Braxton County’s Prosecuting Attorney, Jasmine R.H. Morton tendered her resignation to the Braxton County Commission at their regular meeting last Friday, March 3. Morton was present to review the emotional letter of resignation that she submitted to the group.
The 6 year veteran Prosecuting Attorney thanked the Commission in her letter and in person for the opportunity to serve Braxton County citizens. She also hinted at seeking other public office in 2024. Morton’s letter of resignation can be found in its entirety on Page 2 of this issue. The resignation is effective March 15.
Several other delegations addressed the Commission during their relatively brief Friday session. Cassandra Lawson of Region 4 Planning and Development Council spoke on behalf of the Birch River PSD’s Wilson Ridge Waterline Extension Project. Lawson told the Commission that the expansion of potable water was along the county line of Braxton, Clay and Nicholas Counties. She said that 27 customers were in the service area and that the project, which was grant funded, was nearing completion. However, she explained how the DOH’s requirement to backfill with gravel where stone did not previously existed had caused the project to exceed budget by $45,000. She further stated that the PSD and Region had approached the Commissions of both Clay and Nicholas who had agreed to contribute a pro-rated share of the overage based on customers served within their counties, if the remaining counties also participated. Lawson stated that Clay County had committed to $27,000 and Nicholas was willing to chip-in $6,750, if Braxton would commit to $11,250. After hearing the presentation, Commissioner Melvin Gum made a motion to allocate the requested amount of money to project. That action received the unanimous support of the Commission.
Crystal Merch, representing the Calhoun County Community Center, came before the Commission to outline the project in her county to convert the old Calhoun County High School building into a recreational center. She requested the Braxton County Commission write a letter of support for the neighboring county. The action was approved on a motion introduced by Larry Clifton.
Mark Whitley, Executive Director of the Roane County Economic Development Authority informed the Commission that while the joint multi-county broadband expansion project was still on track it had been delayed to the point that the $1,000,000 obligated by the Braxton County Commission could not be appropriated within the guidelines of the ARP funding program. He added that replacement funding was in place and that the county could reappropriate those previously earmarked funds.
John Hoffman, County OES, 9-1-1, EMS Director delivered the monthly activity report of the county ambulance service and stated the OES report would be forthcoming.
Sheriff Lou DellaMea provided the Commission with a written letter saying he had appointed Captain Bryce Scarbro as the interim County Humane Officer to fill in for Luke Nettles, who tendered his resignation at the previous meeting, until a permanent replacement is named.
In other action, the Commission approved the probate appointments for the month of February as provided by the County Clerk.
A motion by Larry Clifton authorized the correction of erroneous assessments for Naomi & Matthew Wolford and Albert B. Stewart II.
Separate motions authorized the use of the County’s credit card to secure rooms for the county clerk and an assistant to attend an elections meeting at Canaan Valley Resort on August 6-8 as well as Commission President Lisa Godwin to attend the CCAWV Spring Board meeting, also at Canaan Valley, on April 16 & 17,
Following a brief discussion, Larry Clifton made a motion to allow the County Clerk to pursue a grant for updated election equipment.
The Commission approved a grant agreement between the WV Dept. of Agriculture and the Commission to support the spay/neuter program with Just One Generation.
Ed Given, President of the Sutton Volunteer Fire Department, and County Clerk Sue Rutherford discussed a request from the SVFD to assist in paying for a backup generator for the firehouse and old Fisher Building. Given told the Commission his department was short on funds due to replacing their rescue vehicle and that the generator would benefit the county when they used the annex for elections and could be used for emergency shelter in times of need. Given added that the Town of Sutton had graciously contributed $7,400 toward the project that will cost just over $13,800. He requested that the Commission allow the County Clerk to provide one half of the remaining balance from her elections fund with the fire department paying the other half. Larry Clifton made a motion to approve the request.
Following a review, Melvin Gum made a motion to approve the County and EMS bills for payment as submitted. A separate motion approved the minutes of the Commission’s February 17 meeting as submitted by the County Clerk.
Being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 9:36 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will convene on March 17 at 9:00 a.m.