WELLSBURG - Brooke County Sheriff Richard Ferguson is asking all residents who have been issued new citystyle addresses to begin using them and to post their numbers in a clearly visible location near their homes.
Ferguson said new addresses have been mailed to residents and businesses in all unincorporated areas of the county but there's still work to be done in making them available to the county's emergency 911 center.
At Ferguson's request, the commission agreed to employ Cheryl Dick of Wellsburg on a full-time basis to complete the task.
Dick and her husband, Terry, have been employed part time by the sheriff's department to work with the U.S. Postal Service in assigning citystyle street addresses to residents in unincorporated areas of the county.
Gone will be rural route addresses designated by RD 1 or RR 1, to be replaced by numbered addresses usually based on a home's or business' milepoint along a road. In some cases roads have been renamed to avoid confusion with ones with similar names in the same ZIP code area, and some unnamed roads have been named, all to meet federal guidelines enacted in 2001 and aimed at easing delivery by postal carriers and response by police, fire and ambulance departments.
Ferguson said Cheryl Dick will verify county records of occupants at each address are correct and enter the new addresses into the computer system used by the county's emergency 911 center so they will be displayed whenever a local caller phones the center.
The sheriff had hoped to have the work completed before the end of his term in December but he expects the work won't be completed for six months. Ferguson said the Dicks have been involved with the effort for some time and he will be leaving it in good hands.
Ferguson said residents should post their new numbers on reflective green signs on the exterior of their homes, mailbox posts or whatever location is most visible from the road.
Residents who receive their mail through post office boxes may continue to use them but must adopt the new addresses in other cases.
In other business, the commission:
Approved the receipt of a $10,000 grant to provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to the county's volunteer firefighters. The grant was secured from the West Virginia Development Office by state Sen. Jack Yost, D-Wellsburg, and county Commissioner Tim Ennis when Ennis was serving in the state House of Delegates.
Was advised the terms of several seats on the Brooke County Park and Recreation Commission, which oversees Brooke Hills Park, will expire soon. Letters of interest from anyone interested in serving, including current members, will be accepted for two weeks at Benzo's office at the county courthouse.
Announced it won't meet next week due to scheduling conflicts and agreed to close the county courthouse on Christmas Eve. Benzo said courthouse staff requested the closing, noting the building had been set to be open from 9 a.m. to noon only that day.