PARKERSBURG - Wood County commissioners on Thursday authorized legal services in a continuing federal flood mitigation grant project in Happy Valley.
On Monday, Tim Meeks, grant coordinator with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, met with commissioners concerning price quotes for the legal services. Meeks said no one responded to the initial ad seeking services, so he had made an additional attempt to solicit proposals and had received only one, from attorney Andrew Woofter.
Woofter proposed to charge $475 per tract for the title exam plus expenses; $125 for the closing and another $125 for deed preparation.
Commission President Rick Modesitt noted at that time the commissioners had worked with Woofter before on legal matters, and the commissioners voted to accept the price quote.
Meeks later notified the commission when he returned to his office he discovered a second price quote proposal had arrived by mail.
"I'd like to point out that we had received the mail at the building, but through our internal distribution system, it just hadn't reached Tim's desk before he came before you on Monday. It was received in time. The other issue that came up in looking at the quotes was that Andrew (Woofter) would not have been able to provide title insurance, and Rob (attorney Robert K. Tebay) will, we've discussed it with Andrew and he has no problem. Rob's fee was also slightly less," Fred Rader, MOVRC community development director, told commissioners on Thursday.
"We need to rescind the prior motion then, and accept the other proposal," said commissioner Blair Couch.
Couch was acting Thursday as commission president pro tem since Modesitt was not in attendance.
Tebay's proposal included a $500 fee for title examination and closing services if the property involves only one tract, otherwise, the fee is $350 per tract. Tebay noted he has performed real estate services since 1982 on behalf of several lenders, government agencies and private citizens.
Woofter's proposal notes while he has experience doing title exams for more than 12 years, and is an authorized settlement provider, he is not authorized to issue title insurance.
The original flood mitigation grant provided funding for the county to purchase five floodprone properties with high claim ratios in Happy Valley. The funding was provided so the county could buy the land enabling the property owners to sell and move out of the floodprone area. No new structures can be placed on the properties.
"The application last time was for five, but once the appraisals on those properties came in, we actually only had enough money to buy three. That project was then closed out, and another application was made for the other properties. One decided not to sell, so the second grant was given to the county commission to provide funding to purchase the one remaining property on that original list. That is what this pertains to," Rader told the commissioners earlier. The property in question is located at 808 Happy Valley.
A separate grant application is pending for other flood mitigation projects in the Happy Valley area.
Happy Valley is located off West Virginia 47 behind West Virginia University, along the Little Kanawha River.