(10/03/2001)
Calhoun County is legitimately in the black, despite a dwindling tax base and income. County Clerk Richard Kirby said the current audit and financial statements show the fiscal condition of the county to be sound.

Commissioners Weaver, McCallister and Barr gave credit to the continued belt-tightening of every county office and employee. Calhoun County Sheriff Allen Parsons made significant concessions last year in his office to keep the county solvent.

All county employees, deputy sheriffs, EMS personnel and office workers continue to work for slightly above minimum wage, providing what Commissioners described as "bang for the buck" services. The Commissioners said they are hopeful people of Calhoun will appreciate the solvency of the county in trying times, and the sacrifices county employees make.

While the regional jail bill continues to be a financial threat, the possibility of income from deep well drilling could improve the tax base, allowing the county to provide better pay to public servants, increased services and infrastructure to help Calhoun citizens.

The Commission continues to pursue ways to obtain funding for a barrel manufacturing company that could possibly locate in Calhoun County. Commissioners McCallister and Barr recently met with state economic development officials to look at sources other than a Small Cities Block Grant.

A bid was accepted to install security equipment in the Calhoun courthouse. The $12,000 grant will be used to provide minimal security including a camera to videotape those who enter the building. The security arrangement will also involve limiting access to the main entrance, except for those who are handicapped. Other doors will have "crash exit" capability. Additional security alarms will be installed in all county offices.

The commission sent a proposed resolution to Prosecutor Tony Morgan regarding the regulation of cellular phone towers in the county.

A "Resolution For America" and a resolution regarding the medical malpractice crisis in West Virginia was adopted by the commission.

C. W. "Mac" McDonald was appointed to the Deputy Sheriff's Civil Service Board. Dick Ullom was appointed to the Little Kanawha Development Authority, the joint Wirt-Calhoun economic venture.

Henry Cooper was appointed to the Calhoun County Park Board. Duane Poling, longtime President of the park board recently resigned his voluntary position, but will continue to help with the effort. The Commission expressed appreciation for his dedicated service.

SEPTEMBER, 2001 MEETING

Last month the Commission heard a report from the auditor regarding the financial condition of the county, which shows improvement with minor recommendations.

A discussion was held with Magistrate Court officials regarding the collection of costs and fines, much of which goes unpaid. An increased effort will be made to obtain liens and have driver's licenses revoked when subjects refuse to pay. The outstanding balance of unpaid costs was given at $202,000.

The Commission reviewed and processed a partial list of legislative budget digest money:

OES/911 Center $35,000 for development of new quarters
Assessor's Office for computers $2,746
County Park $15,000 for roof replacement fund
Upper West Fork Park improvements, $10,000
Bluegrass Festival $500
Upper West Fork VFD $5,000
Grantsville VFD $5,000
Calhoun County Commission, economic development $32,500

The Commission, responding to a survey for courthouse improvements, suggested the replacement of windows which currently are not energy efficient.

Barry Pitts, 911 Director, advised the Commission that McKenzie Engineering had adequately completed the 911 mapping, based on their agreement. Pitts said the mapping needed some refinement, but would shortly be sent to the U.S. Post Office for further work.

There was a discussion of significant changes in absentee voting in West Virginia.

A report was given on the Economic Development Summit in Flatwoods.

The appointment of Stephanie Curry of Big Bend was made to the Solid Waste Authority.


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