Commission tackles small issues
County commissioners tackled several small issues Tuesday, but had a few appointments canceled because of the weather. Commission president Martin Safferﾒs absence was weather-related, as well.
Commissioner Reta Griffith was president pro-tem for the day.
Griffithﾒs first order of business was to accept Safferﾒs resignation from the Pocahontas County Board of Health. He has served on that board since he took office. His resignation letter said he could no longer serve because of ﾓtime restraints.ﾔ
A county commissioner has served on that board since 1954, Griffith said. Safferﾒs resignation leaves the commission in a quandry because neither she nor commissioner David Fleming can serve on the board of health because their districts are already represented. Another board member from either the central or the northern district would have to resign to allow either of the other commissioners to serve.
The commission heard a report from county coordinator Jay Miller about the possibility of offering college classes in the county.
ﾓThereﾒs no reason to think we canﾒt do this,ﾔ he said, ﾓand not that expensively.ﾔ
Miller said that, instead of classrooms, the county could offer individual soundbooths that would include two-way video and audio communications with any of West Virginiaﾒs four-year schools. In addition, Miller said the program might be able to offer students laptops because those computers come equipped with the necessary hardware.
The county coordinator recommended using the second floor of City National Bank because of the available space.
John Kelly, of Widelity, returned to the county commission to submit his proposal for a county-wide technology assessment. The pricetag, at $13,200 a month for six-to-nine months, took Griffith aback.
Griffith said that the county already pays Region IV and Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation to assess technology needs.
ﾓWeﾒre competing with ourselves [if we do this],ﾔ she said. ﾓWe need to get on board with some plan, but not just any plan. I donﾒt like this scattershot approach.ﾔ
Fleming said he was more interested in ﾓadvocating any and all efforts.ﾔ
ﾓI think itﾒs sort of trying to get all the people together to use whatever we can,ﾔ he said.
Part of Kellyﾒs plan would be for the county to own infrastructure that communications companies, like Frontier, would lease for their fiber-optic networks.
Fleming said that could allow for Frontier to provide faster service or cheaper rates to its customers.
ﾓWe need to find a way to fund these things that doesnﾒt come from the county coffers,ﾔ he said.
ﾓItﾒs in our best interest to always try to move these things forward.ﾔ
In other business, commissioners:
ﾕheld the Board of Equalization and Review.
ﾕheard from Steve Rawlings about the West Virginia Risk Pool which now has 31 county commissions and 32 other county entities enrolled. Rawlings said he would like to submit a formal proposal to the commission.
ﾕapproved a $15,150 budget revision for the sheriffﾒs department for an additional deputy.
ﾕscheduled budget work sessions in March.
ﾕapproved the state auditorﾒs request for a confirmation of understanding.
ﾕapproved a grant contract and resolution for the Pocahontas County Humane Society. Humane society member J. L. Clifton told commissioners that things were going well at the temporary shelter at Allegheny Recreation Center. Clifton said 34 animals have been taken in so far this year and adoptions have exceeded expectations.