Brooke 911 center upgrades pursued

WELLSBURG — The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday opened bids for the remodeling of the county’s emergency 911 center.

The commissioners referred the three bids from Dan Hukill Contracting of Wellsburg, Lombardi Development of Follansbee and Tom Brown Contracting of Wellsburg to the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department for review, noting a variance between the lowest and highest bidders that should be looked into.

Sheriff Larry Palmer said the work will include replacing the center’s electrical wiring, lighting, ceiling and flooring. He said there are plans to upgrade its communication equipment and suggested the two projects be pursued together to minimize the effect on the center.

Palmer said the center will be moved temporarily into the conference room of the sheriff’s department during the weeks when the project is being done.

He said specifications for the communications bids will be completed soon.

The commissioners also made plans to explore financing for the two projects.

In related business, Palmer confirmed the Brooke and Hancock county 911 centers were affected by a disruption in phone service for Frontier Communications customers last week.

Frontier officials worked with the centers to allow the Ohio County 911 Center to receive and transfer calls made to Hancock and Brooke, it was noted. It didn’t take more than a minute or two for each call to be transferred during a period of about eight hours when the Brooke center was sporadically without direct service.

Palmer said the service since has been restored and residents shouldn’t be concerned that 911 calls to Brooke County won’t be received and promptly answered.

In other business, the commission reorganized for the new year, with Tim Ennis and Jim Andreozzi again assuming the roles of president and president pro-tem, respectively.

Each agreed to represent the commission on various boards. Ennis will represent the commission on the county’s emergency medical service and library boards; planning commission; the Northern Panhandle Community Criminal Justice Board; and the Brooke County Committee on Aging, which oversees the Brooke County Senior Center. Andreozzi will serve as the commission’s liaison to the county’s board of health and the county’s park and recreation commission, which oversees Brooke Hills Park; the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission; and the board of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, which serves Brooke and Hancock counties.

Commissioner Stacey Wise will serve as liaison to the county’s museum board and economic development authority; the Northern Panhandle H.O.M.E. Consortium, which oversees the first-time homebuyers program; the Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board; and the Brooke County West Virginia University Extension Service committee.

All three will serve on the county’s local emergency planning committee.