WILLIAMSON - The Mingo County Commission met on Wednesday, May 15, for their regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting was attended by all three commissioners, President John Mark Hubbard, David Baisden and Greg “Hootie” Smith.
Members of the Delbarton Town Council addressed the commission with a request for assistance in helping purchase a large, covered stage that would be owned by the county, but would be available to each municipality to reserve for use at various fairs and festivals throughout the county.
Steve Cook explained to the commissioners that each year, Delbarton pays approximately $2,000 to rent a stage for their Labor Day Reunion Festival. Other municipalities do the same, such as when Williamson hosts the King Coal Festival and the Hatfield and McCoy Reunion. Each town holds some type of festival, and is each out a substantial amount of money each year for a stage rental.
“The prices we have received from the company we usually deal with is somewhere in the vicinity of $17,000, that includes a cover that is vital to have in cases of inclement weather,” stated Cook. “If you look at how much we’re all paying out in rental fees, actually purchasing one would create substantial savings and allow that funding to be used for other needs.”
Commissioner Smith told Cook that he thought the purchase could be made if all the municipalities, Williamson, Delbarton, Gilbert, Matewan and Kermit, would each give $2,000 toward buying the stage, and the remainder would be provided by the commission, after the new fiscal year begins. The project would have to be put out for bid since it is expected to be over the allowed amount of $15,000.
“It would be a wise investment that would save money down the road for all involved,” said Smith. “Putting $2,000 toward the purchase price is the same amount the municipalities would be out for a rental this year anyway, so why not put that one time cost toward alleviating the need to rent again in the future?”
When asked who would take care of scheduling the stage to be in whatever town needed it on a certain date, Smith said that Tina Abbott (Secretary of the County Commission) would take that task on, and would work with everyone to make sure there was no scheduling conflicts or double-booking. The stage would be stored by the commission, and would be set up and taken down by participants in the Judge’s Work Program.
“This is definitely a win-win situation, and we commend the members of the Delbarton Council for coming up with this money saving plan,” stated President Hubbard. “Our office will make contact with the other mayors and council members throughout the county to see if we can get everyone on the same page and in agreement of this joint-venture.”
In other business, a $1,000 donation was provided to the Williamson Babe Ruth League, and $3,000 was approved for the City of Williamson for a future project.
Several items on the agenda were tabled to the next meeting, which is scheduled for June 5th, at 9 a.m.