Arsenic was found at the new soccer field
The Morgan County Commission received good and bad news about the new Parks and Recreation soccer field located across from the baseball fields on U.S. 522 south.
Commission President Brenda Hutchinson said the good news from the Health Department is both wells at the soccer field tested okay.
The bad news is arsenic was found in the soil above the level acceptable for residential use, but below the level acceptable for industrial use.
The results are preliminary and were reported to Hutchinson during a telephone conversation with Dave Corsaro of Potesta and Associates, the company testing the soil.
The preliminary report was announced at the Thursday, June 3 county commission meeting.
Corsaro told Hutchinson arsenic in the soil is common in this area and he is more concerned about pieces of metal and glass surfacing over time.
He recommended covering the field with a “geotech barrier,” putting down six inches of topsoil and replanting the grass.
“He said the geotech barrier and top soil would take care of both problems,” Hutchinson said.
The soccer field has been closed since May 6 after broken glass, plastic and metal scraps were found on the playing surface. Because the land was once used as a salvage yard, commissioners decided to have soil tests conducted.
A final report from Potesta is due to arrive later this month.
Trouble with ambulance fees Chief Tax Deputy Kim Michael asked
commissioners to consider taking $10,000 from ambulance fees and compensating the employees of the tax office for the extra work and supplies involved with mailing, processing, filing and collecting the ambulance fee.
She said since the ambulance fee started in 2007, the tax office workload has increased each year without any additional personnel.
“We want to take nothing away from the ambulance corps, this is not our objective. Our objective is to be supplemented in some way for the hard work we do,” Michael said.
Michael suggested the money could come from the carryover expected from this year’s fees.
Although the amount of carryover money from fees is expected to be substantial, Kevin Duckwall, the Executive Director of the Morgan County Rescue Service, said he needed to buy two new heart monitors costing $32,000 each to be in compliance with West Virginia state law next year.
The subject of additional compensation for tax office employees was added to the June 24 meeting agenda at 4:30 p.m. At that time commissioners should have a better idea of how much carryover funds are available.
Michael also presented commissioners with a breakdown of uncollected ambulance fees. Total outstanding ambulance fees from 2007 - 2010 amount to $282,844.
Commissioners asked Michael to send out a letter to those owing the fee. Commissioners talked about looking into hiring a collection agency or putting leans on property in order to collect the delinquent fees.
Flag design contest
The commission received 24 entries in the contest to design a county flag. County Administrator Jody McClintock set out all 24 entries on a table and each commissioner picked the design they liked the best.
The three final entries will be on display at the county commission office and be placed on the county web site. Residents may either vote for their favorite flag design online or at the commission office. Votes must be received by midnight July 14. The winning design and name of the designer will be announced at the commission meeting July 15.
Commissioners heard a presentation by insurance agent Vernon Brinegar, representing Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield, on the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA).
An HRA might potentially lower the major medical deductible for employees and save the county money on premiums, depending on the number and amount of claims filed each year.
Brinegar and commissioners agreed to meet again in October to discuss the county health benefits plan.
Commissioners also met with Tracy Welsh of Weiss Brothers of Hagerstown about cleaning supplies for the new courthouse.