Calhoun county commission met Monday at 9 a.m. in
the Calhoun Courthouse little courtroom.
A review of the budget control report for the
period ending June 30 began a discussion of three or four items that
appear to be consuming anywhere from $50,000 to as much as $100,000 of
the county’s budget.
Commissioner Bob Weaver said, “With any new stuff
or unexpected stuff, we are looking at a $100,000 to $200,000 shortfall
in the coming year.”
Another budgetary concern is the possibility of a
special election to determine who will fill the Senate seat vacated by
the death of Robert Byrd.
If the state does not pay for the election, it will
be up to the counties to do so. The cost to the county for a special
election is generally between $15,000 and $20,000.
To avoid the extra cost of programming the voting
machines, paper ballots were discussed. They can be counted by hand and
would cost the county less.
In order to avoid the possibility of deficit
spending, which is illegal for a county commission, monies which had
been promised to various elected officials for expenditures, and to
organizations in the county like Calhoun County Park, WVU Extension
office and Wood Festival Committee, were withheld.
Commissioner Chip Westfall said, “We had budgeted
$20,000, but we don’t have the money now.”
Representatives of the Wood Festival Committee, who
were at the meeting asking for funding, promised to pay for mowing that
has already been done, and reiterated its need for immediate funding to
keep summer youth workers supplied with materials.
The committee was told that no money was available
at this time, but may be available in the future.
It was decided that the summer youth workers at
Underwood Field would have to be placed in other programs in the county,
since there would be no money for materials. The main concern was that
parents of the workers, who provide transportation, could have problems
getting their children to other sites.
Fred Rader of Parkersburg Area Community Foundation
said that there could be a possibility of some emergency funding coming
from PACF, if it is contacted and told of the impending possibility of
teenagers losing their summer employment.
Wood Festival Committee president Judy Powell and
treasurer Jim Sullivan said, that due to lack of funding and citizen
participation, “We’re done; in more ways than one.” They also said that
there may not be a Wood Festival in 2011.
OES director Kathy Wood asked for a fifty cent per
hour raise, across the board, for 911 dispatchers. She said funding
would be from 911 money.
Commissioners questioned the validity of the raise
in regard to the guidelines in the employee handbook.
After county clerk Richard Kirby retrieved a copy
of the handbook from his office for clarification, commissioners decided
that all dispatchers, except for one, had enough service time to
Commissioners said they would have the handbook
committee meet to review and revise some of the “vague wording” in the
employee handbook to deal with the possibility of reductions in force
that may be necessary due to budget cuts.
Janet Heiney, health and wellness coordinator for
Mid-Ohio Valley Health Dept., introduced a new program, funded by the
Centers for Disease Control, to increase access to physical activity in
the county and to increase the availability of fresh fruits and
The main focus of the program will be to form a
coalition of county officials and concerned citizens to look into the
availability of walking paths at public parks and other forms of
exercise in the county, and see how improvements can be made to benefit
Diane Ludwig gave a report for Little Kanawha Area
Development Corp. on changes being made at Calhoun Industrial Park.
Local business owner, Josh Burkett, is in the
process of purchasing a three-acre lot for his expanding business.
Ludwig said that interest has been expressed in all the other lots as
Julie Sears was approved to replace Janet Gherke as
a Calhoun EMS
representative on the 911 advisory board. Curtis Gregory was appointed
to the Calhoun County Park board.
A six-week delay for the beginning of work on the
Mt. Zion Public Service District’s waterline extension project was
discussed and a drawdown, contingent on the construction invoices, was
No extension of the current contract, which has the
project finished by July 18, 2012, was considered.
A grant for air conditioning at the courthouse was
discussed. Although paperwork has been submitted to the State, there has
been no response concerning the matter.
Tim Meeks of Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council
discussed the Hazardous Mitigation Grant and seven properties involved
for buyout because of flooding problems.
The latest appraisals came back with a lower value
than some property owners were expecting. It was decided that the
property owners have until July 30 to respond as to whether or not they
wish to accept the current offers or get an appraisal of their own.