Commission implements indefinite fine for ongoing property case


BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Commissioners revisited the Gardner Case Number 010920-01 (Warren Tax District – Tax Map 8D – Parcel Number 12,13,14) once again Thursday morning.

This case originated in January 2020 and was referred to the Commission in August of 2020. On January 8, 2021, a fine of $50 per day was inevitably imposed upon Richardeen Gardner and William Philips, the real property owner and personal property owner, following the yearlong battle of orders to improve the condition of the property.

When Gardner spoke to Commissioners Thursday morning, she explained that the property cleanup was still a work in progress. However, since last speaking with Gardner in March, the property has been transferred to her grandson. Gardner noted that the new property owner has not contributed to the current condition of the property.

County Administrator Carrie Wallace explained that the DOH has filed a complaint against the personal property owner William Phillips and the DEP has opened a case that is currently pending review in Charleston.

After Commissioners viewed updated photos of the property, they agreed to continue implementing the $50 a day fine on the new real property owner, Gardner’s grandson and the personal property owner, William Phillips, indefinitely. Commissioners Terry Cutright and Sam Nolte explained that this has gone on long enough and they will not review the case again until the property is in compliance.

They made a motion to institute a fine on the personal property owner and real property owner without deadline. Gardner expressed her hopefulness that the property will be taken care of soon.

In other business of the County Commission, the following agenda items were approved:

  • Buckhannon-Upshur Recreational Park Rental Contract for the 2021 season.
  • Order to Permit the Lawful Holding of Upshur County Circuit Court at the Event Center at Brushy Fork for Jury Selection in May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2021, pursuant to WV Code §51-3-7. Occupying the existing Court space is not feasible for the purpose of a jury selection without creating a substantially increased risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Indemnification Agreement by and between the WV Public Employees Insurance Agency, the Upshur County Commission and USI Insurance Services.
  • Approval and signature of FFY 2020 Stop Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grant Application in the amount of $30,000.
  • Correspondence from Carrie Mills, on behalf of the WV Strawberry Festival Association, requesting 20 pool passes (one-day) to be used for the 2021 Berry Bandit Poker Run.
  • Approval of advertisement for a full-time Case Manager position with the 26th Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Day Report Center. The position is 40 hours a week with a beginning rate of $15 per hour. Applications are due on or before close of business on May 7, 2021.
  • Review and approval of the revised Internal Purchasing Policy for Department Supervisors that report to the Upshur County Commission.
  • Review and approval of the revised Cost Consciousness/Purchasing Procedures within the Upshur County Employee Handbook of Personnel Guidelines dated November 19, 2020.

Commissioners tabled action on correspondence from Laura B. Meadows, Upshur County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director, regarding the Commission’s representative vacancy to service July 2, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

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