piano rolls that had belonged to Tim’s recently deceased mother, Freda Mae.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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