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County axes greased pig contest

Modified: Saturday, Jul 5th, 2008




The Upshur County Commission has stopped a planned greased pig contest at the Brooks Hill Fair later this month.

County Commission President Donnie Tenney said, “I think we’re pretty much in agreement that there’s not going to be a greased pig contest.”

County Administrator William Parker, who sits on the Brooks Hill Fair board, said this would be conveyed at the next meeting July 9.

The fair is scheduled for July 25-27.

Tenney said the commission would not condone or sponsor such an event on any property owned by the county.

Commissioner Creed Pletcher said that the greased pig contest would not be a part of any event that the commission has control over.

“The pigs will be able to live in peace,” he said.

Richard Wilt, who was at the meeting to discuss the issue and wrote a letter to the editor in Wednesday’s The Record Delta, said, “I appreciate it and I’m sure the pigs do too.”

Wilt also asked about the commission instituting an ordinance that would ban entertainment acts in the county that have been charged with animal abuse in other states.

Wilt said a circus that was in the county last year, the Walker Brothers Circus, had charges in another state.

Parker said that counties only have the authority to enact ordinances as granted by the legislature.

Wilt said a statement of commitment by the commission concerning animal welfare in the county would go a long way.

Tenney said the county has accrued expenses from taking care of animals seized in an animal cruelty case, and the commission is serious about protecting animal rights.

The commission also had correspondence from Mike Johnston, of Hinkleville, about neighbors whose guinea chickens run loose causing damage to his property. Also the horses have gotten loose and damaged his yard.

Under the current legislation, there is nothing that Animal Control Officer Greg Harris can do.

Parker and Tenney have talked with Del. Bill Hamilton (R-Upshur) about revising that section of the code.

Commissioner Eugene Suder said that a revision to include poultry under the livestock bill should have been added years ago.

In other business, the commission:

Approved a grant agreement of $30,569 with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. This is the rest of the funding for the current year that will pay the salary and expenses for July and August for the victim’s advocate coordinator, Laura Queen. Parker said there the federal funding for the next fiscal year had not been released yet.

Approved $35,475 to Brewer Company of West Virginia to finish fire protection work at the E-911 center. This a continuation of a project that had been started several years ago and Brewer did that work as well. Pletcher said his concern was that the project would not go out to bid. Tenney suggested approving the project pending Prosecuting Attorney Jake Reger giving his opinion on whether it should be put out to bid or not. The measure was approved.

Received notice of awards for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant ($29,000) that funds an assistant prosecutor position for juvenile issues and two community corrections funding grants for $62,500 and $145,812.

The $62,500 is specifically for funding for transportation — the purchase of a van from Jenkins Ford the commission approved pending the release of this grant and a transportation case aide the county will advertise for.

The $145,812 is for the community corrections operating expenses.

Approved a request from the Upshur-Buckhannon Board of Health to re-appoint Bettie Bailey for a term ending June 30, 2013.

Approved the employment of Jonathan R. Freeman as a seasonal part-time employee of the Upshur County Youth Camp at a rate of $6.55 per hour.

Received correspondence from the Buckhannon River Watershed Association board of directors. A letter will be sent to the board saying that commission would offer their endorsement of a Smart Growth and Trail Project, pending agreement with state and federal officials and private landowners. The letter will also state that while “financial support may be limited, the commission would be willing to work with all interested parties.”

According to the letter from the board, the project would increase public access and recreational use of the lower Buckhannon river through educational materials, hikes along the river and organized, interpretive float trips.

Received correspondence from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. There are low interest loans to fund individual hook-up connects to new publicly owned sewer systems. Qualified homeowners can borrow up to $10,000. For more information, contact the West Virginia Housing Development Fund at 1-800-933-9843 ex.240 or visit www.wvhdf.com.

There will be a meeting Wednesday, July 9 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse annex, room 302 to receive input from property owners along county route 7/1.

Addressing and Mapping Coordinator Terri Jo Bennett said that there have been between 12 and 15 roads identified along a county right-of-way that require a name. The majority of property owners have the right to name the road.

This is the first of several meetings. Letters will be sent to property owners along those roads.









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