Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston County Parks and Recreation seeking funds from Commission for repairs

KINGWOOD — Preston County Parks and Recreation is seeking $9,900 from the Preston County Commission to be used for labor to repair a portion of the Northern Rail Trail that washed out at Snider Crossing during a storm.

A representative for PCPaRC said the group still has funding from a federal highway grant but that money can only be used for material to fix the problem.

Councilman Hunter Thomas suggested members of PCPaRC get two or three more comparative estimates for labor to see if they can get a lower bid.

“You look at that and we’ll see if we can find the funds. It’s taxpayers’ money,” Commissioner Don Smith said.

Roberta Baylor, executive director of the Preston County Economic Development Authority, said Grace Chapel property, formerly known as Kenny Shoes, now has a new roof, security system and other renovations, including a new road to the building.

Baylor said the PCEDA received a $2,208,102 grant from the federal Abandoned Mine Land Program and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to do the repairs.

The hope is that a new business will locate on the property once repairs are completed.

Baylor said the PCEDA website is seeing a lot of traffic. She said the site contains a lot of information, including job listings, and a calendar of events. Baylor said the PCEDA had 29,000 hits last month on its Facebook Page.

In other business, County Administrator Nate Raybeck said the handrail is up in the sheriff’s department and touch up and cleaning is now being done.

Commissioner Samantha Stone said the changes to be made on the second floor of the courthouse for the new circuit judge was an unfunded mandate set by the West Virginia Supreme Court.

“We’re not sure what it will cost until bids are in,” she said about the project.

The county received $100,000 in funds from the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority (CFIA) to go toward the reconstruction.

The West Virginia Legislature created CFIA in 2021 to assist county governments with funding to modify existent courthouse facilities and to construct new courthouse structures.

Commissioners approved Assessor Connie Ervin’s request to hire Joshua Waugh at a salary of $34,000 a year, plus benefits. Waugh will start this month and there will be a 30-day probation period. He will be paid from the assessor’s evaluation fund.