Commission waits to award communication equipment bids
The Morgan County Commission will wait until their January 2 meeting for recommendations on which proposal to accept for the new county communications equipment. Too much information was still needed for a decision to be made, said Emergency Services Director Dave Michael at their December 21 meeting.
Morgan County was awarded a total of $461,926 for new radios from two grants from the Fiscal Year 2006 Homeland Security Grant Program in October.
The money will fund UHF 450 megahertz mobile and portable radios that will be used for the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, Town of Bath Police, emergency medical services, fire departments and emergency management personnel at the 911 center. The radios will be used for communicating on the state interoperability system.
The money for the radios would have to be paid up front and later reimbursed, Michael advised the commissioners. The Office of Emergency Services had $50,000 to $75,000 that could be put toward a radio purchase without jeopardizing their cash reserves, he said.
Michael recommended two or three purchases instead of buying the needed radio equipment in one lump sum. What needed to be decided was which proposal to accept, whether to require a performance bond for installation and how to implement financing of the equipment to maintain a safe cash flow for 911 and for the county, he said.
A performance bond was recommended to ensure that the equipment was also installed by the vendor once purchased.
An evaluation committee that included county representatives from emergency management, fire services, law enforcement, county communications, 911, emergency medical services was set to have a recommendation for the commission at their January 2 meeting.
At the commission meeting, Chris Risinger, Morgan County unit director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle, proposed using the parking level immediately below Harmison Field as a play area for club members.
He said the BS2 Bike and Skate Park would need about an acre plot, which was about the entire size of Harmison Field.
Risinger said the front portion of the 100-yard grassy area below the field could be paved for parking for the skate park, if desired. He said he was receptive to the skate park being at Harmison Field since a lot of kids that skate come to the
club. Risinger said he was willing to help maintain it and care for it.
Commissioner Glen Stotler suggested leaving the concession stand and restrooms in Harmison Field, which BS2 member Jennie McBee said they planned to do. They haven't sent the new skate park location plat to their designer yet, McBee said. The group wanted to get it in writing that the site is usable for them, she said.
Stotler said he was under the impression that the Morgan County Little League was prepared to abandon Harmison Field. He said they would get written confirmation so plans for the skate park could proceed.
County administrator Bill Clark said there was a storage building and a storage container on the parking level Risinger requested. They could be moved or could remain.
A basketball hoop could be placed on one side of the lot if it were paved. Topsoil from Harmison Field could be moved below to the play area when a concrete base was put down for the skate park, Stotler said.
The grassy area could even be used as a soccer field, he said. Risinger said the club wasn't in session on the weekends and the area could be used then for other groups.
Some funds for the project could be available through healthy eating and youth obesity grants, Risinger said. Stotler suggested they look into a possible excavator.
Northwoods ATV ruling
The commissioners approved a petition from the Northwoods Property Owners Association subdivision that the Morgan County ATV Ordinance be applicable to all roads in their subdivision.
Northwoods Property Owners Association secretary Lois Walton brought the petition before the commission at their December 7 meeting. A majority of the subdivision property owners were represented in the vote by proxy or in person, she said. All requirements were met for notification of the vote.
Northwoods subdivision roads now included under the County ATV ordinance are Northwoods Drive, Wandering Lane, Night Shade Lane, Alanthus Lane, Shady Tree Lane, Antler Lane, Meandering Lane and Boxwood Lane.
Pleasant View playground
On December 7, Kim Golden from the Pleasant View Elementary PTO requested $1,000 from the commissioners for playground equipment and improvements to their playground.
They wanted to get a new tire swing, get new chains for swings and paint the existing swing set structure, Golden said. They had also saved money for the project.
The school raises around $600 a year for playground equipment by collecting 10-cent boxtops from General Mills cereals, Kleenex and Scott paper towel products, she said.
Their school playground now has a butterfly garden and an outdoor classroom that an Eagle Scout put in as his project, Golden said.
Golden said she would ask the Morgan County School Board to match funds for the playground equipment at the school's Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) presentation.
The commission approved the PTO's request for $1,000, which will be taken from the Hotel Motel Tax from the 2007-2008 fiscal year.