The West Virginia Department of Labor, required by law, is in the process of determining prevailing wages for labor in all the regional counties in October.

Those prevailing wage determinations determine what various classifications of workers are paid, particularly with government grants and contracts.

In Calhoun and most regional counties, few contractors respond to the state's request, notifying them that their workers can provide the service at a much lower cost.

The Calhoun County Commission and other agencies frequently experience problems when they apply for or receive grants to fund projects in the county.

Prevailing wage rates are set by the West Virginia Division of Labor.

Most hourly rates exceed $20 an hour, with a $20 per hour benefit package.

Those rates are defined in WV Code based on union wages determined in other counties, and are not the prevailing wage paid by contractors in Calhoun County.

Still, local contractors are held to the rate using taxpayer funds. In Calhoun, with small grants obtained for improvements, it is almost impossible to get someone to do the work because of holding to prevailing wage.

The rates used for Calhoun are linked to Wood County and other regional counties that generally utilize union works scales. The Division of Labor forms must be submitted by October every year, that are used to set prevailing wages. Local contractors should call the WV Division of Labor 304-558-7890 with their wage information.

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