County employees get 3% raise
The Morgan County Commission voted last Thursday to increase the employee raises for the new fiscal year from 1.5% to 3%.
Deputy County Clerk Cathy Payne told the commissioners at the July 1 meeting that county government had a $228,746 carryover from the last fiscal year. She estimated the salary increase would cost the county $20,000.
However, due to an unusual calendar this year, government employees received 27 pay checks in a six month period, the last of which has to be paid back to the county, so the actual cost of the employee pay raise is $10,000, Payne said.
Carryover funds Commissioners then discussed how to best
allocate the rest of the carryover.
The commissioners are committed to match $80,000 of a grant received for the Paw Paw Rail Trail project.
They voted to fund $15,000 for expansion of the animal control kennel.
They set aside $40,000 to pave the parking lot where the trailers sit once the move is completed to the new courthouse.
Another $3,500 was allotted to restore electricity to the Fairfax Street memorial green that was lost when the courthouse burned.
The commissioners agreed to pay for a sprinkler system in the Magistrate Court building, estimated at $20,000 to $25,000. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department will be moving into the building once Magistrate Court is moved to the new courthouse.
The commissioners agreed the money for the sprinkler system should come out of the $5.1 million Fire Recovery Fund.
By a 2-1 vote, with Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson opposed, Commissioners Stacy Dugan and Tommy Swaim allocated $12,000 from the Fire Recovery Fund for renovations that the Sheriff’s Department needs before moving into the building.
By a 2-1 vote, with Hutchinson opposed, the commissioners decided to fund the hiring of two additional part time bailiffs for courthouse security. The cost of salaries and equipment is $24,587.
The Health Department was given $5,000. Health Administrator Lee Fowler had requested additional funds of $10,000 in May.
Morgan County Emergency Management System was given $5,000 for a Global Information System to computerize county mapping.
The Spohrs Crossroads Community Center received $500 to help pay for a new heating system.
The commissioners didn’t approve requests of $32,000 from the Morgan County Solid Waste Authority; $20,000 for a proposed Paw Paw visitor’s center; or a $15,000 request from the sheriff to hire a community service manager.
By a 2-1 vote, with Hutchinson opposed, a request for $2,000 for the farmers market was not approved.
Hotel-Motel tax requests
Payne told commissioners that the budget for hotel-motel funds is $45,000.
The commissioners approved a request from Parks & Recreation for $15,000 and a request from Morgan Arts Council for $10,000.
They approved $1,000 of a $4,000 request for the Paw Paw Festival.
The Morgan County Observatory received $1,000 of a $2,000 request.
Cacapon State Park Foundation received $3,500 of a $5,000 request.
Berkeley Springs State Park Foundation received $500 of a $3,000 request.
Paw Paw Youth League received $2,500.
The Museum of the Berkeley Springs received $2,000 of a $5,000 request.
Commissioners gave $3,700 of a $4,700 request to the Boys & Girls Club.
The South Morgan Fire Department Festival received $500 of a $750 request.
The commissioners donated $300 toward community tennis courts to be built on land donated by the school system.