County hires another deputy
The Tyler County Commission approved the hiring of a new deputy at their March 24 regular meeting.
After going into executive session to discuss the matter, the commission voted to hire Joseph Richardson as a Tyler County Sheriff’s Deputy, as well as approving the purchase of a new patrol vehicle. Richardson is currently a corporal in the Sistersville Police Department.
“I’ve requested to hire another man,” said Sheriff Bob Kendle. “That will give me five deputies. The new car will bring the fleet up to where it should be.”
The new vehicle will cost around $39,000, with $25,000 available from home confinement funds. The commission will provide $15,000 toward the purchase.
Mark J. Rathke, an engineer with John McNair and Associates, gave the commissioners a report on the county’s digital mapping project. Rathke reported that the Middlebourne and Ellsworth districts were recently mapped out.
The project is part of a state mandate to have all the counties go completely digital, both assessor’s and county clerk’s records. The project is called the Electronic Courthouse and it will give the county’s more flexibility to send and receive records.
The commissioners looked at the overhead map of Middlebourne, looking at Commissioner John Stender’s home and property. The map shows property lines and by clicking on the property a box pops up with information about the property, ownership, etc.
“These are digitized tax maps of the Ellsworth and Middlebourne Districts,” explained Rathke. “This has all the real estate information that comes from the assessment system. That information can be queried here when you click on a parcel.”
The map is ideal for the assessor’s office when preparing property taxes. The map would also be helpful to 911 or the Office of Emergency Services in the event of a disaster.
Rathke said the project will move a bit faster once mapping begins on the county’s rural districts, which involve larger property parcel sizes. The commission approved paying $15,000 for the Centerville mapping project.
County Assessor Jack Hayes was enthusiastic about the potential of the mapping program. With a proper broadband internet signal, assessors could access the maps online.
“If you get enough towers we could take this stuff out into the field on the laptop,” stated Hayes. “Then we don’t have to take all these file folders with us.”
“We thank you,” said Stender. “I like this. It’s pretty impressive.”
In other business, The commission voted to approve the fiscal year 2009/2010 budget. This year’s budget totals $2,257,623, including grants. Commissioner Bob Wable prepared the budget.
“Our expenses and our income balanced,” remarked Wable. “We still have some requests that we haven’t done anything with.”
The county is receiving $43,000 less than last year from the state’s synthetic fuel line item. Last year the county received $43,000 and expected to get around $40,000 this year. Wable left the amount out of the budget, suspecting the county would not receive the funds. His gut feeling turned out to be correct.
“Fortunately I made a good guess and did not put the synthetic fuel tax in the budget,” said Wable. “I left that a zero for this year because I had a feeling we would not get that money this fiscal year.”
Several groups and projects approached the commission for budget money. The Sistersville Public Library and Tyler County Public Library received $2,000 each. The Tyler/Wetzel Health Department requested $10,000, a $2,000 increase. The commission gave them $8,000 and may consider increasing that amount.
The Sistersville Ferry didn’t receive any money from the commission out of next year’s budget. However, the commission did vote to give a one-time donation of $5,000 out of this year’s budget to the historic ferry. The Sistersville Ferry Board was asking for $20,000.
“We just can’t do that amount,” said Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith. “That’s the bottom line, that’s the way things are. However, we feel we need to do something for the ferry since it’s part of our historical heritage.”
The West Virginia University Extension Office also did not receive all the funding they requested.
Should the commissioners change their minds, any budget revisions can be made by July 1, 2009. The budget is now on its way to Charleston for approval.