Pocahontas County commission approves 2015-16 FY budget
The Pocahontas County Commission had spent several hard work sessions assembling a balanced budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The Commissioners took up that budget at their March 17 meeting.
“Any other discussion before we go further?” Commission President Bill Beard asked his fellow Commissioners Jamie Walker and David McLaughlin.
“If you all are OK with everything, I think it will work , it’s fine with me” replied Commissioner Walker.
“I think we’re squeezing more out of their dollar every year, getting tighter”, said Beard.
“I move we approve the budget, approve the letter to the (state) Auditor and approve the letter to the publications” offered Commissioner McLaughlin.
“It has been moved that we approve the budget, send a letter to the Auditor and also a copy to the newspaper,” declared Beard. “Any other Discussion?”
“No, I am fine,” replied Walker.
“Any objections to the motion presented?” asked Beard. (slight pause) “The motion is approved!”
You just heard the three Pocahontas County Commissioners pass the $6,110,101.00 balanced budget for next year. The budget includes estimated revenues from property taxes of $2,689,774.00 and $1,000,000.00 in revenue from the Hotel Occupancy Tax. Notable expenditures include $1,985,705.00 for public safety which includes the Sheriff’s Department, jail expenses, fire and ambulance services, communications center, animal control and flood control.
The Commissioners also reviewed the sealed bids received for the trail construction project in the Monongahela National Forest’s Tea Creel Trail System. This project is funded by a $24,000 Recreational Trails Grant. The bids ranged from a high of $157,125 to a low bid of $21,500 offered by a local company, Burgess Resources. The Commissioners were assisted in their review of the received bids by Ranger Nicholas Brown from the Monongahela National Forest. They selected the Burgess Resources bid not only because it was the lowest bid, but, according to Nicholas Brown it would meet the expectations of the National Forest for the project. The Commissioners also noted that Burgess is a local company while all other bids were from outside the immediate area.
The replacement of the garage door at the old shoe factory building was also discussed. The door had been previously advertised for bids and none were received. They now have received estimated from one local contractor and expect to receive another within a couple of days. The Commissioners decided to take no action on this until they see if the other estimate is received.
In other actions:
•The Commissioners received the February Day Report Center Monthly Update from Tammie Alderman. This report advised that the program has saved Pocahontas County over $300,000 in Jail Fees so far this year, while the Community Service program has saved an estimated $31,000. The Day Report Center will be starting a new program in April to combat domestic violence – a batterer’s intervention and training program.
•The Commissioners heard from a citizen, Tom Bright, who expressed concerns about a proposed county-wide fire levy. He had heard that the levy could be passed by only 10% of the registered voters. The commissioners explained that at this time a county-wide fire levy is not under active consideration, but if in the future it became so, it would take 10% of the county voters to petition to put it on the ballet, and then it would have to be approved by a majority of the voters.
•In a final significant action, the Commissioners voted unanimously to declare April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month”.
See the 2015-16 fiscal year budget below: