Pocahontas Commission Schedules 2020 Budget Work Sessions
During a relatively short Pocahontas County Commission meeting on February 18th, the commissioners took the first steps to setting their 2020-2021 budget. They set dates for their budget work sessions March 9, 11, and 13, all starting at 10:00 a.m., which could lead to their final approval of next fiscal year’s county budget at their March 17th regular meeting. Those work sessions are when the commissioners must review the detailed budget requests submitted to them by all county agencies and make the hard decisions about which parts of those requests they will fund and the amount of that funding. The county’s 2020-2021 fiscal year will begin on July 1, 2020 and run through June 30, 2021.
The commissioners had also held a special session on February 11th at which they approved their retaining outside counsel to defend against a lawsuit filed against the county by Pocahontas County Prosecutor Eugene Simmons. That lawsuit was filed over reimbursement for the cost of attorney fees incurred by the Prosecutor. The Commissioners voted to retain Attorney Gregory Tucker of Summersville to defend the county in this suit.
In addition to setting the budget work sessions during their February 18th regular meeting, the commissioners also:
- Heard from Cynthia Gurreri of the Pocahontas County Arts Council, who briefed them about a grant the council has received from West Virginia Arts, Culture and History. Gurreri explained that when the Pocahontas County Board of Education removed the art teachers from the county elementary schools, the Arts Council picked up the slack and provided some arts projects at not only those schools, but also to the middle and high school students. She said that this grant will support the Arts Council’s work in the schools.
- They adjourned the 2020 Board of Review and Equalization hearings.
- They entertained Roger Hall’s appeal of the denial of his Homestead Property Tax Exemption, and although very sympathetic to Hall’s unique situation, the commissioners were prevented by WV Statute from allowing him to claim a homestead exemption in two counties at the same time.
- They approved the updated Pocahontas County Emergency Operations Plan, which, according to Board President David McLaughlin, contains sensitive information and cannot be shared with the general public.
- They authorized an employee position at the County Clerk’s Office which can be filled after July 1st.