Community, The Braxton Democrat, Town Meeting

Distemper Outbreak at Animal Shelter Topic of County Commission Meeting

The Braxton County Commission received an update at their regular meeting last Friday, regarding a distemper outbreak that has temporarily closed the local Animal Shelter. Kim Jarrett, Animal Control Officer, addressed the body concerning the disease. She said that for the first time in the history of the facility, distemper had closed the shelter to adoption and receiving of animals. “We are working with veterinarians on a treatment regiment. We are making progress, but the situation is very serious,” she told the Commission. She went on to explain that the number of cases had declined and that if no more animals became infected, they would begin adopting dogs later this month. However, they will not take in new animals until at least November 1st. She added that the disease had only affected puppies to date, but unfortunately, 10 animals had to be euthanized. Jarrett stated that they believed the disease, which was very rare, is making a return due to unvaccinated animals in the county. She also updated the Commission on the fund raising and design progress for the quarantine area to be built at the Shelter. She emphasized how invaluable such a facility would be in circumstances such as this. Donna Conrad, Chief Tax Deputy for the Sheriff’s office was first to address Commission. She explained that the copier in the Sheriff’s tax office was over 10 years old and needed to be replaced. She proposed that the Commission authorize the Sheriff to replace the machine with a KOMAX copier as many of the other offices in the Courthouse had made the change and were quite pleased with the service. After hearing the presentation, Larry Clifton made a motion to authorize the new copier. Tiffany Prior, Braxton County EMS Director spoke to the Commission concerning matters important to her agency. She reviewed the monthly activity report for September with the Commission which revealed an increase in runs. She requested Baylee Cooper be hired as a part-time EMT/Driver and Ronald Garvin as a part-time driver. Garvin will receive $13.00 per hour while Cooper’s rate of pay will be $16.50 per hour. Both were approved via separate motions. Prior also requested that Brian White be promoted to training officer. His pay will increase from $15.50 to $16 per hour. That action was approved on a motion by Melvin Gum. Tyler Long, Acting OES/9-1-1 Supervisor requested that Jennifer L. Manahan be moved from part-time status to full-time at the 9-1-1 Center. He proposed that she receive $15.00 per hour with all county benefits and serve a 90-probation period. That request was also granted. Tara Wilson, representing the Frametown Park and Recreation Committee, spoke to the Commission regarding a leaking roof at the Frametown Community Building and other issues at the facility. Following the discussion Commission President Lisa Godwin stated that she would have the county’s maintenance department look at the issues before taking any further action. In other action, the probate appointments for the month of September were approved as submitted by the County Clerk. Applications for correction of erroneous assessments were approved for the following: Larry & Kathy Browning, Kayla & Shawndale Davis and Cynthia Duran. A consolidation request for contiguous tracts of land for tax purposes belonging to Hollyoak Properties LLC was approved. Three purchase orders came before the Commission for consideration. There were all approved by separate motions. Autotronix WV LLC was authorized $1,800 for lettering of 4 used cruisers for the Sheriff’s Department. The PO was not granted until President Lisa Godwin pointed out to Sheriff Lou DellaMea that funds from the home confinement fund, as he proposed, could not be used for such expenditures. The money will be withdrawn from the Sheriff’s equipment line item. General Appliance LLC will be paid $1,133.54 for maintenance to the courthouse boiler system. Bay Diesel Corporation will be paid $745.00 for the annual load bank test on a county generator. Larry Clifton made a motion that the Commission pay half of the cost for basic blood testing at the Rotary Blood Screening for county employees, as they had in previous years, for those who wish to utilize the low-cost service. The Commission approved to pay Tanner Communications $8,000 for a battery backup system for the new 9-1-1 system. The Commission reviewed and accepted two letters of resignation from Sheriff’s Department employees. Deputy Andrew Groves resigned, effective October 4, to attend the WV State Police Training Academy. Process Server Jeffrey Freeman will be retiring November 15. The Commission authorized the Sheriff to advertise to fill the process server position. The Commission approved the financial statement for the physical year ending June 20, 2023, as presented by the County Clerk. All floors of the courthouse annex will be Wi-Fi capable thanks to the Commission approving bids from GST-WV to upgrade the equipment and Advanced Alarm Technologies to install the network wiring and upgrade camera system. Total cost will be $8,479.31. Following a discussion, Larry Clifton made a motion to advertise for prices to installing gutters and roofing repair at the Deputies Office as well as gutters for the back portion of the storage building the county recently purchased on Riverview Drive. The final actions of last Friday’s County Commission meeting were the approval of the county and EMS bills for payment as well as the minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of Sept. 15 and emergency meeting of Sept. 28. Both were approved by separate motions. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be on October 20 beginning at 9:00 a.m.