Doddridge Commission Meets to Discuss Re-openings

 On Thursday, May 5 at 9:01 AM, all of the Doddridge County Commissioners met for their regular meeting held in the upstairs Courtroom at the Doddridge County Courthouse, which facilitated social distancing.  Also, all attendees wore masks. Commissioner Means led the group in prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.   No minutes of previous meetings were presented.   

   During discussions about the Primary Election, County Clerk Catee Slater noted that although she needs poll workers, she has not planned to consolidate any of the Precincts for the Primary Election. 

   The Commissioners approved two of three New Business agenda items:   

1. Resolution and Agreement for Secretary of State Grant to cover the costs of the Absentee Ballots and overtime for the 2020 Primary Election; and

2. Resolution and Agreement for the Governor’s COVID-19 Grant of $100,000;

   The third agenda item under New Business was about re-opening the Doddridge County Courthouse. The Commissioners noted the reason the elected officials had been invited to the meeting was to get input from each of them before deciding how to re-open.  They acknowledged that every office was different, had different spacing allowances, and different needs by people who had reason to be in the offices. 

   Extended discussions ensued about limiting the number of people allowed in the Courthouse and related buildings, requiring sign-up sheets for people entering the buildings, requiring masks for visitors, estimating and accommodating the number of people voting early, continuing reduced hours (without reduced pay) for a number of Courthouse employees at this time, placing plexiglass around the guards, plus outlining other techniques to protect Courthouse workers.  

   By consensus, it was decided that ten visitors would be allowed in the Courthouse at a time, signed in by the guards. 

   Each office seemed to have their own recommendations, e.g., closing the records room until June 1, one person at a time in the Sheriff’s Tax Office, services by appointment only.

   Commission Assistant Randee Britton, OEMS & Flood Plain Director George Eidel, and DCAA personnel Cody Joe and Neal Romain are to write re-opening guidelines while after recommendations are made by  the WV State Supreme Court.

   George Eidel as OEMS Director and as Floodplain Manger did not have a report. 

   DCAA Directors Neal Romain and Cody Joe reported the DCAA’s Primary Account has a balance of $117,684.95; “The Fund” has a balance of $311,553.70 (includes $120,538.35 insurance payments), and the DCAA’s income for April was $45,940.05. 

   They also reported that calls were up by 25%, and they had ordered and were waiting for delivery of an encapsulation unit to transport COVID-19 patients. Cody Joe also spoke about the decontamination suits DCAA purchased noting that with them they were the unofficial example while other agencies were “just making excuses”. 

   Clerk of the Works David King reported that he was working on plexiglass shields and that the Sheriff’s Office needed more shelves, but he was waiting until the County Offices are re-opened for installation.   

    There were no Exonerations or Estate Probates.

   Beth Kellar presented an in-house Budget Revision for the Sheriff’s Office of moving $33,248.62 to Law Enforcement Supplies and K9 Supplies. 

   Elected County officials in attendance were:  County Clerk Catee Slater, Sheriff Michael Headley, Circuit Clerk Michelle Britton, Assessor David Sponaugle, and Prosecuting Attorney Brooke Knight-Fitzgerald. 

   County employees in attendance were:  Chief Financial Clerk Beth Kellar, Commission’s Assistant Randee Britton, Deputy Tax Clerk Peggy Smith, Clerk of the Works David King, OEMS & Flood Plain Director George Eidel, and DCAA Directors Neal Romain and Cody Joe.