County Commission holds meeting
BY LISA POST
Tuesday morning’s meeting of Tyler County Commission addressed several issues, among them approval of the WV Counties Risk Pool policy, A Victims of Crime (VOCA) grant, and approval of Brick Street Premium (Workers Compensation for OEM). WV Counties Risk Pool is an independent insurer for 27 counties and 20 county-related authorities in the state.
Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith called the meeting to order, noting that Commissioner John Stender was unable to attend the meeting. Those in attendance included County Commissioner Eric Vincent, Assessor Jack Hayes, County Clerk Teresa Hamilton, Deputy Clerk Amy Glover, Sheriff Earl P. “Bob” Kendle, Jr., OEM Director Tom Cooper, Mon Power/First Energy Representative Allen Staggers, and Smith.
County Commissioner Eric Vincent noted in his report the P-Card training held last week had gone well. The training is held every two years and is mandatory. “All the county employees had a lot of good questions (at the training),” he stated, adding, “Thanks to all the employees for your attentiveness during the training.”
Commissioner Smith spoke to those present concerning an OEM training meeting he’d attended recently.
“The Tyler Co. volunteer base is very strong,” said Smith. “Our volunteers were in all six regions last year. The commission is committed to supporting OEM in Tyler County.”
Smith also noted he had gathered information concerning the Courthouse Facility Improvement Authority. The commission is currently applying for grant funding for improvements to the Tyler County Courthouse.
“We’ve got the ball rolling right now,” commented Smith. “The paperwork must be filed by October.”
Improvements to the sound system in the Circuit Court are to begin as soon as possible, according to commission, with other improvements to follow when funding allows.
“Every time we hold court, we have to turn the air conditioning off,” remarked Sheriff Ed “Bob” Kendle. “We really need a new sound system there.”
“We’re approaching this new grant from a safety standpoint,” Smith said. “There are things that need done, to improve safety in the courtroom. Hopefully, we will get the grant funding this year.”
Also discussed was the ongoing state’s audit, which is proceeding well. The State Auditor is currently working on the 2009-2010 audit.
“Amy (Glover) has worked very hard to get us to this point,” commented Teresa Hamilton. “Our own auditor has worked hard as well.”
OEM Director Tom Cooper spoke to commission concerning the generator, funded through the Dept. of Homeland Security, that Tyler Co. was due to receive.
“The generator will arrive tomorrow,” he informed commissioners. “The cost of the generator is fully reimbursed, through grant money from Homeland Security ($60,000).”
Cooper then informed commissioners the Homeland Security grant for seven encrypted radios, to be used by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, should be amended to eight radios. Tyler Co. will receive seven encrypted radios, eight hand-held radios, and a keyloader, which makes encryption possible, through the grant. The encryption devices are solely for use in Tyler County.
Cooper also mentioned he had enjoyed working with volunteers from Wheeling Jesuit College last week. The teenage volunteers, from California, attend Jesuit-run high schools, and were in the area to experience Appalachian culture. They were “very nice, and very helpful,” he said. He noted that other volunteers from the college were planning to be in Tyler County in August.
Allen Staggers then spoke to commissioners, introducing himself as the new manager of External Affairs for Mon Power/First Energy. His office is based in Fairmont.
“Since the merger, we have increased the number of representatives in West Virginia from one, to four,” he said. “Our job is to work with counties and municipalities on emergency management.”
Staggers passed out business cards to commissioners, the county clerk, and Tom Cooper, and thanked them for their time.
After a motion to pay the bills was approved, commission adjourned the meeting.