At its June 27 regular meeting, the Pocahontas County Commission approved a request from County Prosecutor Terri Helmick to authorize the hiring of Joni Nichols as full-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. That position has been vacant since Ryan Jackson passed away in a traffic accident April 10.
Nichols is currently a Law Clerk for Judge Richardson in Greenbrier County.
The commission also authorized County Clerk Melissa Bennett to hire Carrie Dean as a full-time Deputy Clerk.
It was also announced at this meeting that the U.S. Department of the Interior awarded $980,052 to Pocahontas County under their Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which reimburses the county for property taxes not collected on the Mon Forest and other federal land in the county. This is the most PILT money received by any county in the state.
The commission made the following board appointments:
• Ira Turner to a five-year term on the County Building Commission.
• Herb Barlow to a four-year term on the County Civil Service Commission.
• Josh Hardy to a three-year term on the County Libraries and Visitor Information Board.
• Donald McNeel to a five-year term on the County Board of Health.
• Jesse Groseclose to fill an unexpired term on the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board.
• Sam Gibson and Roger Trusler to three-year terms on the Parks and Recreation Board.
• Melissa Price to a three-year term on the County Criminal Justice Board.
On behalf of the Day Report Program, they approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the Adult Drug Court, and approved a contract with MindEase Solutions to provide classes at Day Report.
In addition, the commission:
• Renewed its annual support contract with Global Science Technologies to maintain the computer systems at the courthouse, at a monthly cost of $1,830.
• Designated all the local banks as county depositories for the upcoming fiscal year. This is done annually per West Virginia law.
• Agreed to send a letter to the county Public Service District requesting a status update on the East Fork Tannery Sewer Hook-up Project, and asking if additional funds were needed.
• Agreed to advertise in the Charleston Newspapers for bids to do the core-drilling at the site of the future 911 Center behind PMH. The bidding will be open from July 3 and must be received by July 14, with the bid to be awarded at the regular commission meeting on July 18.
• Appointed Commissioner John Rebinski to be the county’s representative at the Region 6 Opioid meeting in Riley County on July 5. This meeting will help decide how Opioid Litigation award money will be distributed in West Virginia.
• By a two-to-one vote, they appointed Robert P. Martin to be Pocahontas County Fiduciary Commissioner, a position left vacant when Laura Finch became Public Defender. Rebinski cast the negative vote.