By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - Mingo County Commission President pro tem John Mark Hubbard and fellow Commissioner Mike Carter conducted a regular meeting Monday afternoon that had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, with President Greg “Hootie” Smith absent.
The first reading was given to an amendment to the Mingo County Abandoned Building/Dilapidated Structure Ordinance that will allow for an appointment to the enforcement agency of a technically qualified county employee instead of the originally required licensed engineer.
Ellen Browning of the “We Can” Program addressed the commissioners and asked for the county’s assistance in providing funding that will allow needy area children to attend summer camp. Most of those attending are referrals from the West Virginia Department of Human Resources, with a majority of them consisting of foster children. Browning requested a donation of $2,000 and was asked to come back in June and address the situation again when the new fiscal year starts. Browning agreed and was told to call back to be placed on the agenda for the next commission meeting.
Rebecca Keatley appeared on the behalf of the Matewan National Junior Honor Society to request financial assistance in sponsoring students who had excelled in academics to be able to afford a trip to Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a reward for their accomplishments. Keatley explained that several of the eligible students could not afford to pay their share, and did not want to see them miss out.
Hubbard informed Keatley that he regretted that funding was not allowed for this purpose since the organization is not a 501(c)(3). He encouraged the group’s leader to obtain the paperwork so that they would be eligible for next year. Keatley voiced her disappointment but said she was not a quitter, and would find a way for the students to be able to take the trip. She was acknowledged by the commissioners as well as those in attendance for her dedication and commitment.
Ann Pilkin and Wanda Lockard attended the meeting on behalf of the New Vision Food Pantry, explaining that their food supply had been depleted and they try to provide food for approximately 80 families each month. They were directed to contact June Jude with the House of Hope to see if they have food available. The group also was encouraged to obtain their 501(c)(3) as well, in order to ask for financial support in the future.
A donation of $800 was approved to sponsor four Mingo County students to attend Mountaineer Boys State. Lesley Hobbs made the request.
Hubbard told those in attendance that he was pleased to announce that Alpha Natural Resources had agreed to donate the property on which the Merrimac Community Park is located to the county, and will also be making a financial donation that is to be used to upgrade the park and to make much-needed repairs.
A motion was made to allow Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard to hire two interns for a 90-day period, contingent on what her budget would allow. Larry Allen and Zachary Staten will begin work next week at a pay rate of $8 an hour.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the county commission will take place on June 4, at 9 a.m. Those who would like to speak to the commissioners or have a concern to share should contact Tina Abbott at (304) 235-0380 to be placed on the agenda.