Commission discusses early voting and boundary changes


BUCKHANNON — At the time of the Upshur County Commission on December 9, there had been no public comments regarding boundary changes in the county’s three magisterial districts, boundary changes of 13 county precincts or the consolidation with closure of Precinct 33.

Based on County Clerk Carol Smith’s data, she noted Precinct 37 will have approximately 1,242 voters, Precinct 35 will have approximately 990 voters, Precinct 38 will have approximately 212 and Precinct 39 will have approximately 1,096. She then explained these numbers will fluctuate as people come and go, but these are the latest numbers.

The first day of early voting for the special election will take place December 30; However, the courthouse will be operating on a half day and will be closed by noon. They will also be open for early voting on New Year’s Day. On December 22, at 9:15 a.m. the Commission will hold the final public meeting to consider the final adoption and approval of the boundary changes.

This special election is for residents to vote on the proposed bond from the Upshur County Board of Education, in order to build a new career-technical high school for Upshur County students. Residents can meet with Upshur County Assessor Dustin Zickefoose to calculate their estimated bond cost. To reach the Assessor’s office, call (304) 472-4650 or email [email protected]

Director of the Upshur County Development Authority (UCDA) Jennifer Bostian provided an update to the commissioners Thursday morning regarding the recent launch of their business survey. The UCDA launched the business survey on Tuesday and will continue to run it through December 29. According to Bostian, the purpose of the survey is to gauge how businesses in the area feel about the business climate, quality of life and things of that nature are in Upshur County. Commissioner and owner of Sam’s Pizza Sam Nolte commented to Bostian that the questions were great and very thorough. All businesses are encouraged to fill this survey out.

Sheriff Virgil Miller also presented to the commissioners Thursday morning regarding the transfer of the 2019 Dodge Ram from Community Corrections to the Sheriff’s Department for the amount of $15,000. Commissioners approved the payment to the Community Corrections Fund for said amount.

Bringing their partnership to fruition, County Commission also approved Appalachian Impact Director Justin R. Bowers’s request for use and lease of the Hampton Community Building located at 156 Hampton Road. Commissioner Terry Cutright added that he has received a lot of positive feedback from the community about Appalachian Impact and noted, “I think it is a great thing to give this organization a home.”

Appalachian Impact will lease the property for $1 per year and be responsible for any and all property taxes, liability and fire insurance, fire fees, repair and maintenance, and utilities to the property. The term of the lease shall be for a period of one year, commencing January 1, 2022 and terminating on December 31, 2022 unless renewed.

In other news of the Upshur County Commission, they approved the following agenda items: Approval and signature of the WV CDBG Small Cities Block Grant Program Grant Amendment No. 4 for the Elkins Road PSD Phase III Water System Improvement Project. This amendment will reallocate funding to a different line item in order to pay the remaining permit fees related to the project; review and signature of a Community Development Block Grant – Small Cities Block Grant Request for Payment for the Elkins Road PSD Phase III Water System Improvements in the amount of $14,620.00. This is for Request for Funds #26; Review and signature of correspondence to Melissa Garretson Smith, WV Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority Executive Director, requesting to extend the deadline for the completion of the former jail facility roof project; Approval and signature of the updated Section 125 Flexible Benefit Plan Adoption Agreement by and between American Fidelity Assurance Company. This document has been updated to reflect changes affiliated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act; and Correspondence from Derek V. Long announcing his resignation from the Upshur County Fire Board, effective December 31, 2021.

Governor Jim Justice also made a proclamation on December 7, 2021 “permitting public employees of this State to generally cease business the last half of the workday of Thursday, December 23, 2021 and Thursday, December 30, 2021, in acknowledgement of the holiday season.” The Upshur County Courthouse and Annex will be closed per the 2021 Calendar Year Legal Holiday Schedule.

The next meeting of the Upshur County Commission will take place December 16, at 9 a.m. The commission meeting scheduled for December 23 is cancelled.

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