Rosemary Guida, Executive Director of Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board, presented Tyler County Commission with a status update Tuesday, telling commissioners the budget for the upcoming year had received an increase of $80,000 in funding.
"We didn't get a budget cut. That's a good thing," said Guida. "This means more money for educational purposes. We've sent almost 300 area residents back to school already."
As of May 31, Workforce programs have 169 trainees enrolled, with an additional 71 trainees whose training is complete.
"There is no waiting list at this time," said Guida. "Especially in the youth programs. We want to encourage young people to seek us out."
The "Build It, Keep It, Share It" training was so successful we are offering it again this year," added Guida. In this program, trainees were able to build a laptop computer which was theirs to keep at the completion of the course.
Guida also told commissioners the NPWIB would run a small summer youth program this year, although funding had been cut .
"We will be able to help a few kids, though not as many as we'd like," said Guida.
Also speaking to commission was Charles Clements, Executive Director, WV Rt. 2 and Interstate 68 Authority.
Clements spoke to commission about an upcoming project in Marshall County which will extend the current four or five lane section of WV 2 by .95 miles and will eliminate the "Biggies Corner" bridge.
Other projects underway in the ten-county area are taking place in Wood and Pleasants counties, Clements added.
"The Authority continues to work toward expanding WV 2 and I 68, but lack of funds has slowed or prevented major development of the two highways," said Clements. "What we would like to ask you, as commissioners, is to speak to your representatives about the critical need for for these highway improvements."
"We are also asking that you help identify new sources of revenue for our infrastructure development and maintenance," said Clements. "Highway funding has become a critical issue for West Virginia."
"Route 2 is one of the most important pieces of highway in the state, but it was not included as part of the Appalachian Highway," explained Clements. "We would appreciate any support you can give us in our efforts to improve our highway system."
In Commissioner John Stender's report, he informed members that 4-H had suspended the re-vitalization work at the campgrounds until after this year's fair. Stender also noted the Senior Center had elected new officers and that some funds had been spent on the center to repair the air conditioning unit.
Stender added a grant application had been received which could fund up to 50 per cent of a planned project in Bens Run. The commission decided to consult with grant writer Tim Meeks and OEM director Tom Cooper about applying for the funding.
County Commissioner Eric Vincent requested a vote on the acceptance of a contract with Global Science Technology, Inc., to be hired as technical back-up for county offices. The contract, which costs approximately $10,000 for the year, is significantly less expensive than hiring a technology specialist, Vincent noted. The contract was approved by commission.
Sheriff Earl P. "Bob" Kendle, Jr., informed commission he was having some problems with the use and distribution of P-Cards.
"My incoming chief dispatcher was denied a P-Card," said Kendle. "I was told there were some changes made this year."
Kendle noted that sheriff's office employees could not used the P-Card for eating expenses on some trips made in the line of duty.
"We're not like some of the big counties, who have the manpower to cover shifts," said Kendle. "If one of our officers is traveling, it could be a twelve-hour day for that officer, but he has to buy meals at his own expense."
"You'll have to talk to the IRS," remarked Commissioner Stender. "As long as it's a day trip, it's not reimbursable."
" If the IRS finds out we have been reimbursing incorrectly, they'll fine us and audit us," added Assessor Jack Hayes.
"When the IRS representative holds individual meetings this summer, we're going to go," added Stender, "and you should go, too, Bob."
Charles "Pork" Smith noted in his report to commission that he'd received a letter from Darren Heintzman, who had attended Mountaineer Boys State. Commission had donated funds for Tyler County youth to attend the camp.
In the letter, Heintzman thanked commissioners for their support, saying the camp had been a valuable opportunity to learn more about government.
Smith also requested that County Clerk Teresea Hamilton contact an information management service for the purpose of contracting work on scanning courthouse record books. The discussion about the hire is planned for next month.
In other matters, commissioners voted to approve tax exonerations and the clerk's fiduciary report and approved budget revisions submitted by the assessor's office, the county clerk, VOCA, OEM, the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, and the treasurer's office.
Following the approval of payment of bills, the meeting was adjourned. Those present at commission meeting included: Eric Vincent, John Stender, Charles Smith, Sheriff Kendle, County Clerk Teresea Hamilton, Deputy Clerk Amy Glover, OEM director Tom Cooper, Rosemary Guida, and Charles Clements.