Pocahontas County Day Report Center awarded WV Community Corrections Grant

It was announced by the Pocahontas County Commission at its August 15th meeting that the County was awarded a $50,000 Community Corrections Grant to help fund the operation of the County Day Report Center. Last year the County had applied for the same grant, but it was not approved, causing the County to fund the Day Report program solely out of its own budget. The Commissioners voted, of course, to accept this grant award which involves only a $5,556.00 match from the County Budget.

Another matter concerning the Day report Center was also on the agenda at this meeting, the approval of a full-time Day Report Center Director; however this was tables when the Commissioners learned that the County Community Corrections Board was still interviewing candidates.  In his report, Commission Attorney also mentioned that he met with the Judges about the recent performance of the Day Report Center and, for a change, the Judges were “pleased” with what they heard.

In other actions at this short meeting, the Commissioners heard from the County 911 Director Mike O’Brien, who said that Travis Cook, the Assistant Director of the County Emergency Management/911 Agency has resigned to work for Greenbrier County. While he has no candidate to fill that position at this time, he asked the Commissioners for authorization to hire Austin Duncan as a Full-Time 911 Dispatcher. The Commissioners did authorize that hire at $10.00 per hour plus full benefits, effective September 2nd.

Pocahontas County Clerk Melissa Bennett asked the Commissioners to authorize expenses associated with the October 7th Special Election. She received approval from the Commissioners to hire the list of Poll Workers she submitted to the Commission.

She received authorization to pay $25.00 for each Poll Worker for about an hour and a half’s training a week or so before the election and another $150.00 for each Poll Worker on Election Day. Bennett said the on that day, poll workers will work from 5:30 a.m. until the polls close at 7:00 p.m. but will still have to hand count the ballots, which could take another 2 hours.   In addition Bennett received authorization to pay the supply Clerk an extra $20.00 and an escort worker an additional $10.00 for delivering the counted ballots to the Court House from the Precinct.

In addition, the Commissioners authorized Bennett to pay $80.00 rental of the precinct buildings on Election Day, and $100 to the schools for their janitorial services that day.

Commission Attorney Bob Martin also reported to the Commissioners that he has been working with Mike O’Brien to secure leases for all the radio antenna sites used by the Emergency Management /911 Center and in the development of a holiday leave usage policy which will save the 911 Center overtime expenses.

Mike Vance provided the information the Commissioners had requested about replacing the locks at the Former Shoe Factory building. Vance said he has visited the building and that 27 standard locks and 6 high security locks would be required to secure all of the interior and exterior doors. The six high security locks would be used to secure the sensitive offices of the Day Report Center and the Home Confinement Office. Those would cost $300.00 each plus $20.00 each for extra keys, while the standard locks would cost $75.00 each plus $3.00 each for extra keys. Vance said that he could also seal off the three exterior doors what are not being used with plywood and two by fours for an extra $300.00. Total labor for the project, which would take about a week to do, will be $1,500, which Vance said is a lot cheaper than the $90.00 an hour that a locksmith would charge for labor. Because this work is considered to be a repair and the total amount is below that which would require a bidding process, the Commissioners authorized the work be done.

The meeting ended with the payment of invoices.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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