Taylor County Commission starts the year with new commissioner

GRAFTON—Tuesdays Taylor County Commission meeting started with a warm welcome to new Commissioner, Sam Gerkin from Commissioner President Orville Wright.

Next the Commission heard the second public hearing for the Shackelford Drive partial road closure.  Residents present with an interest were happy to report that they had come to an agreement on the partial closure.  They asked to be put on the calendar for the next Commission meeting so that they could present the agreement in writing.  Their request was granted by the Commission. 

The folks from Save the Tygart then presented an update on their project with the Carr China property to the Commissioners.  Paul Baker, from Save the Tygart reported that phase 1 of the project has been completed.  They are currently in phase 2, which includes the taking of soil and water samples and they hope that will be completed in February.  Baker shared a tentative schedule and sampling plan with the Commissioners. 

The Commission made a motion that the Carr China property be transferred to the EDA so that it could then be transferred to Save the Tygart at the next EDA meeting on the January, 24. 

New Commissioner, Gerkin asked for more information on the planned end result for the property before voting on the motion. 

Baker said he would be more than happy to explain.  Baker said that Save the Tygart needs to show that they have the deed before they would be able to apply for a grant for the cleanup of the Carr China property.  They would then turn the area into a nature education and appreciation center. 

Commissioner Tony Veltri added, “Save the Tygart is a group that I highly regard as people doing good work for Taylor County.”

After hearing from Baker and viewing a plan of the end result, the Commission voted to transfer the property to the EDA. 

The Commission then heard from Shawn Thorn from the Grafton - Taylor Health Department.  Thorn asked the Taylor County Commission to lend their support in a letter for the $200,000 grant that the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is applying for to aid in their hard work on opioid and response planning.

In signing the letter the Commission extended their support for the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department, Celebrate Recovery, Taylor County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff of Taylor County and the Taylor County Emergency Squad in their efforts in making Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning grant application to develop a consortium/task force within Taylor County that will work towards the development of a plan and strategies that will help ameliorate the ongoing opioid/drug crisis that the community has been experiencing. 

After approving the signing of the letter, Veltri thanked Thorn for the work they are doing saying, “We appreciate all the hard work that the Health Department is doing towards this horrible problem.”

The next meeting of the Taylor County Commission will be held on January 22, at 6:00 p.m.