County officials accepted four grant resolutions
by Jazz Clark
The Morgan County Commission approved several personnel items and accepted all four of the grant resolutions submitted to Grant Administrator Carol York by community organizations during their regular meeting on Thursday, April 19.
All funding will be awarded through the West Virginia Development Office Community Participation Grant for Fiscal Year 2012. While these projects are at the resolutions stage, organizations only have to demonstrate a general need. Specific tasks will be identified when the official applications are submitted, said York.
The Morgan County Sheriff- Deputy Reserve Program will apply for $2,000 for new equipment.
Representatives from Paw Paw Fire and Rescue will request $2,000 to train and equip their personnel.
The Morgan County Economic Development Authority also needed equipment funding for various projects.
Furthermore, Morgan County Humane Society is hopeful to receive $5,000 for improvements to the Humane Society Facility from the grant.
Assessor Ronnie McIntire’s request for a budget increase to his office to cover employee costs of $3,598.47 was approved by the commissioners. McIntire hopes that the additional funding for this new employee will get him through June 30, the end of the budget year.
Tax Office changes
The Sheriff’s Tax Office hired a new employee to pick up the slack on additional tasks, taking special consideration of the upcoming tax season.
The office hopes that new employee Erin Wills will keep the records much more accurate in upcoming years, said Chief Tax Deputy Kim Michael.
Michael cites the shifting of duties from person to person and an employee’s illness as reasons why some of the load needed to be taken off.
While there was some discussion about whether a new employee was necessary, all three commission members approved the hiring.
No Open House at kennel
Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson told county officials that members of the public have called in favor of an Open House at the current county-owned animal control facility on Route 9.
“Because we’re doing some work out there, once it’s completed, it might be nice to let people see what’s been done,” said Hutchinson. “I think an open house and a public forum is a great idea.”
Commission President Stacy Dugan and Commis-sioner Brad Close said they weren’t interested in such an event at this time for several reasons.
“Every commission meeting is already a public forum,” said Close.
“We have an open house all the time,” said Dugan. “Anyone can call Jody [McClintock] or Jason [Pearce] and get in there. It’s not locked to keep the public out; it’s locked for the safety of the animals.”
Hutchinson’s motion to set a date for an Open House died for lack of a second.
Courthouse wellness plan
Vernon Brinegar, the county’s insurance agent with Smith-Nadenbousch Insur-ance, brought forward information on a wellness plan for courthouse insurance holders. Brinegar says wellness plans lead to better productivity and less absenteeism.
“This is very much a benefit to the employees, and in return we get lower rates,” said Dugan.
The current policy dictates that wellness programs are only available for free to employees with in-house insurance.
The biggest issue people have with wellness plans is time, said Brinegar.
“We work eight hours a day, we sleep eight hours a day, what do we do with the remaining eight hours?” Brinegar asked. “But, you don’t need two or three hours a day to get healthy. You can start out a few minutes a day.”