Erica Kearns

The Clay County Commission met on Wednesday, April 9 for their bi-weekly meeting. As normal, the meeting began with the approval of minutes, bills, purchase orders, assessments and the settlement of estates. The agenda quickly moved on to the designation of polling places for the May 13 primary election, the acceptance of a budget revision by the Prosecuting Attorney, and the approval of an audit report from the Clay Health Department. The green light was given to enter into two service contracts with Appalachian Office Products; one for a copier in the County Clerk’s office and one for a copier in the Sheriff’s office. Catherine Michelle Morton was also hired as a temporary part-time ambulance driver during the meeting.

The Commission approved three resolutions to authorize the applications and grants for the WV Governor’s Community Participation Program Funds. One grant is in the amount of $1000 and will be used to purchase a laptop computer for the WVU Clay County Extension Office. The other grant is for $11,252 and will be used to purchase smoke detectors and extra batteries for homes in Clay County. The last grant will be used to repair the courthouse roof, purchase office equipment, prepare a handicap parking space and to replace locks on office doors and will be in the amount of $3000.

Wednesday was the designated day to open and accept bids for the courthouse ADA restroom renovations project. Four contractors were in attendance, each hoping to be awarded the project. Past Respects submitted the lowest bid of $143,405 which would normally secure the job. However, the commissions were forced to reject all bids because the cost would put the project way over budget. The restroom renovations will be redesigned and rebid at a later time.

Budget restrictions were also evident when it came to the issue of distributing funding to the county’s only public library. Librarian Sheila Thorne and Library Board Members Debra Salsgiver, Brenda Krauklis and Dale Mullins approached the commissioners to request funding to help keep the library open. Mullins spoke passionately about the library, stressing the importance of the entity to the community. Each child in the county can utilize the countless resources the library has to offer, Mullins said, “opening up the endless possibilities of a boundless universe.” Despite the validity of the need for funds, the commission denied appropriating any money to the library for the fiscal year 2014-2015.

The meeting adjourned after little discussion. The group will meet again on April 23 at 10:00 am.