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Commissioners Turn Down
CM/HS Deputy Sheriff Grant
by Maricia Mlynek

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Calhoun county commission met Monday at 1 p.m. in the Calhoun Courthouse little courtroom.

The commission discussed the PRO officer deputy sheriff grant for Calhoun Middle/High School.

Commissioners continued to express concerns about the county budget, which they expect to tighten with decreasing revenues during the next year. The following information is from a press release handed out by the commission:

“Commissioners have received a lot of feedback regarding the placement of the deputy sheriff at Calhoun Middle/High School.

The commission was asked to submit the grant to finance the school deputy six days before it was due, and did so with reservations for further review.

With the approval of the grant delayed for several months, Sheriff Allen Parsons hired Charles McCroskey for the position, because such officers had to be sent to special training. While the sheriff ultimately can hire whomever, the commission declined to approve the hire with no grant money approved.

The commission expressed concern that the grant should be in financial partnership with Calhoun Schools.

The commission has expressed concern about a nearly $40,000 shortfall already existing in the sheriff’s budget, mostly because of his hiring of a third deputy, Jeff Starcher, whose funding was not included in the annual budget.

The commission has ex-pressed concern about increased costs about the amount covered by the grant in the hiring of the school deputy, a fourth permanent hire under civil service, requiring a car, operating costs and other outlays.

Sheriff Parsons has adjusted his current budget to cover many of those costs, but there still exists a shortfall, which could mean the cutting of a deputy, in this case, Jeff Starcher, with the least seniority.

Sheriff Parsons has advised the commission he is aware of the budgetary problems, and is willing to make adjustments during the year.”

Commissioners asked for input from the public and took suggestions of those present.

They also stated that Parsons had worked hard to figure out the finance deficit, including finding a car to be donated, but there is still a shortfall in funding.

The deputy sheriff grant died for a lack of a motion.

It was stated that perhaps a new plan could be developed to partner with the board of education to re-apply for the grant in the future.

In other business, commissioner Chip Westfall, Community Resources, Inc., board member, said that CRI is looking at expanding into childcare and daycare services.

E-911, OES and LEPC director Kathy Wood reported work on developing protocol and procedures. Commissioners approved a motion to support her decision for first responders in the northern part of the county to be Mt. Zion station 400. If not available, the next responders contacted would be Minnie Hamilton due to closer proximity to the emergency. Wood also reported work on a shelter equipment grant.

Executive secretary Danielle Stevens reported on the tower fund dispersion, and on the application of the following grants: safe route to school grants for bicycles for students, courthouse improvement grant for a chair lift, and sheriff vehicle grant.

Items have been purchased for the court security grant and work will begin on weekends when supplies are obtained. A polling place grant for the county park and courthouse was received for new asphalt, and a new resolution was approved for a record management grant.

Commissioners received a book from Carl Shaw, who spoke on amending property taxes. A book on mountain top removal was received from Loren Howley. Both books will be placed in Calhoun County Library.

Commissioners approved a census partnership resolution for Census Day, Apr. 1, 2010, and a proclamation from Lori Fleagle for domestic violence awareness month. The Domestic Abuse Response Team received an award for its service to the county since 1996.

Commissioners approved $125 to go to the Town of Grantsville and $125 to the Arnoldsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. for Halloween events.

The following items were approved by commissioners:

--Erroneous tax assessments;

--Appointment of Richard Frum as fiduciary for Wilt and Goodnight estates;

--Draw down request for waterline grant by Tim Meeks;

--Appointments of Jerry Riggs, Barbara Allen, Linda McCartney, Lisa Purvis, Jacob McCumbers and Kathy Wood to Local Emergency Services Council; Curt Garretson to Little Kanawha Parkway; Connie Sullivan to Calhoun County Park board; and Mike Ritchie to Little Kanawha Bus board;

--Resignation of Daniel Smith from Calhoun County Park board;

--Budget revision for un-encumbered amount;

--Line item budget revision request from sheriff Allen Parsons.

Delegate David Walker pre-sented the county clerk’s office with $10,000 for the purchase of computers, scanners, and other equipment. He presented Arnoldsburg and Grantsville VFDs $2,250 each for purchase of safety and rescue equipment.

After approving invoices, bonds, wills, settlements and orders, the meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m., in the little courtroom.

Left to right, Carl Ballengee, Lori Fleagle, Barb McKown and Jean Simers represented the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART), which received an award for its service to the county since 1996. A proclamation for domestic violence awareness month was also approved.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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