Braxton Citizens' News, Town Meeting

Commission hears complaint on waterline extension

One of several people appearing before the Braxton County Commission at their regular meeting last Friday was Dale Morrison of Exchange. Mr. Morrison questioned the Commission as to why water was extended to near his community from two different directions but not completed. He told the Commission that over the long period of time that the expansion had been in the works he and his neighbors had been told that the project would be completed only to see the efforts and funding go to other areas.

Commission President Lisa Godwin stated that she had requested that Rodney Pritt Manager of the Flatwoods Canoe Run PSD attend the meeting to give an update. Pritt told the Commission and Mr. Morrison that there had been miscommunications and misunderstanding regarding extending water to the estimated eighteen families involved. Pritt stated that there were two areas served by the system that were 1.7-mile projects which created the confusion. He stated that the information that Morrison’s area would not be completed was inaccurate though he could not give a definitive time frame. Pritt stated that the district was looking into additional Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) federal funding that may be available for the added expansion.

Mary Beth Smith, representing Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine Morton, appeared before the Commission to request the purchasing of two new computer workstations for their office. Smith explained that three stations were needed but forfeiture monies would be utilized to purchase the third. Larry Clifton made a motion to approve the request to purchase the two computers at a cost of $1,448.52 each.

Evelyn Post appeared before the Commission to request a public hearing concerning the poor service provided by Frontier Communication in her end of the county. Post explained that there were often outages that last for several days. During that time residents do not have the ability to summon help for emergency services if the need arises due to inadequate cellular service. She requested that the Commission organize a public hearing with the pertinent parties including Frontier and the Public Service Commission to see what could be done. The Commission agreed that the forum would provide a good fact-finding source. Lisa Godwin stated that the Commission’s office will work on establishing a time and date for the meeting.

Sheriff Lou DellaMea requested permission to re-hire Keith Long as a part-time as needed bailiff for the court systems. The Sheriff explained that Long had been employed by the county in the same position previously and had performed admirably. He left to pursue other employment which had now allowed him additional time that could be devoted to the county. The Commission approved the request.

Andrew Smith, Executive Director of the Braxton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, presented the annual report to the Commission of his agency’s activities and plans for the coming year as required by state code. Smith also answered questions for the commission and those attending. 

John Hoffman, OES/9-1-1/EMS Director requested permission to hire Donovan F. Tripplett as a full-time EMT/Driver for the ambulance service. He stated that Tripplett would be paid $13.50 per hour with full county benefits. Hoffman also requested that Erica P. Burnham be hired as a part-time emergency vehicle operator at a rate of $10 per hour with no county benefits. Hoffman explained that Burnham was in the most recent EMT class and would probably be certified in the near future. Both applicants were approved via separate motions.

The Commission acted on a request made last meeting by Gabby Gregory to establish a Community Kindness Day in Braxton County.  A motion by Larry Clifton designated the last Saturday in April as Community Service & Kindness Day in Braxton County.

Toward the end of the meeting. Porter Shellhammer introduced himself as a representative of Mid-State Archers. He thanked the Commission for their previous support of the organization and informed them that the local organization would be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Archery Tournament in June.

The Commission tabled action on three items on their agenda pending additional information. They included a request from Ameri-Corps Seniors for $1,500 to purchase medical lock boxes for local seniors and veterans; John Forbush’s request to be placed on the County’s Wrecker Rotation; and the County purchase of additional infrastructure.

A motion by Larry Clifton approved a proposed internal budget revision requested by the Sheriff.

The Commission approved the revisions to the County Wrecker Policy stating the changes would add clarity in several area.

Melvin Gum made a motion for the County to pay half of the basic cost of the Braxton County Rotary Club’s Spring Blood Screening for county employees.

Following a review, Melvin Gum made a motion to approve the County and EMS bills for payment.

The final act of business at last Friday’s meeting was the approval of the minutes for the Commission’s March 18 and March 25 meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 10:08 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on April 15 beginning at 9:00 a.m.