Commissioners Discuss Roads, Lawsuit, Phones, Hepatitis A

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County commissioners Kevin Helmick, Jason Nettles and Chip Westfall met in regular session on Tuesday at 9 a.m. The commission discussed a possible change in phone service.

Freedom Voice reported that internet capacity was not large enough for the number of phones that are in use to warrant its services.

Another firm was con-tacted and reported that it could provide 10 megs of service, and that, if all 15 phones were in use at the same time, only 1.5 megs would be consumed.

County clerk Jean Simers volunteered to try out the system in her office before commissioners make a final decision.
Commissioners reported that a lawsuit that had been ongoing for six or seven years had been settled for $12,500.

Eddie and Sandra Harris had filed the law-suit for $94,000 for failure of the county to pay into the state retirement system, and other issues, when Eddie Harris began working at the courthouse in the late 1980s.

Commissioners said that courts had ruled in their favor several times, but a judge had allowed changes in the wording of the lawsuit, and it had continued.

Commissioners were advised to agree to the “no fault settlement,” instead of a jury trial that could have cost another $30,000 to $50,000.

Commissioners agreed that expenses in the case had been “a lot,” probably as much as the original lawsuit request.
None of the expenses were covered by the county’s insurance, be-cause the original insurer was out of business.

Westfall reported that Mid-Ohio Valley Health Dept. is warning that the Hepatitis A virus is spreading, including a few cases in Calhoun.

Hepatitis A is a vac-cine-preventable, com-municable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually trans-mitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water.
Westfall said that doctors are recommending that residents get vacci-nated.

He also said that a new shingles vaccine is available that is said to be 100% effective. The former vaccine was said to be 95% effective.

School superintendent Kelli Whytsell gave an update on the public rela-tions officer (PRO) for Calhoun Middle/High.
She said that a grant received from the Dept. of Education would pay for the local share of the original grant, as long as a certified officer is hired.

Simers assured Whyt-sell and the commis-sioners that a certified candidate had applied.

Whytsell said that the original grant would be awarded on Nov. 1. She also expressed thanks to the commissioners and to the sheriff for their help in the process of obtaining the grant.

In other items, commissioners:
–Agreed to donate $200 to the Upper West Fork Park Halloween event.
–Were informed that Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center was applying for a grant to build a cabin at Calhoun County Park, associated with the career center’s workplace pro-gram.
–Heard from resident Virginia Simmons that some work had been done by the Dept. of Highways on Pine Creek Road, but not enough.

After discussion, com-missioners approved for Westfall to make a road repair request to DOH for Pine Creek and Crummies Creek roads.

The meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m. The next regular meeting of the county commission will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 9 a.m. It will include a canvass of the Nov. 6 General Election.