BUCKHANNON — Dr. Joseph Reed from the Upshur County Family Resource Network Tobacco Prevention Coalition presented statistics to the County Commission Thursday morning. He requested approval for the Tobacco Prevention Coalition’s “Take Down Tobacco Day,” which was approved for March 18, 2020. Reed also gave an update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In other appointments, Donnie Tenney first talked to the commission about annual funding for Pecks Run Watershed and requested use for FEMA property on Norvell Drive. Tenney thanked the commission for coming to check it out and to see the property. The commission approved his request.
Carol Cain Bush, with the United States Census, presented updates on the 2020 Census, and explained the process. Bush also presented the Proclamation recognizing April 1, 2020 as Census Day. The public libraries are offering the community to use their computers to fill out online Census information.
The County Commission Association of West Virginia (CCAWV) Director Jennifer Piercy visited the commission meeting to review and explain some of the bills that were passed and supported in 2020 legislation. One legislation addressed in particular was SJR9. Piercy and Commissioner Terry Cutright explained to those in attendance that because the personal property taxes were eliminated, the legislation was going to fill the money with an increase in the state’s sales tax by half a percent and tax tobacco and baking products. “The problem with the plan was that it still left about a $100 million-dollar hole hanging out there in terms of back-filling counties. There was a lot of concern,” Piercy said. Piercy informed that the bill will come back. Commissioner Cutright added to the discussion about SJR9 and why West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Capito opposed the plan. “They were afraid that in two years, with that $100 million hole, the state was gonna come back and raise everybody’s property tax, so it would have cost them a lot more than what they would have saved on their vehicles. I wanted to defend our Senators and congratulate them,” Cutright said.
Doyle Cutright, 911 Director and Assistant to the Director Kimbra Wachob, also visited the commission meeting to discuss the upcoming E911 retirement and replacement timeline. This led to an executive session.
In other business, Upshur County Commission approved Election Officials, Alternates and Emergency Ballot Commissioners for the May 12, 2020 Primary Election.
Commissioners approved the Upshur County Solid Waste Authority’s request for Belinda Lewis’s employment as Assistant Director until Director Burl Smith’s retirement, which Lewis will be promoted to Director and for Cassandra Shreve and Rachelle Riley-Smith as Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility volunteers.
The commission approved for Upshur County Youth Camp to start advertising for seasonal positions, including kitchen personnel, cleaning personnel, grounds keeping and lifeguards. Applications for these positions must be submitted before close of business on April 17, 2020.
Commissioners reviewed a grant award from Jim Justice in the amount of $13,000 to provide improvements for the Upshur County Assessor and Circuit Clerk.
The Upshur County Commission meeting scheduled for March 19, 2020 is cancelled. The next meeting will be on March 26 at 9 a.m. The Upshur County Commission meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the Upshur County Courthouse, with the exception of State or Federal Holidays. All are welcome to attend.