Community, Latest News

Commission discuss Buckwheat Festival concerns

KINGWOOD — Preston County Commission held a short meeting Tuesday morning and canceled a work session that was to take place later that afternoon.

County Administrator Nathan Raybeck read a letter from the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) concerning this year’s Preston County Buckwheat Festival. In the letter, KVFD President William M. Lindley asked permission to place the parade reviewing stand on the courthouse lawn between the Main Street courthouse entrance and the sheriff’s office.

He also asked permission to place a portable electric sign in the annex parking lot. The sign would be placed there periodically throughout the year for fire department events, the ladies auxiliary events, and for the month of September for festival advertisements.

Raybeck said the commission’s approval was all that was necessary, so no vote was taken.

Commissioners did vote to allow Sheriff P.A. Pritt to employ Austin Tracey as a utility officer for the Preston County Sheriff’s Office. Pritt said Tracey would be replacing a utility officer who left earlier this month.

In other business, commissioners discussed the 10 damaged bricks that were moved from the old veteran’s monument to the current veterans walkway.

Commissioner Don Smith said the commission could find out if an order for the chipped bricks could be added to the order Vietnam Veterans Post 977 will be sending in prior to Veteran’s Day.

“Maybe we could add our order to their order for bricks they are adding from Veteran’s Day, or if they pay for them along with their bricks we could reimburse them,” he said.

During their last meeting Samantha Stone, commission president, said the bricks in the walkway became the property of the county commission after the monument and walkway dedication. She said the commission would take a look at them and see what process could be made moving forward to replace the broken ones.

Also at the previous meeting, a budget revision was approved by Preston County Commissioners that allowed $533,464 to be moved from the general fund to excess fire fund.

In 2018 a clerical error was made that allowed the funds to be put in the wrong account for five years.

Commissioner Hunter Thomas said the funds will be put into a contingency account and from that account into the excess levy. He said the fireman’s board will decide how to dispense the funds.

Also discussed, was the ongoing work to repair flood damage at the sheriff’s office. In December, a pipe burst in the attic of the building spilling water into the rooms below.

Thomas said a draft contract was drawn up between Panhandle and the county. He said it was approved and signed. The Panhandle contract with the commission is $269,231.83.

Joe LaRue, county facility manager, said once the contract was signed. Panhandle “should be back fairly quickly.”

During a previous meeting, Stone said the county was in the process of moving the prosecuting attorney’s office and staff to the Daily Building, 107 Court St.

According to the web site, the telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. Normal operations have resumed.

The commission meeting for Aug. 15 was canceled. The next meeting of the Preston County Commission will be 9:30 a.m. Aug. 22.