A high point of last Friday’s regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission was approval of funding for Braxton County Farmers. The action came on the heels of a presentation by Allison Nettles, Project Support Specialist for the Elk Conservation District.
Nettles began by explaining that this was the first time her agency had solicited outside assistance from the Commission. “We live within our means and help the farm communities of our service counties with the monies we are allotted. However, this year the demand has been overwhelming. The applications were over three times greater for our Agriculture Enhancement Program than previous years.” She went on to explain that the program assists farmers in purchasing necessary fertilizers and other nutrients to keep their soil at peak production levels.
“Without additional financial help hay crops will diminish, resulting in less beef production and higher costs to the consumers,” Nettles added. She also pointed out that any funding the Commission chose to contribute would only go to Braxton County residents. After hearing the presentation and asking questions, Melvin Gum made a motion to allot $11,561 to the Conservation District to assist Braxton County farmers in making up the local portion of the shortfall. Nettles thanked the Commission for coming to the aid of the local farm community saying, “You are going to make a lot of people very happy.”
April Lloyd, newly hired Administrator for the Braxton County Health Department was first to address the Commission. She told them the Health Department has entered into an agreement wit Dr. Kimberly Becker to serve as County Health Officer. Commission President Lisa Godwin thanked Lloyd for the update.
John Hoffman, County OES, 9-1-1, EMS Director presented the Commission with his February activity report. That information revealed that the communications center had received a total of 1,921 calls in February. Of those 571 were of an emergency nature. One hundred nineth were directed to county law enforcement agencies, 92 went to the fire departments while 150 were directed to the EMS.
Gabby Gregory requested that the Commission set aside a day in Braxton County to bring awareness to neighbors helping neighbors. She suggested it be called a Community Service and Kindness Day. Commission President Godwin stated that the Commission would discuss the request during their work session and place it on the next meeting’s agenda for possible action.
Sheriff Lou DellaMea requested that Commission allow him to fill a vacancy in his bailiff staff with Van Carr. He explained that Carr would be paid $15.00 per hour with no county benefits for the part-time position and he would serve a 90-day probationary period. The request was granted on a motion by Larry Clifton.
EMS Supervisor Kenny Summers was also on hand to discuss the activity report for the county Ambulance Service. After going over the report, he answered questions from the Commission.
Two purchase orders were up for consideration. Both were approved via separate motions. The 9-1-1 office was allowed $4,000 to purchase a printer/copier/fax from Komax LLC. Motorola Solutions will receive $800 for training of Brian White on the new CAD system.
Deputy Bryce Scarboro presented new bids for police cruisers for the Sheriff’s Department. He proposed to purchase the cruisers from Mid-State Ford in Summersville who will work with Autotronix to provide additional police equipment at a total cost of $44,409 each for three vehicles. Melvin Gum made a motion to approve the purchase.
After a brief discussion, a motion by Larry Clifton set April 16 at 10:00 a.m. as the date for a surplus auction for the county. That same motion authorized the rental of a storefront building on Main Street, Sutton that was previously used by the Town of Sutton for their auction to host the event and store the surplus inventory.
The Commission reviewed and accepted a letter of resignation from Connie Given. The position will be posted internally.
The Commission approved a bid from GST of Fairmont for a Cisco Router and 3-year SmartNet renewal at a cost of $967.70. A separate motion authorized the purchase of a new computer system from the same company for the Commission’s office.
The Commission reviewed a quote of $2,500 to update the County’s employee handbook and bring it into compliance with state code from Wendy E. Graves an attorney in Charleston.
The Commission reviewed and passed an ordinance authorizing fire departments to charge for reasonable reimbursement rates for equipment, supplies and manpower used in some emergency situations.
A motion by Melvin Gum approved the county and EMS invoices for payment.
Following a review Larry Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes of the Commission’s February 18 meeting and the Board of Equalizations minutes for February.
Being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 9:53 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will convene at 9:00 a.m. on March 18.