Commission holds two short meetings

Tim Walker
Contributing Writer

The commission held a special session February 11 to discuss and or act on retaining outside counsel to defend the commission in a lawsuit filed against the county by Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney Eugene Simmons.

In that lawsuit, Simmons seeks reimbursement of costs he incurred for attorney fees and expenses.

The commission voted to retain Attorney Gregory Tucker, of Summersville, to defend the county in this suit.

During a relatively short Pocahontas County Commission meeting February 18, the commissioners took the first steps in preparing the 2020-2021 budget. They set March 9, 11 and 13 for budget work sessions. All sessions will begin at 10 a.m. Commissioners must review detailed budget requests submitted to them by all county agencies, and then determine which parts of those requests will be funded and at what amount.

The fiscal year begins July 1, 2020 and runs through June 30, 2021.

In other business, the commission

• heard from Cynthia Gurreri, of the Pocahontas County Arts Council, who briefed them about a grant the council received from West Virginia Arts, Culture and History. The grant will be used to support the Art Council’s work in the schools. Gurreri explained that the Arts Council stepped in to provide art projects to students in all the schools after the Pocahontas County Board of Education removed art teachers from the elementary schools.

• adjourned the 2020 Board of Review and Equalization hearings.

• entertained Roger Hall’s appeal of the denial of his Homestead Property Tax Exemption. The commission was sympathetic to Hall’s unique situation, but state law prohibits residents from claiming a homestead exemption in two counties at the same time.

• approved the updated Pocahontas County Emergency Operations Plan.

• authorized an employee position in the County Clerk’s office which can be filled after July 1.

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