Fire Board welcomes new member


BUCKHANNON — On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 the Upshur County Fire Board was called to order by Joe Gower. After welcoming Derek V. Long, the new acting member of the Fire Board, Gower opened the meeting to public questions and closed with no inquiry.

Toni Newman brought up the issue of collections and the board discussed possible ways to encourage public compliance. Next, the board reviewed the WVCorp invoice for the liability insurance coverage for fire departments. After reviewing an input of $1,453 and receiving an $18 refund, the Fire Board voted and approved the invoice.

The board then motioned to review financial matters. Newman elaborated that the current operating bank statement for the Fire Board is $62,672.44 and noted that disbursements from the Chief Tax Deputy for March were $5,270.04. Newman moved on to the status of bills and invoices and the Fire Board approved all payments.

No updates were available from city officials regarding the Fire Fee initiative. The Fire Fee initiative was originally proposed in hopes of raising funds for three paid fire fighter positions. When the City Council passed their fiscal budget this year, it did not include these positions. The City Council held off on the funding, in hopes of securing a federal grant, but moved to potentially use leftover money from the Cares Act to fund the positions. Gower stated, “They [Buckhannon City Council] are in favor of funding those positions, they just aren’t sure how.” The City Council is still reviewing the proposal.

Proceeding to other matters, the Fire Board discussed the department review initiative proposed by Dr. Jeff Harvey. The project will serve as a method to review first responder departments and peel back the layers of how they currently function. From there, it can be determined what each department actually needs and how they can better be served and aided in the future.

Finally, the board moved to review of corrective tickets and exoneration requests. It was noted that there were no corrective tickets to discuss and noted that the Humane Society would receive a $25 exoneration request instead of $50 after review. The motion was approved, and Gower called for adjournment.

The next Upshur County Fire Board meeting will take place on May 18, 2021.

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