Commission chooses financing package for renovation

Beth Sergent

August 16, 2013

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has approved a financing package for the hardware building rehabilitation project which will be the new sheriff’s department.

At yesterday’s regular commission meeting, according to County Administrator John Gerlach, two bids were received for 20-year loans in the amount of $1 million. A bid from Ohio Valley Bank, as well as a bid from Country Roads Leasing (a company which does state leasing programs), both offered an interest rate of 3.99 percent. However, Country Roads Leasing had an issuance rate of $35,000 while OVB’s was estimated to be less than $2,500 - a cost which could be reduced even more if the appraisal and other legal work on the loan is done “in house” through the assessor’s office and prosecuting attorney’s office. The vote to approve OVB’s financing package was unanimously passed.

Gerlach also presented commissioners with a change order for 23 windows for the hardware building. It was decided to replace all the windows due to age and condensation issues. The cost to replace 23 windows is $66,000 - all windows will be compliant with zoning guidelines pertaining to historic buildings in downtown Point Pleasant.

Gerlach said the original cost of the project was $1.3 million but with change orders to date, that project total is $1.4 million.

The commission voted to approve the change order for the windows. Commission President Rick Handley said these unforeseen additions were necessary for the project to be successful and not cost the county even more money in the long run.

Gerlach also shared a letter from the Mason County Day Report Center requesting it be considered as a tenant for space in the annex building that the sheriff’s department currently occupies once the sheriff’s department is moved into it’s new home, hopefully in the spring. Currently day report rents a building on Main Street for around $700 a month. Moving into the annex building would help the program financially - a program which is constantly in threat of budget and staffing cuts, due to dwindling funds.

Dave Hall and Ken Vickers from New Haven also asked the commission members for financial help with a drainage problem in the town of New Haven. Hall described it as a health and public safety issue that the town didn’t have the money to fix. The commission pointed out the drainage problem wasn’t on county property but within the town’s corporation limits and therefore, that issue should be dealt with by the appropriate municipality. However, the commission did direct Hall and Vickers to Gerlach who was to get them in touch with a local grants coordinator to hopefully assist the town in finding financial assistance.

Speaking of New Haven, Gerlach informed the commission it was named in a lawsuit the Town of New Haven has filed to get clear access to a deed concerning property near the New Haven Community Building. The commission will not be fighting the lawsuit if the town of New Haven wants the property. Gerlach said the county owns a small portion of land that the New Haven Civic Club deeded to the county years ago.

The commission also recognized this year’s Mason County Fair Queen, Haley Sturgeon, and her court, First Runner-up Kayla Thomas, Second Runner-up Ashten Crank, Third Runner-up Caroline Thompson and Miss Congeniality Mackenzie McClure. Sturgeon will be attending Marshall University in the fall to study elementary education. Thomas is a sophomore at WVU and is studying special education. Crank is returning to Ohio Valley Christian School in the fall. McClure will be a senior at Wahama High School and plans to attend WVU to pursue a career in agricultural education. Thompson was unable to attend the meeting due to being out of town. Handley also presented McClure with the Annette Hanes Memorial Award which goes to the winner of Miss Congeniality. Hanes was Handley’s cousin and he presented the award on behalf of the Hanes family.

The next commission meetings are scheduled for 4 p.m. on Aug. 29, Sept. 12 and 26.

Attending yesterday’s meeting were Commissioners Handley, Miles Epling, Tracy Doolittle, County Clerk Diana Cromley, Gerlach.