Brooke County sheriff revises towing policy

TOWING POLICY REVISED — The Brooke County Commission, during its meeting Tuesday, learned the sheriff has revised the county’s policy for the emergency call out of towing services. -- Warren Scott

WELLSBURG — Beginning next month, Brooke County’s emergency 911 center will rely primarily on towing services based in the county.

An exception will be Nick’s Towing of Weirton, which is equipped to tow large trucks and will be used only for that function, Brooke County Sheriff Richard Beatty told the county commissioners on Tuesday.

The commissioners heard last week from the owners of two towing services — Fred Marino of Al’s Auto Services and Clyde Jordan of C.J.’s Towing — who said the county should include only county-based businesses in its rotation for call-outs.

The two said as other towing services have been added to the rotation, they have lost revenue that helped to offset expenses required by the state Public Service Commission to qualify as towers.

Marino said he pays about $13,000 for the mandatory insurance.

They also questioned the ability of towing services in Hancock County to respond in a timely manner to accidents in southern Brooke County.

Beatty said earlier it didn’t seem fair to call upon Nick’s Towing for large hauls only.

But in a letter to the commission on Tuesday, he said, “In the effort of fairness to the wrecker services that are utilized on the Brooke County wrecker service rotation, I have decided that the two wrecker services located in Hancock County will be removed from the rotation, effective Oct. 1, 2021.

“I will not get into reasons for my decision other than to say it is being changed in an effort for fairness,” he said.

Beatty confirmed he’s advised each of the towing services of the change.

In other business, the commission:

– Opened apparent bids for three ambulances for the county’s ambulance service.

Bids were sought for two recent Type III models, which resemble box trucks and are four-wheel-drive; and one used Type I model, which is more similar to a van.

Penn Care Inc. offered two Type III models for $113,611, while Myers Equipment Corp. offered two newer Type III models at $137,250 for each or $274,500 for both.

Atlantic Emergency Solutions offered two newer Type IIIs for $228,780 each and a used Type I for $69,750. A used Type I ambulance was offered by Global Emergency Vehicles Inc. for $69,750.

The bids will be reviewed by Andy Nickerson, director of the county’s ambulance service; and Jeff Luck, its deputy director.

– Heard from Vicky Gallagher, president of the Brooke County Museum board, who advised the commission the panel has two vacant seats, while the terms of a couple of other members will be up in the near future.

Gallagher said the board has experienced a great loss following the death of Ruby Greathouse, a long-time member and volunteer curator for the museum.

She said the board needs volunteers who will play an active role not only in overseeing the museum’s operations but assisting in them as well.

Gallagher added the museum again will be open during the Wellsburg Applefest, with visitors invited to take a photo with its Johnny Appleseed nutcracker and view its many displays.

Its hours that weekend will be 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 2 and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 3.

– Approved Halloween trick-or-treat hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct.30.


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