Braxton Citizens' News, Town Meeting

County Commission discusses Congressional Earmark approval

At the conclusion of last Friday’s Braxton County Commission meeting President Lisa Godwin informed those in attendance that her office had received confirmation from Senators Manchin and Capito as well as Congresswoman Miller that Congressional Earmarks, approved during the last portion of the budget approval will result in over $4.5 million in federal support heading to Braxton County.

Godwin stated that the approval will release funding in the near future that will provide $1.8 million to upgrade the emergency communication system for fire, police and EMS; $211,000 for equipment for the Sheriff’s Department; $1.5 million for improvements at Holly Gray Park and $1,000,000 for the Mountaineer Food Bank. All but the MFB grant will be administered by the Braxton County Commission.  Godwin added that her office was awaiting instruction on how to proceed and exactly when the money would be distributed.

First to address the Commission March 15th was Marie Lockard, Director of Braxton County Testing Services. She stated that her agency had conducted 130 drug screenings during the month of February. She added that the DHHR had been billed $3,824.50 and that two checks were received from that agency for previous services rendered amounting to $7,040.

Tiffany Prior, EMS Director was next to appear before the Commission. Prior made several requests. She requested that Amanda Gum’s status be changed from part-time to full-time. Her pay will remain the same, but she will be eligible for full county benefits.

Prior asked that Shaun William Holcomb be hired as a part-time paramedic/driver at a pay rate of $21.50 per hour with no county benefits.

Prior also requested permission to change the pay for Roman Swager from $12 to $15.50 per hour as he recently received his EMT certification.

The three requests were approved via separate motions.

Prior also requested permission to begin distributing the State Salary Enhancement funds to her staff. President Godwin stated that the action would have to be tabled due to additional information recently received pertaining to the disbursement of those monies. Godwin said the matter would be placed back on the agenda as soon as the Commission had the opportunity to review the new details.

John Hoffman, OES/9-1-1 Director, presented the activity report of his agencies to the Commission for the month of February. During that period, the Communication’s Center received 2,361 calls. Of those, 491 were directed to law enforcement agencies in the county, 105 to fire departments and 267 to EMS.

Hanna Thacker and Clayton Scott of the USDA appeared before the Commission to let them know about the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Program. Thacker explained how victims of flooding may be entitled to buy-out funds under the new program. She further told those in attendance how the application process through the County Commission would work.

In other business, Larry Clifton made a motion to approve the short form settlements for the following as presented by the Fiduciary Supervisor: Charles Doyle Boggs, Harry C. Brady, Patty Lynn Brady, Paul Fisher, Matthew Burton Friend, Robert Herbert Grace, Iris Ann Heater, Marilyn R. James, James D. Lemon Jr., Alden Ray Monroe, Hazel B. Ramsey, Susanna Rose, Judy L. Skidmore, Robert David Walker and Ronald Ray Yost.

Application for correction of erroneous assessments were approved for Judith Davis and Frances J. Atsberger.

Letters of resignation were received from Howard Carpenter as Annex Security Guard and Felisha Watson as a part-time court bailiff. Both were accepted. Separate motions authorized county officials to advertise for possible replacements.

Sheriff Lou DellaMea requested that Felisha Watson be hire as the new county Process Server to replace Floyd Cunningham who has resigned to accept the position of County Humane Officer.  That request was approved.

Following a brief discussion, John Hoffman’s request the Commission approve a resolution allowing all E-9-1-1 staff to join the Emergency Medical Services Retirement System, if they chose to do so. That action was approved on a motion by Larry Clifton.

Armstrong Law of Gassaway requested that the Commission set a hearing date on the estate of Mary Susan Carr. The Commission scheduled that hearing for April 19 at 10:00 a.m.

The Poll Workers for the upcoming primary election were approved as presented by the County Clerk.

Larry Clifton made a motion to advertise for interested parties to sit on the Holly Gray Park Board to replace Eddie Williams who recently resigned.

Prosecuting Attorney Dwayne Vandevender spoke to the Commission about a recommendation for the County Civil Service Board. He recommended Andrew Shingler be appointed to a position on that board. The request was granted.

Separated motions approved the county and EMS bills for payment as well as the minutes of the Commission’s March 1 meeting.

Being no further business to consider, the meeting adjourned at 9:22 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will convene on April 5 at 9:00 a.m.