Officials Continue to Push 5A

Local officials are not giving up on getting the State to reconsider its decision the alternate route through New Cumberland. Both Delegate Randy Swartzmiller and Sen. William Ihlenfeld were present at the Commission meeting Thursday to express their dismay with the Dept. of Highway’s selection of Alternate Rt. 4. Del. Pat McGeehan participating by phone added his disappointment with the decision. All three legislators said they planned to continue their efforts to convince the State to rethink the decision and select Alt. Route 5 A.
Del Swartzmiller unveiled a yard sign reading “Do it Right – Build 5A” that will be made available to residents and businesses. He said he had sent a letter to Gov. Jim Justice and photo of a recent slip on Ridge Ave in which he said “in a meeting with Dept. Sec. Jimmy Wriston I inquired ‘What factor will have the most influence when the WVDOH makes the decision” to which Wriston said “The citizen comments have the biggest impact and carry the most weight.” Out of 184 letters delivered to Charleston on the Alternate, 183 advocated for Alternate 5A, none for Alternate 4.
Swartzmiller said The Dept of Highways has neglected to perform core drillings or geological testing to determine the integrity of that stretch of Rt 2 prior to make their decision.
New Cumberland City Councilman Don Blankenship was in attendance along with Coucilwoman Judy Bartley. Blankenship noted that the City has been working for years to upgrade their sewer system and currently is in the process of acquiring grant funding of $3.2 million for the project. He said Alt 4 will take out the vac station as well as the sidewalks. New Cumberland still has not been officially notified of the DOH’s decision.

In othe business, the Commission:
**Announced he retirement of Bob Vidas, director of technology;
**Congratulated Lt. Chad Lamp who was honored by the Post 6450 as officer of the year for the WV State of VFW;
**Passed a resolution enabling the Teen Court Program in Hancock County;
**Agreed to close the County Clerk’s office on Sept, 18 to allow for conversion to a new computer program KOFILE. The new system will go live Sept. 21 and the Courthouse will re-open that day;
**Learned that there are 120 poll workers for the November 3 General Election;
**Approved the application for a 2020 West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Grant. The funds will be used to replace windows and doors in the Courthouse. the 80/20 match grant is $98,400.00;
**Approved payment of $221,262,65 in general county bills;