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Healy Highlights Moundsville’s Response to COVID-19

Moundsville City Manager Rick Healy was the Moundsville Lions Club’s speaker Tuesday, and he presented an update of the city’s operation during the past 18 months, along with future plans.

An issue he addressed was COVID-19, pointing out that financially, the city was looking good midway through the fiscal year. That changed in early March when the pandemic hit the nation.

“Little did any of us know what was in store for us. I have to say that the city of Moundsville acted quickly, as the following week we issued an emergency declaration well ahead of other cities. Our office staff met to discuss plans, and as things were changing daily in the early onset of this pandemic, so were our plans.

“We closed our buildings to the public, scrambled to make sure our staff had proper PPE. We split departments that were deemed non-essential and had staff stay home for a week, and then flipped with the rest of the staff the next week. Of course, police, fire and sanitation personnel continued to work full time. Council meetings were halted, and long-standing open meeting rules were amended, allowing virtual meetings in place of in-person meetings.”

Healy also noted city employees acted stellar during this time and did whatever was asked of them. Residents adapted very well also, learning that payments could be made by placing them in one of two drop boxes located at the City Building, mailing their payments, or paying online. The city’s business continued, with much more being done over the phone, and via virtual meetings.

“The full impact of potential budget woes won’t be seen for some time, but July will be a good measuring stick, with quarterly Business and Occupation and sales tax collections due then from the months of April, May and June.”

He stated, “As for our budget, almost every department will end the fiscal year under budget, a true testament to the department heads and employees.

“In the recreation area, our pool is back open after being closed due to COVID-19. Pool parties are resuming, and we have started a Family Fun Night. Every Wednesday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., for the rest of the summer, the pool will be open with admission being $1 for everyone, with all patrons receiving a free beverage and a snack.

“We made great strides last year in many areas of the city, with improvements of some kind to every department, all in the interest of making their jobs safer, more efficient and increasing the betterment of life in Moundsville.

“Among the changes is a new website called ‘SmartSite,’ and by working with a local company, TSG located at the Highlands, we developed a flashy new site that is chock full of information about the City. It includes a snapshot of every department along with city council members and pictures. Included is information and pictures about key personnel in all departments, forms, applications, links to the complete city code, lists of local restaurants and lodging, on-line bill paying capability, etc.”

Healy said, “The beauty of the SmartSite is that all changes are made directly by us in our office, and updates go live immediately. We now have every Council meeting minutes on the site dating back to 2007. There is also a City of Moundsville app available free that contains the complete site in mobile version, and also allows us to contact persons in the event of an emergency situation, such as a flood, traffic issues, water boil orders, etc . This website, along with our increasingly popular Facebook page, gives us a modern method to connect and continues our effort for government to be transparent.

“As for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, our planning continues on many fronts, the biggest project will be construction of a new municipal/public safety building. Since we spoke to this group last October, we have gone under contract with an architect/engineering firm and purchased some adjacent property to allow for the building construction. This is a very exciting project, that while it was delayed by COVID-19 like everything else, I expect to have a ground breaking in early 2021,” Healy said.

He concluded by stating that council has continued its commitment to paving, demolition, recreation, technology, and the new building by allotting upcoming sales tax revenue to these areas. In fact, bid packages will be going out shortly on the 2020 paving with expectation that we will complete 10 streets at an estimate of $700,000.

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The Marshall County Courthouse will once again be open to the public starting Monday.

Those coming to the courthouse will have to abide by the social distancing guidelines.

Each office will be allowed a set amount of people, in addition to employees.

Courthouse Security will monitor the number of people in each office, and send in the next appointment or person waiting when one leaves. They will be using a card system to keep track of the number of people in each office. Those receiving a card are to turn their card back in once they leave an office.

The offices and the number of persons at one time are:

County Clerk’s Office–Two people will be allowed in the front of the office at a time; Probates and marriage license are still by appointment only; Abstract and Title Work (back room work) are still by appointment only, with two people at a time for a two-hour period.

Circuit Clerk’s Office–One person will be allowed in the office at a time.

Tax Office–Two people will be allowed in the office at a time. The DMV window will remain closed at least through the month of August. This window will be reviewed by the Sheriff and the Chief Tax Deputy in mid-August with a decision on reopening on Sept. 1 will be then be made.

