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Preston County Commission discusses aerial pictures and other things in weekly meeting

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KINGWOOD, W.Va. – The Preston Co. Commission wants to take aerial photographs of the county for the first time in almost four years.

That was one of the many points on the agenda at the commission’s weekly meeting on Monday. Dave Price the commission president said the best time to take photographs would be in the spring when there’s no snow on the ground or leaves in the trees. However, Price said before they decide on a specific time they would first need to figure out how to budget the roughly $45,000 expense.

“So we’re looking at that really hard just to make sure that all the parties have their money ready and can help contribute to helping this cause,” Price said. “The assessor benefits, the 911 emergency management benefits, we all benefit so we hope to get that done.”

Price said the 911 center has the latest technologies, which allows them to do things like track the locations of all ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles. But he said that they would be better served if they had more up to date aerial photographs to help guide them to where they need to go.

As far as the assessor, Price said there could be a new structure and it might be two or three years old and until the county assessor can appraise that structure and put it on the tax records the county cannot benefit from it. He said he hopes to make flyovers a frequent thing but that they first had to figure out the details.

“So with the flyovers being more frequent and better quality, we can help fund the county,” Price said. “From the assessor’s standpoint that’s a big deal, from the sheriff’s standpoints of course because their directions to where they have to go on an emergency can be a little more accurate.”

As has become customary, the first item on the agenda was an update on the roads. There was an update on the road work happening on Dogtown Rd. Although the repairs had caused traffic and delay Price said they get excited and think it’s wonderful because that means roads are finally being repaired.

The commission also discussed Route 72 between Kingwood and Rowlesburg, where the work has not been delayed and started leaving many people concerned. However, Price said the Dept. of Highway said the contractor would begin soon and that completion can be expected in the next few months.

The second item of discussion was the ongoing water crisis in Preston Service District (PSD) No.1, which Price said would become the second item on their agenda for every meeting moving forward. He said there are about 1600 households impacted by the delay of construction on a dam project.

Danny Layton the chief operator of PSD No.1 said he wants the public to reach out to the water utility to address their problems so they can work together. He said the water has been proven safe to drink even though it may not always be aesthetically pleasing.

Price said there was a growing concern in Bruceton Mills because there is an issue with the bank of the Big Sandy Creek eroding at the town near the dam. He said he had personally gone to look at the problem and said they would have to talk to the conservation engineers and others to make sure the problem is resolved.

Finally, the commission also discussed the Farmland Protection Program, which sets aside certain pieces of farmland that will be marked for remaining as they are and not for development.

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