Hyer appointed Hillsboro recorder
The Hillsboro council appointed Gail Hyer town recorder at its regular meeting on April 13. Hyer will serve out the unexpired term of Anne Marie Walker, who was appointed mayor after the resignation of Richard Workman.
Hyer is marketing director for the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau and a member of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace board of directors. She is active with the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, the Opera House Foundation, the Genealogy Group, the county Historical Society and GoMarlinton.
Walker told council she advertised for letters of interest in The Pocahontas Times, but received no response. The mayor said she spoke with Hyer, who volunteered to serve in the position until June, when the term expires.
The council voted unanimously to appoint Hyer as recorder. A swearing-in will be conducted at the next meeting.
During the mayor's report, Walker presented council with a letter to be sent to state senators Clark Barnes and Walt Helmick, urging their support for pending legislation.
"It has recently been brought to our attention that the West Virginia Municipal League is proposing legislation that would waive fees for state-required audits for Class IV towns," the letter reads in part. "We are taking this opportunity to write to you today to show our support of this bill. The Town of Hillsboro has just recently completed the audits required for fiscal year 2008-2009, at a cost of $4,000. With limited financial resources available to Hillsboro, these CPA fees are much-needed monies that could be used to better our small town."
All councilmembers signed the letter, which will be mailed to the senators.
Walker informed council she had investigated a Safe Routes to School grant, which could provide as much as $100,000 for infrastructure projects, such as sidewalks, and up to $30,000 for non-infrastructure projects for the school.ﾠ The town would partner with Hillsboro Elementary School to apply for the grant, which has a November 15 deadline for a letter of intent.
Walker will continue to collect preliminary grant information for council action.
The council debated whether to hire its regular CPA to prepare its annual sewer and water financial reports or to try and find a cheaper alternative.
CPA Lisa K. Thornburg, of Milton, has done regular work for Hillsboro and would charge $3,000 to prepare the reports. The fee has been increased due to a recent Public Service Commission notice that the reports would be more closely scrutinized, beginning this year.
Councilmember John Hill asked if somebody else could prepare the report at a lower cost.
Councilmember James Johnson inquired if the council would have to go through a bid process to hire a different accountant.ﾠ
The council tabled the item until Walker obtains more information from the State Auditor's office on the hiring process.
The council voted unanimously to apply for an economic stimulus conservation block grant to improve energy efficiency in town-owned buildings. The grant could provide as much as $33,000 for insulation, heat pumps, windows and doors, solar energy and other energy-saving projects.
Walker attended a Region IV conference in Summersville on April 6 to receive information on how to prepare the grant application.
In other business, the council:
- approved an expenditure of $3,000 to repair a sewage system grinder pump.
- approved purchase of a trash pump for the sewage system at a cost of $380.
- set a tentative date of May 22 for the Odd Fellows town clean up.
- received, for review, a draft report, be submitted to the West Virginia Department of Health, on mitigation of water contamination in karst terrain.
- agreed to continue a mowing contract with George Gladwell, but also to investigate potential liability issues.
- tabled action on repair of manholes until more information was obtained.
- tabled action on repair of a fire hydrant near the Mark Agee house.