Hancock County begins Phase 3 of communications project | News, Sports, Jobs

NEW CUMBERLAND – The Hancock County Commission is beginning the third phase of its long-term communications improvement project, while also hearing, Thursday, from a resident with concerns over the operations of a local marina.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to advertise for bids for a two-way radio communications system upgrade. According to Commission President Paul Cowey, this is the next step of a project aimed at improving the county’s 911 system.

“This upgrade will greatly enhance the public safety communications system in Hancock County.” Jeremy Ober, director of Hancock County Emergency Management, said in his letter requesting the bid advertisement.

Final responses for the bids must be received by 4 pm, Sept. 6. Details on the project will be included in the advertisement.

The county had been awarded a $2.73 million grant from Gov. Jim Justice, through use of federal CARES Act funds, in December 2020 to support the project.

The first phase involved the installation of a microwave-based communication system.

Phase 2, awarded in October, included the purchase and installation of a 911 Radio Console System, Next Generation 911 CPE Telephony System with Text to 911 Integration.

Also Thursday, the commission heard from resident Lisa Cox over the management of Kennedy Marina in Newell. The marina, which is owned by the county, has been operated by contract by Shenton Enterprises since 2013.

Cox, who also appeared before the commission in May with complaints over the marina’s operation, claims the contract for the marina has never been formally renewed by the commission.

“Why are they still in charge of Kennedy Marina?” she asked. “I’d like some answers.”

Cox also claimed new campground areas have been established on leased property.

The commission offered no answers Thursday, with Cowey noting that is the policy of the commission when taking citizens’ comments. Officials indicated a review of the situation will take place. Commissioner Eron Chek also had requested a review of the contract during the May 19 meeting, after hearing from Cox and another resident.

In other business Thursday, the commission approved:

Provider agreements on behalf of Juvenile Mediation Services;

A request to advertise for bids for a parking lot project at the Hancock County Animal Shelter;

A request to advertise for bids for a parking lot project for 911 Dispatch/Office of Emergency Management;

A revision to the general county budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year;

The resignation of Johnna Petteway from the circuit clerk’s office, effective July 31, 2022, as well as the payment of Petteway’s accrued vacation and personal time.

The advertisement for the position of agriculture and natural resources program assistant for the WVU Extension Office in Hancock County.

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