(12/24/2011)
Calhoun County will receive $76,931 from a Courthouse Facilities Improvement grant to help with major repairs needed to the roof of the courthouse, with the county commissioners struggling to come up with a 20% match for the project.

Not only is the roof disintegrating, but the stonework surrounding the roof is loosening and creating a safety hazard on the ground below.

An evaluation of cracks in the main courthouse structure that appeared shortly after last summers earthquake in Virginia and felt in the region, was not due to the earthquake, according to Darren Franck from Advanced Engineering Associates and Paul Carman from Frontier Adjustors.

The county has received a Community Partnership Grant for $30,000 to air condition the courtroom and purchase a copier for the Circuit Clerk.

The commission, while complying with a court order to pay $51,028,59 from the Circuit Court for the wrongful prosecution of former Deputy Ronald Gene Bandy, authorized an initial $500 payment to Bandy's attorney John Teare, Jr., while continuing to try and get the county's insurance carrier to pay the liability claim.

The circuit court issued judgment for Ronald Gene Bandy's legal fees following the reversal of a multi-count criminal indictment.

The commission approved a number of proposed changes for county voters to comply with State Code to equalize the number of voters in each voting district. The changes are required based on the 2010 Census.

The county continues to have limited financial resources to operate, with Commissioner Scottie Westfall reacting to rumors that say the commissioners do not want law enforcement to make arrests.

"While we have limited resources, there is likely enough money in the budget to cover the jail bill. We have never commented or issued such a request to law enforcement," Westfall said.

During the required monthly review of the county budget, Commissioner Kevin Helmick continued to express concern that the salary budget for the Calhoun Sheriff's office has $17,000 remaining until the end of the fiscal year.

Helmick indicated the salary line was likely coming up short because the sheriff did not reduce an office worker that the 2011-12 budget indicated and raised his workers salaries.

The commissioners approved the adoption of new county personnel policies and hired Tina Hart, the lone applicant to be a part-time Mapping/Flood Plain Coordinator.

The commission received a $5,000 grant for the WV Beekeeping Association and voted to give the Little Kanawha RC & D a $500 contribution as a member.

The county has undergone the regular annual audit, some elected officials are being audited by IRS, and a special audit is being conducted of stimulus money that has come to the county.

The county is considering acquiring a state-sponsored P-card for county purchases, which would have limited use.

The commission has passed a resolution supporting a Calhoun Historical Society proposal to officially name the new bridge at the Roane-Calhoun line (US 33-119) the Corder Bridge.

The next regular meeting is January 4, 2012 at 9 a.m.


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