Braxton Citizens' News, Community, Town Meeting

Commission had busy session

Plaque unveiled honoring famous Braxton aviator

At the end or Friday’s regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission, President Lisa Godwin unveiled a plaque that will be on display at the Braxton County Airport honoring WV Aviation Hall of Fame member James Kemp McLaughlin. The plaque is a duplicate of the one on display at the Hall of Fame at Clarksburg’s North Central Airport and will become a permanent fixture in the Piloet’s Lounge at the local facility.

Born in 1918, the Braxton County resident was introduced to aviation while attending college at WVU. That love furnished and McLaughlin enlisted as soon as he turned 21. Following a decorated military career which included 39 combat missions and numerous close calls and after his retirement from active duty he was selected to become the First Commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard a position he held along with be promoted to rank of Brigadier General and serving at Assistant Adjutant General until his retirement in 1977.

The meeting began with Sherry Jenkins representing EMS Director Tiffany Prior. Jenkins made several requests related to the ambulance service including asking that the Commission designate the week of May 19-25 as Emergency Medical Servies Week in Braxton County. Jenkins read a proclamation which the Commission, on a motion by Larry Clifton, authorized.

Jenkins requested that Zackery Harrison who had recently successfully received his national certification as an EMT have his pay elevated from $12 per hour to $15.50 per hour to reflect the change in status. She also requested on behalf of Prior, that Anthony D. Rogers II be moved from part-time driver to full-time with all county benefits. Both requests were granted.

John Hoffman, OES/9-1-1 Director was next to address the Commission. Hoffman presented the Commission with a report of activities for his agencies for the month of April. He also made a request that LeighAnn McCumbers be hired as a part-time, on call dispatcher and that she be paid a $10 per hour training wage with no county benefits. He also requested that he be allowed to place an advertisement to fill a full-time position. Both requests were granted.

Sutton Mayor J.D. Hoover was next to address the Commission. He asked that the Commission consider the town trading the county the alleyway at the end of 3rd street for a portion of the lot they own next to the Dentist’s office. The mayor explained that the city hoped to build a building to house vehicles and equipment. President Lisa Godwin said the matter could be further discussed in a work session. She also mentioned that the old service station near the bridge was not currently occupied and that something might be able to be worked out for the town to use it which would be far less expensive than building a new structure.

Caleb Harper, Holly Gray Park Manager, was next to address the Commission. He explained that details in a Land and Water Grant that had been offered the facility had deed restriction requirements that the Park Board of Directors could not agree with. Therefore, the Park was not going to accept the grant but would like the Commission to give them the $250,000 they allocated from ARP funds as a match to do as many of the improvements at the park as possible. Harper stated that the Board felt they could address the majority of the needs without including the tennis courts with the ARP funding. The request was granted on a motion by Larry Clifton.

Harper also requested the County allocate $2,000 for portable restroom and EMS Coverage of the upcoming Mud Bog fund raiser to be held at Holly Gray. The request was granted with the funds coming from the Hotel/Motel fund.

Kathy McMurray and April Loyd of Mountain CAP came before the Commission to present them with an annual report of their agency’s activities. They also requested that the month of May be proclaimed as Community Action Month in Braxton County marking Mountain CAP’s 60th Anniversary. The request was granted.

In other action, the Probate Appointments for the month of April were approved as presented.

Four purchase orders came before the Commission for consideration. They included authorizing $531.49 for the County Clerk to purchase 5 land books from Casto and Harris. EMS/9-1-1 will purchase 4 hard drives at a cost of $1,462.76 from GST-WV. The same company will provide a Dell Notebook computer for the BC Testing Services Center at a cost of $1,114.80 and Dell PowerEdge T360 servicer and other equipment for the Prosecutor’s office at a cost of $7,561.14. All four were approved via separate motions.

The Commission approved two actions related to budget revisions.

Following a brief discussion the Commission authorized Floyd Cunningham and Megan Stout to use the County P-Card to attend an Animal Control Certification Course on May 20-23 in Kearneysville, WV. The cost of the course is $595 per participant plus lodging.

The Commission discussed and approved changes in the DOT-TAP Grant for the Gassaway Trail to Town Connector as a design phase only with a $100,000 grant requiring a $20,000 match from the county.

The Commission also authorized a $3000 expenditure from the county’s ARP fund to letter the new ambulance the county has received.

The final items on the agenda were the payment of bills and the approval of minutes for the commission’s April 19 meeting. Both were approved.

The final item on the agenda was titled “Update on Fact Finding/Personal Issue 6-9A-4.” Larry Clifton made a motion to go into executive session to hear the update. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m. The regular meeting reconvened at 11:03 a.m. with no action taken. The meeting adjourned at 11:04 a.m. The next regular meeting of the Braxton County Commission will be held on May 19 beginning at 9:00 a.m.