WILLIAMSON - The Mingo County Commission recently held its last meeting of 2013, and addressed a lengthy agenda filled with requests.
Present for the meeting were Commissioners Greg “Hootie” Smith and Mike Carter. President John Mark Hubbard was unable to attend.
First up with a request for funding was Kelly Dotson, president of the Williamson Basketball Buddy League, who was granted $1,000 to assist the league that consisted of approximately 170 kids last year. Commissioner Smith informed Dotson that work was in progress to get the former Williamson High School gym cleaned and repaired and said that after those tasks are completed, the local Buddy Leagues could use the facility to practice and hold their games.
Mentola Jackson, who appeared on behalf of the Southern West Virginia Action for Youth group, asked that they be reimbursed $1,000 to be used toward payment of their utility bills.The motion was made and seconded.
The Matewan Volunteer Fire Department was allotted its annual funding in the amount of $2,500.
Glen Rutledge, legal counsel for the commission, addressed Smith and Carter and stated that he had reviewed the ambulance-billing bid and had spoken with Mingo County grant writer/project manager Leigh Ann Ray about a question regarding the 8 percent fee charged in the bid submitted by the firm Medical Claims Assistance, asking whether the fee applied to the amount actually owed or to the amount collected. A motion was made and approved to award the bid to the company, contingent on the charge being only on the amount they were able to collect.
Woodrow Moore, of the Laurel Lake Wildlife Management Foundation, appeared before the commission to report that they had previously requested assistance with equipping picnic shelters with electricity, explaining that the Cotiga Land Company had agreed to help with a portion of the cost. Moore told commissioners that Appalachian Power Co. says there must be a new right of way in place in order to set some of the electric poles and said the estimated cost will be between $1,300 and $1,700. Lights cannot be put at the shelter because of vandalism, but outlets are allowed. Commissioners Smith and Carter approved the request for a donation of $1,200 to be used toward the cost.
Williamson Fire Chief Jerry Mounts, who also serves as president of the Mingo County Fire Chief’s Association, informed the commission that his department is doing a free smoke alarm giveaway and explained that when they advertised it, nonresidents of the city had expressed interest in such a project. Mounts requested financial assistance to be able to purchase enough alarms and detectors to be distributed by the community fire departments to those in need. A donation of $1,500 was approved.
The commission received a motion to approve payment of $300 to the law firm of Rumora & Rumora for legal services they provided to the Civil Service Board, concerning the Eric Sherrill promotion hearing. The invoice was approved and payment was made.
A request from Mingo County Sheriff James Smith regarding reimbursement of the owner (Billy Jack Parsley) of a laptop computer and a printer that were damaged when property was seized from his residence. The amount requested was $696.42. The request was approved. Commissioner Smith also made a motion to award the town of Delbarton a 1997 GMC that will be used as a meter truck for the municipality. Smith stated that this particular vehicle was on the auction list and that the commission does has the right to make special announcements concerning the vehicles prior to the auction.
An agreement was reached to pay Richard Duncan a fee of $300 to update the county website, who will be working along with Jay Lockard to complete those changes.
When personnel issues were discussed, Sheriff Smith requested permission to hire a certified officer, Matewan Police Chief Patrick Mounts, as a deputy sheriff, and said the candidate has successfully passed his psych evaluation and drug screening. The hiring was approved and Mounts has joined the sheriff’s department. The commission approved the future hiring of a certified officer, Williamson Patrolman Jarrod Marcum, contingent on the results of the psych evaluation and drug-screening process. The hiring of Stephen Messer as a non-certified officer also was approved.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mingo County Commission will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 2 in the commission courtroom on the first floor of the courthouse.