Commission gives nod to community agencies, approves grant applications, EDA loan and radio purchase

by Kate Shunney

Morgan County Commissioners issued several proclamations and signed resolutions in support of multiple grants during their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 3.

At the request of Eastern Action, formerly the Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency, of Moorefield, county officials proclaimed May as Community Action Month in support of programs that assist low-income residents and veterans.

Eastern Action CEO Matthew Hinckle said the agency, which serves the Eastern Panhandle counties, is trying to set up a Morgan County location to help county residents with weatherization and heating assistance, plus other benefits.

Hinckle said his staff can help Morgan County residents over the phone or by electronic means. They can be reached at 304-538-7711 or

Commissioners also named May as Community Educational Outreach Service Month in Morgan County in honor of the work of local CEOS clubs, who work in conjunction with the WVU Extension Service. Members conduct educational programs, organize charitable drives and volunteer for community events. The Delectable Mountain Quilters, part of the CEOS, has over the last 10 years donated over $100,000 to local charities through their Yard Square Quilt auction fundraiser. This year, funds raised will go to Hope House, the year-round Homeless Coalition shelter.

County officials approved a resolution in support of a $125,000 grant application, seeking funds from the Division of Criminal Justice Services Court Security Grant for a security fence around the back of the county courthouse alley, and a security film for courthouse windows. The county has pledged a $15,000 match to the grant.

Commissioners approved a resolution in support of a $180,000 grant application for a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant, if received, would be to hire a Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy for three years. The county pledged a $45,000 match for the grant.

The county also approved an application for $42,655 in grant funds from the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program to pay the salary of a Peer Recovery Coach for the Morgan County Day Report Center. The county will make a $5,000 match to the grant.

Commissioners approved a $13,000, 5-year loan from the Economic Development Authority to Morgan Wireless to build a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) tower on Short Mountain in eastern Morgan County. Morgan Wireless will repay the loan to the EDA to refill a fund for local broadband and internet expansion projects.

In other business, the Morgan County Commission agreed to purchase four radios for the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department to install on a new 4-wheel drive truck, trailer and side-by-side ATV. The new units will be used to reach emergency sites in rough terrain, transport personnel onto mountain sites and carry individuals out of the woods or off Cacapon Mountain, said Marshall Younker. The county will buy three portable radios and one mobile radio at a cost of $36,154. Funds will come from the American Recovery Program fund account.

Commissioners discussed multiple proposals from payroll companies to take over the county’s payroll and employee benefits processing. They deferred a decision on the proposals in order to discuss how a private payroll service will interact with their state budgeting software currently in use.

Morgan County Commissioners signed a proclamation setting May 2023 as Community Educational Outreach Service Month in Morgan County.