County to set tax rates Tuesday, discuss designation of county among state “hot spots” for virus

The Morgan County Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 21 at 9:30 a.m. in the Morgan County Courthouse in a public session that will be live-streamed via the county’s Facebook account. The meeting’s primary agenda item was to set the county’s levy, or property tax rates, for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. State law requires the levy by public bodies to be set during this week of the month. Commissioners said in early March they had built their $7 million 2020-2021 fiscal year budget on the existing property tax rates. County officials could reduce the tax rate, but cannot raise it because it is currently at the highest level allowed by state code.

Commissioners have added other items to their agenda, which is available here: Morgan County Commission April 21 agenda.

Among the other business items is “Discussion on whether or not to petition the governor to release Morgan County from ‘hot spot’ status.” Morgan County has been included in the list of counties where more strict social distancing measures are in place due to a higher concentration of cases of COVID-19 because it is part of the Eastern Panhandle. Neighboring Berkeley County has been one of the top two counties in the state for disease cases. As of Monday afternoon, there were 113 COVID-19 cases in Berkeley County, second only in the state to Kanawha County.  Morgan County has eight confirmed cases, according to state health officials.

West Virginia has 908 confirmed cases of the disease. Local and state health officials have said that number is mostly likely much higher, as limited testing has left many cases undetected.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include discussion of a cell phone tower lease with local broadband provider Morgan Wireless, Economic Development Authority grant details, 911 center hires and radio user agreements and  other administrative items. The county’s website, with a link to view the live streamed meeting, is found at http://morgancountywv.gov/.

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