WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission discussed a number of agenda items at a regular meeting held Tuesday morning.
The commission discussed a request by Youth Works to use the Williamson High School for 2017 housing. Youth Works provides repair work to homes in Mingo County during their stay.
Youth Works has used the Williamson High School for housing for the past 10 years and provides a reimbursement check for the cost of utilities. However, this year’s request was for an earlier date than in previous years and additional information had to be reviewed prior to making a decision. As a result, the commission voted to table the discussion until further details could be obtained.
An update was provided concerning Laurel Lake. Leigh Ann Ray, County Grant Coordinator, explained that a Hydraulics and Hydrology study is required before further development of the property can be pursued. The study will cost approximately $5,000. The commission also discussed issues surrounding a sublease agreement. This discussion was also tabled to allow time to contact pertinent individuals to gather more information.
The commission approved a request by Tina Lockard with the Mingo County Commission’s Finance Department to create two grant funds that will enable her to keep grant revenue and expenditures out of the general county fund. “It is misleading when you look at my county fund. Sometimes it throws me over on my expenditures because of how the grants run. I talked to the auditor and she said it was a good idea to get those out of that fund and have them in their own separate fund. She suggested that I create two new funds; one for my federal monies and one for my state to keep those monies separate,” Lockard stated.
Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith stated that he thought it was a good idea. “When you try to look at the counties financial situation and that grant money that is just a pass through is in your general revenues account, it is misleading sometimes. I am going to make a motion that we grand Mrs. Lockard’s request,” Smith stated.
The commission also approved a motion to change the unemployment account from reimbursable to taxable. “When someone is laid off from the county, I pay dollar to dollar what they draw from unemployment. I am asking to change that to taxable effective January 1, 2017. This means I would pay on the first $12,000 for every employee 2.7 percent to the State of W.Va… Years ago, we were on a taxable basis but we didn’t have any layoffs for years and we saved money for several years by going to reimbursable. Now, with the times the way we are, I am afraid it is going to get worse.”
Commissioner Diann Hannah approved Lockard’s request following discussion.
The commission approved a request by the Mingo County PSD to reappoint Isom Ooten to their board for another five year term. The new term will begin on December 1, 2016.
The commission also approved a request for Lockard to meet with Mingo County Prosecutting Attorney Duke Jewell to draw up a lease for the 911 building. The decision was made following a lengthy discussion. If the new lease is approved, it will enable the county to focus on upgrades needed at the 911 facility.
The next regular meeting of the Mingo County Commission will be held on the third Tuesday in this month at 4:30 p.m.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)