WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday opened two bids for the demolition of two houses adjacent to the county courthouse.
Bids of $47,315 from Keith Yost Excavating of Wellsburg, and $26,455 from Mike Pusateri Excavating of East Liverpool, Ohio, were received for the demolition of the Charnock house and the Pertko house.
The commission recently finalized purchase of the Pertko house, which it had initiated in 1999, from Norma Pertko, who moved from it some time ago.
The Charnock house, which is vacant, has belonged to the county for many years. According to the Brooke County Genealogy Society, it was built in 1790 and formerly known as the John Henderson House.
The Pertko house is believed to have been built in 1849, according to the group's online Walking Tour of Wellsburg.
The commission referred the bids to the county's building commission, who Commission President Tim Ennis said may seek a loan for the buildings' removal.
The commissioners have discussed using space occupied by the two houses to create additional parking space or expand the courthouse and has sought grants for the latter effort.
But regardless of any future plans, Ennis said the houses should be removed because they are in very poor condition.
In other business, Kenneth Lowmiller, a former member of the Hammond Public Service District board, asked the commission about the board's status.
The board's three members resigned recently, citing personal reasons.
Ennis noted the commission recently appointed Jack Krzywdik, David McGowan and Lloyd "Peanut" Van Horn to the board, which is slated to meet for an organizational meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The meeting will be held at the board's office at 736 Charles St.
Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said officials with the state Public Service Commission have several recommendations, including hiring a general manager to oversee the district, in light of financial difficulties faced by it.
Noting he and the other commissioners were charged with overseeing it until the Hammond board was filled, Andreozzi said, "The commission's not on the board anymore, but the commission's going to stay involved and focused with it."
The district provides water to areas of southern Brooke County.
Asked if the district's current problems will affect plans to establish a tie-in between it and Wellsburg's water system that would be used in the event of emergencies, such as floods or power outages, Ennis replied, "Everything's still a go on that."
A connection between Hammond and Wellsburg has already been created at state Route 27. Plans call for another connection between it and Wellsburg at state Route 67 and it and Beech Bottom at state Route 2.
Officials with Hammond, Wellsburg, Beech Bottom, the Business Development Corp., Chesapeake Energy, the county commission and the county's economic development authority, have agreed to contribute to the estimated $150,000 project, for which state grants also have been secured.
In other business:
The commission agreed to release $2,500 to the Weirton Transit Corp. at this time and the remainder of $5,000 it had pledged to the transit service as tax revenue comes in.
Kevin Beynon, WTC executive director, had asked the commission for an additional $2,500 to offset fuel costs that had been covered partly by a federal grant the transit service didn't receive this year. But Ennis said the commission lacks the funds to grant the request at this time.
County Clerk Sylvia Benzo announced Oct. 21 is the last day for voters to register for the Nov. 9 special election for the five-year operating levy for Brooke County Schools.
Benzo said early voting at the county courthouse will be held Oct. 26 through Nov. 6, with polling sites to be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
For information about registering or voting, call (304) 737-3661.
Andreozzi said six chihuahua-pomeranian mix pups are available for adoption through the Brooke County Animal Shelter. He said because the pups are very young, he has been caring for them at his home.
For information, call the shelter at (304) 394-0800.
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