Braxton Citizens' News, Community, Town Meeting

Commission session busy

The most recent meeting of the Braxton County Commission was held on April 5.

Megan Stout with the Braxton County Animal Shelter was the first to speak to commissioners. She noted the rescues transports were going well and she had one schedule for Buffalo, NY later in the morning with 26 dogs heading out. However, the transport van is having several mechanical issues, including the rear end and brake system as well as the windshield is leaking. She requested the commission look into purchasing a van for the shelter. The commission approved to request bids for new and used cargo vans in order to compare pricing on a motion by Larry Clifton.

She also requested looking into camera upgrades for the facility. Currently three out of the six cameras are shorting out at various times. Commission President Lisa Godwin stated that when the quarantine expansion is complete, plans are to replace the system to cover that area as well. Braxton County Assessor Edie Tichner agreed to donate a camera system to the shelter to help cover areas needed now.

Stout went on to read the National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week, April 8-12, Proclamation which the commission accepted.

Next to speak to the commission was Eric Thomas, Pastor of Sutton Baptist Church, on behalf of the Braxton County Ministerial Association. He requested the organization be able to use the sidewalks in front of the courthouse on May 2 at 7:30 am for the National Day of Prayer and invited the commissioners to participate. President Godwin stated since they were just using the sidewalk and not the lawn area no permission would need to be granted for the event.

Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Dwayne Vandevender requested permission to hire a legal intern for the summer. The commission approved the request to hire Megan Hamrick, second year law student at WVU. She will be paid as a contract labor employee without benefits at $9.38 per hour, starting May 20.

Sheri Garren from BC EASA, presented the February EMS report. During the month, 310 calls were generated. Of those calls, 120 resulted in transports to a medical facility by ground, five went to a landing zone, 94 were pre-scheduled non-emergent transports by the agency, 24 were non-emergent out of BCMH, one non-emergent out of SRMC, three non-emergent out of SJMH, two non-emergent out of UHC, 34 resulted in refusals, five standbys, 11 cancellations prior to arrival on scene, five cancellations on scene, one DOA, and five nothing found.

Garren then requested the commission grant permission to begin distributing the salary enhancement given by the state beginning the first payroll of April 2024. The request was granted.

Her final request on behalf of BC EASA was for permission to transfer funds to EMS if needed due to the insurance hack on February 21 which now has affected how billing claims are completed delaying payments. Garren’s request was granted on a motion by Larry Clifton.

In regular action the following items were approved by the county commission on separate motions: probate appointments for March; correction of erroneous assessments for Amanda Cutlip-wrong class and Bobbie &/or Mark C. Morgan, II-duplicate ticket; and purchase orders for Assessor’s office for JD Power Connect-Internet RV & Marine in the amount of $781.28, Sheriff’s Tax Division for GST-HP LaserJet printer in the amount of $790.80, and BC Animal Shelter for Justin R. Meadows-Partition Survey for Animal Shelter Lot in the amount of $2,100.

The purchase order request for the Sheriff’s Tax Division for rooms and registration at the Sheriff’s Convention September 8-10 in Canaan Valley was voided on motion by Larry Clifton as the request does not require a purchase order. Permission was granted for the use of the county P-card to cover the cost of $1,467 for the three individuals participating instead.

Several other items approved during the meeting were the Motorola Solutions Final Acceptance Certificate for the new CAD system for deputies, participation in CCAWV Essay Contest 2024 (As in the past, the three Commissioners will personally match donations by Braxton Newspapers for local contest winner’s prize money), new county health department fees that now need to be presented to county commissions before being implemented, hiring of Albert Stewart as part-time Annex Security at the rate of $15 per hour with no county benefits, hiring of Roger Lambert as part-time Court Bailiff at $15 per hour, with a ninety day probation period, BCSD internal budget revision for transfer of $68 from accounts 701-341 to 701-345, commission to pay 1/2 of the cost of the basic blood screen for employees who participate in the BC Rotary Blood Screening, letter of support for Birch River Water Project for Region 4, an increase to the matching funds for the Elk River Trail Foundation Grant from $250,000 to $260,000, approval of resolution of the commission adopting the Region VII Planning and Development Council and Hazard Mitigation Plan-update 2023, invoices for county, P-card, and EMS, and approval of the March 25 special meeting minutes.

Tyler Long from OES and 9-1-1 read the National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 14-20, Proclamation and commission accepted the proclamation to recognize the week.

The commission approved the FY 25 Congressional Spending Projects. Commission President Godwin briefly reviewed the ongoing grants for Braxton which include one that will go with current grant from the WVDOH for tying in streets and sidewalks in Gassaway to the Elk River Trail, and letters of support for Braxton County Career Connect for Braxton County Schools, the park project in Gassaway, and work on linking the Elk River Trail from Gassaway to Sutton.

Commission President Godwin announced that Braxton was one of two finalists for a $60,000 grant through the federal Local Foods, Local Places program for 2024. The grant will allow for review of the Sutton Farmers Market. Larry Clifton led the action to accept the grant and for the commission president to form a steering committee of four to seven members by the April 19 deadline.

Commissioners went into executive session at 9:44 pm to discuss personnel issues/fact finding. The reconvened at 10:48 am and immediately adjourned the meeting with no further business to discuss. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be on Friday, April 19 beginning at 9:00 a.m.