KINGWOOD — The Preston County Commission is going to ask the City of Kingwood to consider opening a gate that blocks Pleasant Avenue.
The county is preparing to pave Rich Wolfe Drive, which is gravel, and Commission President Craig Jennings suggested paving the approximately 30 feet to the gate, as well.
The gate blocks access from Pleasant Avenue to Rich Wolfe Drive, where the 911 center is located and early voting is held, and to Preston Memorial Hospital (PMH) via Memorial Drive.
Commissioner Don Smith recalled the gate was erected because Pleasant Avenue residents were concerned about heavy vehicles traveling the street to reach the Mountaineer Gas building on Rich Wolfe Drive.
“It’s just a shame the gate’s there,” Commissioner Dave Price said. Commissioners asked the county administrator to contact Kingwood Council about opening the gate.
County 911/Emergency Management Director Duane Hamilton said GPS often directs people down Pleasant to reach the center. He said some people on Pleasant want to keep the area residential and they said they paid for the street to be paved years ago.
County Administrator Kathy Mace said she also plans to approach Preston Memorial about creating a place for its people to smoke. PMH is a smoke-free campus, and people pulled their cars alongside Rich Wolfe Drive to smoke, causing ruts by the roadside.
Hamilton said since signs were placed saying those who pull there will be cited, that stopped. Now people gather at the gate to smoke, he said.
Smith said patients can be seen walking through the PMH parking lot smoking.
Also at the meeting, commissioners:
- Approved the sheriff hiring R.V. Turner for $14 per hour to replace civilian process server Don Shaffer, who is retiring. Turner, a captain, worked 25 years as a deputy sheriff and four years as a correctional officer. Also approved was Trevett J. Summers, as a utility officer, effective Monday, at $10.48 per hour.
- Cancelled the Aug. 20 meeting because they will be in training with the State Auditor’s Office.
- Reappointed Jack Keim, representing education; Larry Williams, representing the Town of Tunnelton; Mike Turner, representing Masontown; and Rita McCrobie, representing labor, to the board of the Preston County Economic Development Authority.