Assessor’s Office–Real Estate, one person will be allowed in the office at a time; Personal Property, three people will be allowed in the office at a time; Oil & Gas, one person will be allowed in the office at a time.

Prosecutor’s Office–By appointment only, except local law enforcement.

Temperature checks will continue for everyone that enters the courthouse

Employees are encouraged to wear a mask when dealing with the public directly, but it is not mandated at this time.

The public will still be mandated to wear a face mask when they enter the courthouse.

Courthouse personnel are still requesting that any service that can be done online or over the phone continue to be done this way. Also, it is also suggested that persons make appointments with individuals as this keeps the flow moving as the courthouse personnel still has to abide by social distancing guidelines.

County Administrator Betsy Fronhapfel said the commissioners continue to work with Marshall County Health Department officials while navigating during these difficult times.

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R.E. “Slim Lehart” Hartley will kickoff the “Hungry for History” Summer Speaker Series at noon Thursday on the lawn of the Cockayne Farmstead on Wheeling Avenue in Glen Dale.

His talk will be titled, “If That Old Guitar Could Talk, I’d Have to Burn It.’

Lehart, as “The Wheeling Cat” will be telling stories about his long-time career as Jamboree USA entertainer.

This year’s HFH, hosted by the Marshall County Historical Society at the Cockayne Farmstead, has made some changes as the result of COVID-19, one of which will be that the Society will not be providing lunch this year, but attendees may bring their own lunch.

Although the lectures will be outside on the front lawn, those in attendance will have to maintain safe distances from each other.

Other performers over the next seven weeks will be Kara Gordon, July 16; Stan Stewart, July 23; “KIDS” on July 30; Gary Rider on Aug. 6; “Kids, Zoo to You” on Aug. 13; C.J. Plogger on Aug. 20; and Sean Duffy on Aug. 27.

These events are free, and open to the public.

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Several events will be taking place Saturday in conjunction with the Cameron Firemen’s 4th of July Festival, which actually began on Friday.

The Saturday events will include:

A parade at 1 p.m.

There will be food available at 10 a.m., with games getting underway at 11 a.m.

Also, there will be Bingo from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Disc Jockey Dave Kinney will provide music from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The Firefighters Water Battle will begin at 3 p.m.

The Dunk Tank and inflatables will be open from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

There will be a Corn Hole tournament at 5 p.m. (Registration will be from 11 a.m. until 4:30). There is a cost to enter this event.

Also, there will be free swimming at the city pool on Saturday.

An Acoustic/Opening Act featuring Donnie Barney will be from 6-7 p.m., with the Main Act featuring Wyatt Turner from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Fireworks will take place at dusk.

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Also, the Cameron Library is open with new temporary hours, these being 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Fridays.

Lee and Gary Wood have opened their Lee’s Food Truck which will be located in the Thrift Store parking lot from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Latte’ Cafe will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Blue & Gold Christian Center. This is a time for people to get together and enjoy some free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and fellowship.

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There will be free COVID-19 testing Friday and Saturday in Marshall County.

The testings will be 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the McMechen City Building at 325 Logan St., on Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at Marshall County Health Department, 513 Sixth St., Moundsville, on Saturday.

These testings are available to all individuals in Marshall County, including asymptomatic individuals. Proof of insurance is not required.

Attendees should bring identification to help in returning test results. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis

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The 2020 Grand Adventure Leadership Camps–Wild and Wonderful Starts Here! — is up and running at Grand Vue Park. Leadership is the main initiative at GVP’s camps, with each week campers are introduced to different aspects of leadership through Leader in Me and Covey’s Habits.

The weekly campers are offered breakfast and lunch through the Marshall County Schools Food Programs. The campers also have the opportunity to swim, play mini-golf or take part in other park activities. Throughout each week campers will have the opportunity to choose from several adventure learning labs.

The learning labs being Greenhouse and Gardening; Innovation and Creation (Legos building, etc.); Fab Lab (Arts, Crafts, Building Design); Project Lead the Way (Engineering, Coding, Technology); Community Service Projects; Animals and Nature; Team Play (Games and Sports); Great Thinkers! Reading, Research and Design; Sensory Learning; Cooking; Challenges and Puzzles.

The camps are for ages 5-12, with the weekly camps taking place through Aug. 3-7.

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