WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission held a brief regular meeting the evening of Tuesday, May 17.
Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting. The first item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes from the regular session of May 4, 2016. Smith motioned to approve the minutes and the motion was approved. After approving the minutes, commission voted to approve the impropers as presented.
Following the approval of the impropers, George Poole approached the commission to discuss public access from the Buffalo Mountain Trail Head to Delbarton. Discussion was given concerning a new law that will be effective June 15, that extends the rights of all terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles and dirt bikes on public roadways to allow access to amenities such as lodging and gas associated with the Hatfield and McCoy Trail System.
The next item on the agenda concerned the bankruptcy of the James River Coal Company. Following a lengthy discussion, the commission decided to seek the council of a bankruptcy lawyer and the Association of County Commission. “It is definitely something that I think we need to retain council on to try to pursue,” Smith stated. “I make a motion that we authorize Pam Dixon to be able to retain council to pursue our claim in bankruptcy court concerning James River Coal Company,” Smith continued. The motion was seconded and approved.
The commission then discussed a temporary agreement concerning Laurel Lake. At that time, a temporary agreement had not been sent to the commission. “With regards to Laurel Lake, we don’t have the actual agreement to take action so we will pass that and call a special (meeting) once we receive that document,” Smith stated.
Discussion then moved to The West Virginia Court House Facilities Improvement Authority (WVCFIA) grant. Two bids had been received for electrical improvements needed at the Mingo County Courthouse. A grant has been obtained for $100,000 through the WVCFIA but the engineer estimated that the total cost for the repairs would range around $218,000. Commissioner Hannah read the two bids. Smith responded stating, “Let’s make a motion to take these under advisement and have them reviewed by the engineer and the prosecutor to see if they meet the specifications of the state code.” Hannah seconded the motion and it was approved.
Lorene Vance, Interim Director of Mingo County 911, approached the commission seeking approval to hire a part time employee for the 911 dispatch. After demonstrating that a need existed to hire a new dispatcher for 911 and discussing Vance’s hiring choice, the commission voted to approve the hire of Johnny Wharf effective Wednesday, May 18.
The next meeting of the Mingo County Commission will be held on Wednesday June 2, at 9 a.m.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)