County OKs Jozabeth’s Demolition Project

Marshall County will pay $131,900 to renovate the former Jozabeth’s clothing store and demolish a pair of nearby houses in Moundsville as part of plans to build a new public safety center.

During a meeting Tuesday of the Marshall County Commission, commissioners Don Mason, Brian Schambach and Bob Miller reviewed five bids for the project, with the various amounts reaching a high bid of $269,255. After evaluating the bids, commissioners approved Raze International’s bid of $131,900.

The Jozabeth’s property is situated between Seventh and Eighth streets in Moundsville, across from the Marshall County Courthouse. County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said when renovations at the former clothing store are complete, the new building will house the county 911 center, sheriff’s department and emergency management agency.

Also during the meeting, Schambach and Miller said they are concerned about the condition of some roads throughout the county due to the ongoing work of the oil and natural gas industries. However, they said they could not use the $429,810 worth of gas severance taxes collected last year to pay for road repairs because all road maintenance is the responsibility of the West Virginia Division of Highways.

“It is frustrating, the way the roads are,” Miller said. “It is a concern we all have.”

Schambach said commissioners serve as a “liaison” between natural gas drillers and the community in hopes of convincing the companies to make needed repairs.

“We have reviewed some of these specific road issues. Gastar (Exploration) has been great to work with, as have others,” he said. “You also have to consider how rough the winter has been.”

In other matters, Frohnapfel said work continues on the county’s Fiscal 2015 budget plan, adding that it must be finished soon to meet the March 28 deadline.