Court House employees 'chill out' while Commissioners try to solve heating problem

At the Wed., Oct. 16 meeting of the Gilmer County Commission, some time was spent discussing how to best address the problems with the heat source in the Court House. The boiler in the basement, which provides heat throughout the Court House, is experiencing some issues with corrosion and cannot be lit until the problems are corrected. 

It was inspected last year and the Commissioners were informed that the burner tubes would need replacement before this heating season. In August of this year, County Administrator Cindy Wilson contacted a heating and cooling company to come out, assess the situation and provide an estimate for the repairs. That estimate was received on Aug. 22.

Commissioners approved of the work being done, but when the workers came back on Oct. 2, they realized that there was major corrosion on the inside of the furnace and that the burner tube hangers were rusted. The unit would have to be lifted off the ground to allow the work to be done. There was no more communication from the company after that.

As this issue was becoming more of a problem with cold weather setting in, Wilson continued to try to find a fix and a different company was scheduled to come and inspect the boiler. After having a technician look again at the boiler on last Fri., Oct. 25, it was decided that even more parts were needed to make the boiler operational. 

Currently, there is no set date for the boiler to be fixed. Commissioners discussed bringing in kerosene heaters and are planning to install some window units over from the Recreation Center that are capable of heating as well as cooling.

In a related matter, Commissioners held a short special meeting on Tues., Oct. 29 to accept a $20,000 grant to replace the boiler in the old jail house. That building has been heated with electric heaters since the middle of last winter. It houses evidence for legal proceedings, three sheriff's deputies' offices, voting equipment and the Hope, Inc. office.

The monies, which were secured by County Administrator Wilson with the help of State Delegate David Walker (D-33 Dist.), came from the Governor's Community Participation Grant Program. The funds should more than cover the replacement of that boiler.

At the Oct. 16 meeting, it was also announced that the county received $5,000 for the 2014 HMEP Planning Grant, which was submitted by Jack Heater, LEPC Chairperson. The grant is for emergency procedures.

Other news under the Administrator's Report included the receipt of $5,434 from the State Supreme Court's "Magistrate Court Surplus Account" to offset Magistrate Court overhead, arrival of the new Sheriff's vehicle and word that the Little Kanawha Bus would begin running in Nov.

Routine Business

There were no exonerations, consolidations, board appointments or resignations. No budget revisions or budget control reports were available, due to the internet being down in the Court House that morning. Invoices were approved for payment.

New Business

Dollar General has requested permission to apply for a Class B License from the WV Alcohol Beverage Control Administration so that they could sell wine and beer. Since there are no zoning laws in that area, Commissioners had no problem with the request.

They approved the purchase of a new computer and printer from Ramco Technologies for the County Clerk's office to be used during the upcoming election process.

Commissioners also voted to designate the Coalbed Methane Gas Fund Distribution towards the monthly jail bill. The funds could be used to offset regional jail costs, support community corrections programs, support the volunteer fire departments or the county library.

Since the jail bill is so high and the fire department and library receive support from levy funds, the Commissioners opted to apply the money to the jail bill.