Community, The Braxton Democrat

Commissioners Differ on Replacing Annex HVAC System

Friday, May 19th’s Braxton County Commission meeting got a little heated when Commissioners got to the part of the agenda that read: Discuss HVAC Heating & AC Unit Bid for Annex. Commission President Lisa Godwin began the conservation by explaining that the Commission had agreed on a course of action several months ago and had advertised the replacement of the system. She further explained that only one bid was received. She also elaborated on the fact that the antiquated electrical system in the building had to be upgraded to handle a new system which is what was adding to the high cost of nearly $600,000 to replace the system. Melvin Gum made a motion to accept the low bid. That action died for lack of a second.
Larry Clifton took exception to the high cost and said that alternatives should be investigated before spending that much of the taxpayer’s money. At one point in the discussion, Commissioner Clifton questioned President Godwin regarding a sister who he believed worked for the one bidder. Godwin informed Clifton that she did not have any sisters and his information was incorrect.
Commissioner Clifton said he had spoken with other contractors who could install systems at a lesser cost. After several minutes of discussion, Lisa Godwin stated that she felt the Commission’s only option was to hire a consultant to evaluate the building and make recommendations for a new system. Larry Clifton made the motion to pursue the hiring of a consultant. That action was unanimously approved. The Commission President ask Larry Clifton to head the project as she simply didn’t have addition time due to her work schedule.
Marie Lockard with Braxton County Drug Testing Center was first to address the Commission with a report of activities for her agency for the month of April. That report showed that the agency had conducted a total of 188 drug screenings.
Megan Stout and Kim Jarrett of the Braxton County Animal Shelter presented a report of animal intakes for the year to date. Those numbers revealed that 141 dogs had been received at the shelter. Only 4 of those animals were euthanized with the balance being reclaimed or adopted.
John Hoffman requested financial support for the Braxton County Ambulance Service. He explained that cash flow was not adequate to meet future payroll. Melvin Gum made a motion to allocate $100,000 to the service. That action was approved.
In other action, short form settlements for the following were approved on a motion by Larry Clifton: Luke Adon Campbell, Sonja Cooper, Randal Joe Cunningham, Richard Gene Dillon, Bettie L. Jarvis, Gary Dale Rhodes, Elizabeth Ann Urban, and Richard L. Wilson.
Applications for correction of erroneous assessments were approved for: Michael Zabrieszak, Billy or Carol Singleton and Ronald D. Drake.
A single purchase order was approved. Central Square will upgrade the phone system at the 9-1-1 Center at a cost of $5,461.48.
Two separate requests from Sheriff Lou DellaMea were granted. Levi Grant Cochran was hired as a full-time deputy. The certified police office will be paid $33,500 annually with full county benefits. His start date is June 1.
Shane Duffield and Harry Teare were approved to work Dam Patrol for the Sheriff.
The Commission approved the resignation of Leslie Ann White as a full-time Deputy County Clerk. They approved a request from County Clerk Sue Rutherford to hire Tiffany M. Brown to fill the vacancy.
The Commission accepted the resignation of Rachel Cutlip as Legal Secretary for the Prosecuting Attorney.
They also accepted the resignation of Linda Brown from the Holly Gray Park Board.
A motion by Larry Clifton added the Falls Mill/Ireland Community Building to the Hotel/Motel Funding List.
The Commission passed a resolution to accept the final report on the Birch River PSD Wilson Ridge Waterline Extension Project with the overrun of $8,017.12 be returned to the PSD.
On a motion by Melvin Gum, the Commission advanced funding to Just One Generation until state reimbursement is received.
Separate motions approved the County and EMS bills for payment as well as the minutes from the Commission’s May 5 meeting.
Prosecuting Attorney Dwayne Vandevender requested an executive session to discuss personnel matters. That action was granted on a motion by Larry Clifton at 9:41. They came out of the closed-door session at 10:00 a.m. Larry Clifton made a motion to hire a full-time Paralegal. The Paralegal will take the place of the recently resigning staff member and the current legal secretary’s vacancy. The new hire will have full county benefits and serve a probationary period. Salary will be commensurate with experience.
The meeting adjourned until June 2, at 9:00 a.m.