Horizons group home seeks repairs

PARKERSBURG – The Horizons group home is seeking financial assistance from the Wood County Commission for repairs and maintenance of the county-owned building.

A ramp needs replaced and theres problems with the front steps, said Jane Burdette, who has served on the board of directors for about 30 of the 40 years the home has been in existence. Horizons provides a group home on Williams Street for eight residents whose primary disability is mental retardation and a respite care program.

“The Horizons Center originally purchased the building, then at some point, the deed for the property was turned over to the county commission. The commission provides a long-term lease for the facility. It’s my understanding we take care of the inside upkeep and maintenance and the county commission takes care of the outside.”

About $15,000 is needed to replace an accessibility ramp at the rear of the building and address problems with the front steps, she said. Gravel also is needed in the parking lot, she said.

Burdette said she sought a cost quote for the work prior to the commission meeting on Monday.

“The $15,000 is our threshold amount to seek bids,” Commissioner Blair Couch said. “I would suggest we have the county maintenance department go out there and assess the work and see if any or all of it could be done in-house. They can report back then we can decide how best to proceed.”

Couch said the county had previously torn down an old garage on the property and repaired a porch roof.

“We know you do good work and it’s much needed in the county,” Couch said.

“There is a much greater need for these services than we can provide in the community,” Burdette said.

The program is primarily state-funded, she said. Some residents have lived there since the facility first opened, Burdette said.

The Wood County facility is unique in the state because it is owned and operated by people with disabilities, Burdette said.

“Fifty-one percent of the board members have disabilities and some of the staff also have disabilities, it’s a unique concept among group homes,” Burdette said.