Commission approves new deputy hire

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Commissioners approved a request from Sheriff David H. Coffman to hire Joseph D. Barcus as a deputy sheriff effective April 28.

Commissioners also noted his hire in hourly rate was slightly higher than for usual new hires due to his work experience as an officer with the Buckhannon Police department and his current employment with the Philippi Police Department. Commissioners also noted Barcus is already a graduate of the police academy and a certified police officer.

Dr. Joseph Reed addressed the issue of potential topics for B-UHS and West Virginia Wesleyan College students to choose from to prepare presentation to be shared during a proposed joint meeting of the Buckhannon City Council and the commission.

Commissioners advised Dr. Reed they could not, due to WV Code, convene such a meeting, nor could council, and advised students would be better served if the high school and college hosted these events, which the commission and council could attend without offering input or comments.

Commissioners approved a request from Lori Ulderich Harvey, Family Resource director, to place a Foster Care Awareness Month display in the courthouse annex foyer for the month of May.

Commissioners agreed to a request from Annabell Brown for permission to utilize the FEMA lot located adjacent to her property on Norvell Drive for a vegetable garden, however, they rejected a request to place a temporary horse enclosure on the property. It was noted in the request that Brown will maintain and mow the lot as part of the agreement to place a vegetable garden on the lot.  It was also stipulated by commissioners the property would be returned to its original state when she was done with the lot.

Commissioners agreed to begin transitioning from Credential Research to Reference Services, Inc. for employment background checks. It was noted during discussions that Credential Research is not accredited but Reference Services, Inc. is credited.

Commissioners tabled a request from Jerry Wilfong showing interest in filling an upcoming vacancy on the Upshur County Fire Board because he is an honorary member of the Buckhannon Fire Department having retired in 2013.

Commissioner Tenney said it was unfortunate, but it was clear cut in state code because he is considered an honorary member of the BFD he cannot serve as a community representative on that board.

The position will become vacant July 1 when Tom O’Neill leaves the board as a community representative.

Commissioners noted perhaps Wilfong could serve on the board at a future date as fire association member because of his valuable years of service and experience.

In other business, commissioners approved the following requests:

Joseph A. Tenney, chairman of the Tennerton Public Service District Board, requesting the appointment of John Barnes to fill an unexpired term on the board effective immediately and will expire July 31 of this year.

Cheyenne Troxell, program director for Community Corrections, to utilize James Lough as a security guard during the parenting classes conducted in Lewis and Upshur counties at the pay of $20 per hour to be reimbursed in full by the West Virginia Supreme Court. It was noted that due to the nature of the classes, the State has requested more security to be present.  These hours will count towards the 1,039 hours per year Lough is allotted per calendar year.

Cheyenne Troxell to utilize Samantha Ribeiro Matos to teach parenting classes in Lewis and Upshur counties at the pay rate of $75 per class, to be reimbursed in full by the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility request to add volunteers Elizabeth Athey and Rachel Pickett.

The next meeting of the Upshur County Commission will be May 2 at 9 a.m. in commission chambers at the courthouse annex.


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