(02/07/2001)
By Dianne Weaver

The Calhoun Commission focused on grant applications Monday night, deciding to re-apply for a Small Cities Block Grant for the Back Fork water project. The rural water system, an extension of the Pleasant Hill Public Service District, appeared to be fully-funded over a year ago, but that was not the case.

Commission President Bob Weaver said "We are attempting a leap toward developing a shell building for economic development. There are lots of hurdles." The Commission is looking for a combination of applications toward bringing jobs to the county, including approaching the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Benedum Foundation and state government.

Calhoun's Commission has voted for a joint venture with Wirt County to hire an Economic Development Director, since multiple county funding is more readily available.

Commissioners McCallister, Barr and Weaver re-submitted a Small Cities Block Grant that would fund an elevator for the courthouse, mandated by the American Disabilities Act. Also a SCBG is being submitted to re-roof Minnie Hamilton Health Care.

A grant application will be processed for security improvements to the courthouse and the Commission approved a grant application submitted by Sheriff Allen Parsons for a new police vehicle.

In a long-shot approach, the Commission is asking the Budget Digest for $80,000 to help pay-off the regional jail bill. The Commission recently sold their interest in the local Senior Citizens Center for $50,000, and is applying that amount to the overdue jail bill.

Budget Digest applications have also been submitted for $25,000 to repair the roof of the community building at the Calhoun County Park; $25,000 for repairs and equipment for the courthouse and county government; $20,000 for copiers and office equipment for Minnie Hamilton Health Care; $70,000 for improving of roadways at the Calhoun Park; $25,000 to assist in relocating E-911 on the frontal property of Calhoun Middle/High School.

Other grant requests have been made for $2,500 for Calhoun 4-H and $12,000 for funding the Calhoun County Economic Development Authority. The counties three volunteer fire departments and local EMS are applying individually for grant assistance for various projects, according to Weaver.

The Commission reviewed the E-911 project and the final phase of house addressing. Doug McKenzie of McKenzie Engineering says the project will be "wrapped up" by the U. S. Postal system. The Commissioners approved the hiring of Mary Bower as a clerk in Circuit Clerk Shelia Garretson's office and new Deputy Sheriff Ron Bandy.

Discussion was given to the naming of the Grantsville bridge in honor of World War II Medal of Honor recipient Bernard P. Bell. Commission President Weaver was re-appointed to the Workforce Investment Board.


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