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Commission Holds Budget Meeting

    On Tuesday, March 10 at 9:01 AM, after holding a silent prayer and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Ronnie Travis, Commission President called to order the first meeting to prepare the County’s budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

    Although there was no agenda, the County department heads and elected officials presented their budget requests as planned in a previous meeting.  

    George Eidel, Director for Doddridge Floodplain Management and the Offices of Emergency Services, requested $103,043 which contained an increase of $11,000 to be used to update the DC Emergency Operations Plan.

    County Assessor David Sponaugle requested $253,924. He reminded the Commissioners that elected officials are to receive a pay increase because the county class was raised. He noted he had not increased the

pay of his employees pending a decision for employee pay raises to be decided by the Commissioners.

    Zona Hutson, 4-H Extension Agent, stated her budget with the Commission did not contain any significant changes and that the levy funds covered most of their budget. She added that most of her budget was through 4-H, but requested $300,000 for next year’s budget.  Hutson said she would like to give her employees a $1,500/year pay raise.

    Michelle Britton, Circuit Clerk, requested a $739/year increase in her pay and up to $2,000/year for each of her employees. Her total budget request was $184,143 and included a new copier, scanning of the remainder of the documents, and $5,000 for equipment needed in the court room.

    Neal Romain, DCAA Director, requested $457,000 for the DCAA operating budget that includes resurfacing the parking lot and the purchasing a new e series cardiac monitor, which he said is required by the State.

    Romain went on to state that this year’s request was $91,372 less than last year for the DCAA payroll budget at $1,286,942.46.  He also said that DCAA is running two ALS trucks for in-county emergency calls and two ALS trucks for inter-facility transports, which he said pay better. He also noted they were not taking transport calls for nursing homes or dialysis patients.

    The Animal Control budget was discussed. Beth Kellar noted that the amount of money collected for the dog tax in the past that has gone toward Animal Control supplies is no longer adequate to cover those supplies, and she felt that an additional $5,000 should be added to the $40,000 which is the same amount as the past budget.

    Brook Knight Fitzgerald, Prosecuting Attorney, requested $440,507 for next year’s budget. This amount would cover her increase in salary, raises of $2,000/year per person in her office, purchase of new books, and hire of a new employee.

    Catee Slater, County Clerk, did not have her budget ready because she had not yet received an estimate from a company that would be finishing scanning the records. She laster requested $404,516 for Office; $115,000 for scanning of documents; and Election in the amountof $91,960. 

    Greg Cottrill, DC Parks Director, and Zona Hutson, DC Extension Office, spoke about the date for their upcoming levy election, noting they would only have one time to run it, due to the Commissioner’s past decision.

    They did not seem to want to have the levy on the ballot for the General Election, noting that in 2016 the levy failed during the General Election.  They went on to say they felt there was too much controversy during the General Election, and since the levy is the last item on the ballot, voters missed it.   

    Glaspell stated that he did not want a levy election in the dead of winter and suggested it be held in September to which Cottrill replied that they need seven months to get all of the associated paperwork completed.

    Cottrill and Hutson are to return with more information at a future meeting.

    Greg Cottrill then spoke about the Park Budget. He asked that if the Commissioners decided not to fund the swimming pool/splash park would they add to funds already collected ($50,000) to build the addition to the Barn, noting that the additional funds necessary are around $325,000.

    He then presented a quick history of the changes in the Park since 1972 and handed out copies of the master plan for future upgrades. The budget amount he presented to the Commission was in the amount of $574,605..

    Mike Headley, Sherrff’s budget in the amounts of: Tax Office — $278,107; Process Service — $55,000; Canine — $46,904; and Law Enforcement — $655,006 was presented at a later time.

    The Commission is scheduled to meet on their Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Budget for approval on March 25 at 9:00 AM.