KEYSER - Several trees that have fallen across New Creek in the area of the New Creek Water Association building were addressed during the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Mineral County Commission.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Several trees that have fallen across New Creek in the area of the New Creek Water Association building were addressed during the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Mineral County Commission.
Commission president Roger Leatherman said the downed trees could develop into “a major problem,” as he added that during heavy rains or during the winter when the accumulated snow begins to melt, they could cause the creek water to rise.
Leatherman said that Norm Launi, a water company board member, brought this concern to him, and it seems no help is in view on how to handle the four trees that had fallen from the bank into the creek.
Leatherman said that the Department of Environmental Protection, located in Romney, was contacted to seek assistance with removal of the trees, and he said the message he received was that situation would not be touched.
Also, attempting to draw the attention of state government officials, Leatherman said that he had contacted Lynn Phillips, a West Virginia representative for the governor’s office.
Phillips in turn addressed this issue by a letter to Gov. Jim Justice, and there has yet been no response from the statehouse.
The county commissioners agreed to “decide whose responsibility it is to remove the trees.”
An item of business that will be a near future agenda item was briefly discussed, and this dealt with the consolidation of four county voting precincts into two precincts.
Lauren Elliftritz, county clerk, said the reason for the consolidation is due to the present precincts becoming too small to handle the number of voters.
She mentioned that the joining of the precincts in question will be handled according to the rules of the state code.
Telling about the timeframe, she said there is a limit of 84 days to make the change in the precincts prior to the 2020 primary election, and 48 days if an emergency should occur.
Ellifritz added that an exception can be made to the change in the location for the precincts, as she gave an example as the flooding of the building where a precinct is to be opened for citizens to vote.
A notice from the Mineral County Sheriff’s office showed that Logan Talley, previously a deputy sheriff, transferred from that position to be part of the full-time courthouse security staff.