County Commissioners Hear Broadband Consortium Update

By Heaven Hunter

Calhoun county commissioners met on Monday at 9 a.m.
Horst Motz thanked the commission for appointing him to the Broadband Consortium.

Left to right, board of education members Horst Motz, Richard Kirby and Jenna Jett., superintendent Kelli Whytsell, and board members James Gregory and Kevin Cunningham.

He shared his experiences at the consortium’s last meeting in Spencer: “Three proposals were made concerning broad-band issues, then voted on by the committee. All three had good points; but some are considerably better for our community.”

Motz expressed the importence of community engagement: “The companies are relying on the communities to provide information back to them. such as: How is your service? What do you expect? Then, they will be able to address these areas of concern more effectively.”

Motz seemed confident with the three companies involved, and was eager to hear more details on Thursday, July 19, at a noon meeting with the companies in Charleston.

Jean Simers, county clerk, expressed interest in including Calhoun County in the West Virginia Checkbook program.

The program “believes that transparency leads to more effective and accountable government, and a more informed and engaged community.”

It allows the public to explore the state’s financial information, including how the state generates revenue, and how it spends it via an online database. Commissioners approved the request.

Julie Sears, E-911/ OES director, gave the E-911, LEPC, OES, and EMS/ambulance report for June. Sixty-eight calls were made to the EMS department.

Sears said, “We had 441 calls for service to the 911 center overall. We are spending a significant amount of time making sure we have the 911 truck covered, as well as the transport truck covered.

“Things are running smoothly, and our average time from tone to on the scene is 18 minutes and 36 seconds. This is still below the state average, which is 20 minutes. We are pretty pleased with that.

“Also, there has been an offer made for Calhoun EMS to take all transports out of Minnie Hamilton. They have offered $5,000 a month to do so. We just need to hash out some of the minor details and minimal things.

“This is important to us, because it is our duty to transport those who need to receive care at another facility that may have the ability to better care for them and their needs.”

Seth Ulderich, home confinement officer, and and Jeff Starcher, sheriff, gave their reports.

Starcher said: “In the month of June, we had an increase of 15 calls, making it a pretty busy month.”

The commissioners approved the following per-sonnel items: Resignation, Robert Bailey; Employment, Michele Nicholas.

Planning Commission board members, Donnie Pitts and Julie Sears, will remain on the board. Samantha Wilson will be replaced by Ariel Mooney, DDS. All members are now appointed for a three-year term.

A budget revision concerning a pay raise was discussed.

Commissioner Michael Hicks said, “We do not want to start pay raises at the beginning of a new fiscal year. When we made the budget, we calculated it without any pay raises at this time.”

Meganne Robinson of Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council presented the Mt. Zion Waste Water Grant Application: “Submitting this application will help with the compliance issues with the sewer lines, pump stations, etc., (and help with) our request for a grant to help fund the project.”

The next commission meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 13, at 9 a.m., in the courthouse little courtroom.