Brooke alerted of state funds

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday was advised of state funds available to the county through the West Virginia Development Office for dilapidated or abandoned structures, water and sewer extensions and the county’s animal shelter.

County Clerk Sylvia Benzo advised the commission of funds, including $20,978 for dilapidated structures, allocated for the three areas through the efforts of local legislative representatives.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said he’s received many complaints about deteriorating buildings in the county and determining where to start will be a challenge.

County Clerk Sylvia Benzo said some funds remain from a $15,000 Governor’s Community Participation Grant used by former county Sheriff Richard Ferguson to remove about five dilapidated trailers.

Commission President Tim Ennis said, following the meeting, the commission also should consider removing two vacant homes between the county courthouse and former museum.

Ennis said the space might one day be used to create a judicial wing for the courthouse to serve as the new location for the county’s magistrate and family courts, but he said that’s not likely to occur in the near future since it would cost millions of dollars to complete.

The courts were moved to the third floor of the Progressive Bank building from the first floor of the courthouse following the 2004 flood, but the commission since learned that area of the bank building, which is separate from that used by the bank, doesn’t meet state fire codes.

Ennis said the commission looked at a fourth possible site for the courts this week but no decision has been reached on the courts’ future location. The commission had considered the former museum, but Ennis said it doesn’t meet conditions set for the courts by the state Supreme Court.

Ennis said $5,000 in state funds allotted for the county’s animal shelter will be used for improvements and repairs to that building. The commissioners asked Donna DeJaro, shelter director, to advise them of the building’s needs.

The commission mentioned the building recently was without heat for a day but said that problem has been corrected.

Ennis said it’s not been determined how another $5,000, allotted for water and sewer extensions, will be used. He acknowledged it’s not enough for a major project but said it could be used for engineering.

In other business, the commission:

Was asked by County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III to provide a sign indicating the Cross Law Office is the county prosecutor’s office, a condition Ennis said that was part of the lease the commission signed for use of space there.

Ennis said he will see whether crews involved in signing streets as part of the citystyle addressing effort can provide an adequate sign there.

Appointed Beech Bottom Councilman Greg Sheperd to the county’s economic development authority.