(12/16/2009)
The Calhoun Commission approved requirements Monday that county agencies who receive $10,000 or more of county taxpayer money through the commission must submit annual audits to the commission.

The requirement for such audits is required by the State of West Virginia.

A one-time pay increase, often called a Christmas bonus, was not approved because of tight money problems, the county has $50,000 less money in the bank than last December.

This was the first time in eleven years employees will not receive a small bonus.

The county has been experiencing declining receipts this year, linked to the recession.

Commissioners expressed regrets about the bonus.

County employees and elected officials have already been through belt-tightening this year, a 2% reduction in elected official's budgets, and county employees picking up part of their insurance benefits, which essentially means a pay reduction.

Severance tax revenues are 35 percent below what they were last year at this time, according to the state, money upon which the county relied.

Lottery revenues are down, according to the state.

The county had a loss of $45,000 from the state's synfuel tax this year.

Calhoun has next to the smallest budget of the state's 55 counties, and has previously been challenged with budget problems.

The county continues to deliver basic services while maintaining one of the lowest tax bases in the eastern USA.

Diminished resources linked to the recession has increased the problem, the commission is biting the bullet on all discretionary spending.

Other Commission Action:

-Kathy Wood, OES/911 Director, reported about alternative sites to provide radio coverage in case the local 911 Center goes down, to include the Arnoldsburg VFD station and a newly developed 911 emergency mobile unit.

- The commission accepted the resignations of Tom Fox from the 911 board, and JoAnn Stevens and C. W. McDonald from the Deputy Sheriff's Civil Service Board.

- The commission approved days-off for county employees for the holidays, which includes a half-day off for December 24.

- Danielle Stevens, the commission's executive secretary, presented resolutions for several grant applications, Minnie Hamilton $10,000; Grantsville VFD $2,500; Upper West Fork VFD $2,500; Arnoldsburg VFD $2,500; Upper West Fork Park $2,500; Calhoun County Park $2,500; Calhoun County EMS $1,605, plus resolutions for grant contracts: Calhoun Clerk's office $10,000; Grantsville VFD $2,250 and Arnoldsburg VFD $2,250.

- The commissions grant application for chair lifts for the courthouse was rejected because the request did not include lifts to the third floor, a request not made because matching funds was not available for the entire project.

- The commission is continuing to try and get a $40,000 grant through USDA Rural Development for a new sheriff's cruiser, again with problems putting together matching money.

- The commission approved the sheriff's tax sale, paid bills and approved wills.


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