Commission talks rabies, gas drilling & towers
Bruce Ullom of the Morgan County Health Department delivered a
written protocol to county officials about the procedure his agency follows in the case of human contact with an animal who might be rabid.
The commissioners checked with 911 Director Dave Michael to see that local 911 operators had a uniform set of suggestions they give to residents who call about a rabid animal incident.
Ullom said his department only deals with incidents where an animal comes into contact with people – not other animals.
Michael said 911 refers callers to the Department of Natural Resources if a wild animal is involved.
Emergency operators tell residents to seek medical attention if they had bodily contact with an animal they suspect is rabid.
Ullom said domestic animals that have come in contact with sick wild animals or have bitten a person can be quarantined if owners can’t verify the pet has had an up-to-date rabies vaccine.
Wild animals that are acting sick should be shot by property owners and buried. A bleach solution can be poured around the burial site to keep other animals from digging up the carcass, Ullom said.
Marcellus Shale group
Commissioner Hutchinson reported that the Planning Commission is interested in the study of local impacts of hydro-fracking in Marcellus Shale for gas exploration, but won’t lead the group.
Hutchinson had said she would head the committee if county planners didn’t want to.
The commissioners decided to each nominate two members to the committee, which will be made up of local residents and those who have a local connection, Hutchinson said.
The group will form this month. Hutchinson said she hopes they will meet twice per month to prepare a preliminary report before the end of the year.
Openings on county boards
County officials are seeking county residents who are interested in volunteering to serve on local boards. Currently, there are openings on the Morgan County Solid Waste Authority, Morgan County Parks & Recreation, Morgan County Planning Commission, the Board of Health and the Eastern Panhandle Transportation Authority.
Community Service Officer
The commissioners voted to hire Roger Spring as the county’s part-time Community Service Officer. The position is funded by a grant.
Spring will supervise offenders sentenced to community service. Workers primary job will be trash pickup around the county – mostly on weekends, officials said.
Public/private tower sharing
911 Director Dave Michael said local internet provider SkyWeb has asked permission to mount some network equipment on the county’s 911 tower on Cacapon Mountain. Michael said the company has allowed the county to use space on SkyWeb towers to mount 911 equipment.
Officials agreed to the tower-sharing.
Michael urged county officials to create an official contract with private providers in such instances.
Morgan County 911 has equipment on multiple private towers, and enters into such agreements, even though companies don’t charge the county for the space.
Michael said he would encourage the county to share space with high-speed internet providers, so that service could be available to more county residents.