Commission opens marina bids

NEW CUMBERLAND – The Hancock County Commission is moving forward with plans to privatize operations of the Kennedy Marina and Campground in Newell.

Commissioners on Thursday opened sealed bids for the private operation of the facility. The marina currently is under the authority of Hancock County Parks and Recreation and operates on revenues from concession sales, rentals and fees.

Commissioners want to privatize the marina’s day-to-day operations while still drawing at least $2,000 a month (or $24,000 a year) in marina revenues for county coffers. Vendor bids were received from:

Chester businessman Michael Shenton – $3,500 a month ($42,000 a year) to Hancock County.

Current marina manager Terri Bailey – $24,001.02 a year to Hancock County.

Ohio River Catfish Association – $2,500 a month ($30,000 a year) to Hancock County.

Commissioners expect to make a decision on the marina vendor at their next regular meeting, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Commissioner Jeff Davis recused himself from the bid opening because he said he has a relationship with one of the bidders.

In a related matter, commissioners reorganized the parks and recreation board of directors by appointing four new members and re-appointing five current members whose terms had expired. Board members – three from each magisterial district – serve three-year terms.

The new board members are:

Weirton contractor Billy Pryor.

Rick Smith of New Cumberland.

Albert Jesse Mestrovic III, assistant superintendent of Tomlinson Run State Park.

Karen LaScola of Chester.

The re-appointed board members are:

Tom Keller of New Cumberland (president).

John Adkins of Chester (vice president).

William Miller of Weirton (secretary-treasurer).

Catherine Colabrese of Weirton.

Wilma Boring.

In other business, commissioners:

Authorized a request for qualifications for the purpose of hiring an architect to design and engineer a new secured entrance for the Hancock County Courthouse. A $300,000 grant from the West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority will cover the cost of labor and equipment, said Thomas Zielinsky, executive director of the county’s Office of Technology and Communications.

Hired Robert Vidas of Weirton as the new executive director of the Office of Technology and Communications. Vidas currently is project manager at SRA Platinum Solutions. Zielinsky is retiring in June.

Appointed Jacob Cox, Roger Stewart Jr. and Shane Greer to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Reserves.

Gave a first reading to a countywide curfew, known as the Hancock County Youth Protection Ordinance.

Agreed to buy five new sets of turnout gear for the New Manchester Volunteer Fire Department for $10,000.