Commission hears concerns of ‘landlocked’ property

By Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — Property owners who feel they are “landlocked” are asking for assistance from the Mason County Commission.

Gregg Casto, speaking on behalf of himself and mother Terry, spoke to commissioners about their property which is near the Mason County Airport. The Castos are hoping to sell the property.

At the meeting, County Administrator John Gerlach presented an email correspondence chain he had with an official at the Federal Aviation Administration about the situation. Gerlach wrote to the official that the Castos were asking for right-of-way access across airport property through a security fence to market and sell their property adjacent to the airport. The emailed response from the FAA official was that they felt access would compromise the security of the airfield.

During the discussion, it was brought up that another adjacent property owner near the airport has access to the airport because they have an airplane, with Gregg saying he was just asking for the same rights as the other, private property owner.

Gerlach, along with Commissioners Rick Handley, Tracy Doolittle and Miles Epling, told the Castos the deeds would be examined by the prosecutor’s office to look at right-of-way issues and if the property could be defined as landlocked. As of Friday, there had been no decision on this issue which was still being examined by the prosecutor’s office, according to Gerlach.

Wrecker service, and how it’s used, has also been a recurring topic at recent commission meetings.

Last month, commissioners revised the policy on wrecker services so wreckers would now be called out on a rotation basis. Commissioners implemented the policy, in part, to give all local wrecker services an equal opportunity at calls.

However, after hearing from Mason County Sheriff’s Department personnel, commissioners further amended the policy to allow officers to call whichever local service could arrive the fastest in the event of a road closure due to an accident or emergency situation.

In other business:

Doolittle read a letter from Diana Riddle, who retired as nursing director and administrator of the Mason County Health Department on Aug. 31. In the letter, Riddle thanked the county commission for their assistance over the years and asked for continued support of the department in years to come. Riddle also praised her replacement, Jennifer Thomas who has been with the health department for nine years. Commissioners all recognized Riddle for her role in leading the health department and thanked her for her service to the county.

Doolittle also read a letter from Mason County Fair Vice President Brian Billings, thanking the commission for its donation of $3,000 to the fair this year to improve the grounds and facilities. The donation was made from carryover funds from the previous fiscal year.

Commissioners approved the hire of Ashley Simpkins for a part-time position in the Mason County Assessor’s Office.

By Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

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