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Goddard Updates County Commission On WCCCF

June 14, 2017
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor (lmatthews@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

Beth Goddard, of the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families, updated the Wetzel County Commission at its Tuesday, June 6 meeting, regarding programs and services offered at the center. Goddard also extended an invitation to the commission to the annual summer picnic, held by the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse, which is housed at the WCCCF, and the Wetzel County Sheriff's Office. The event will be held June 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wetzel County 4-H campgrounds.

Goddard asked the commission's permission to have carriage rides and pony rides at the event, though she is unsure if the coalition and sheriff's office will be able to find individuals with horses and a carriage. Goddard said the coalition does have insurance coverage for the event and any messes left by the ponies/horses would be cleaned.

Goddard said the picnic already offers "a lot of things for families to do, but we are thinking beyond." She said the picnic would include Air Evac, local EMS, and programs on ATV safety. The picnic will also include bouncy houses.

In other matters, the commission agreed to give the WCCCF $5,000 in funding to help offset the cost of the center's baby pantry, and other programs at the center. It was noted that the commission usually gives this amount each year. Goddard said she tries not to request funds if she does not need to, but noted that the center has about exhausted previous funds.

"It's amazing how much that $5,000 goes toward different things."

Goddard said approximately 37 families access the center's baby pantry. These families receive items such as diapers and wipes. She noted that the families don't come all the time, as they are encouraged to also find other sources of funding. However, the center does receive calls from individuals in hospitals, or about to give birth, requesting help. Last year the center also purchased five car seats and three cribs and mattresses, to help needy families.

Fact Box

The Wetzel County Sheriff's Department, along with the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse, have teamed up once again for the "Kick Off To Summer Community Picnic." This will be the fourth year for the event.

The event, free to the public, is scheduled for June 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wetzel County 4-H grounds. Festivities will include fun activities such as inflatables and face painting.

There will also be plenty of food, including pizza, hotdogs, and snow cones.

"We have several things lined up for this year," noted Sheriff Mike Koontz.

"We had 250 attendees last year, and we are hoping to surpass that this year," he added, explaining that each year the event has had about the same attendance, if not grown.

The community picnic came to fruition in 2014 after Koontz, along with Deputy Randy Adams, approached the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse, with the idea.

Koontz has noted that the picnic is a way to encourage youth to pursue safe and healthy interests, and to steer clear of drugs.

"With all the drug problems that we are having in our area right now, I think that education is going to be very important to help stem the addiction that we have in our area, in our communities," Koontz said.

He added, "I think things like this picnic are very important to show young children that law enforcement and emergency services aren't something to be afraid of, and also that there are healthy choices out there to be made. There are healthy activities. That's what we are trying to highlight with some of the activities we are having at the picnic."

Koontz said some bicycles will be given away at the picnic, along with fishing poles and motorcycle helmets.

"Some of this is possible through money we raised, and some through donors from local vendors and businesses," Koontz said.

The picnic will also feature local representatives from the fire department, Air Evac, and Wetzel County EMS.

"We don't want children in unsafe sleeping habits, or riding around in vehicles without proper carseats," Goddard said.

Goddard said the WCCCF has three parent educators that are certified to do carseat safety checks. "We do those ongoing," she said.

The center has also worked with the Gabriel Project's Wetzel County site. Goddard said the center doesn't want to take over what the Gabriel Project is doing, but "we still have a need for it as well."

Commission President Larry Lemon asked Goddard how the state's budget problems are affecting the center. Goddard admitted some worries concerning the center's Hundred site.

"We will cross that bridge whenever we get to it. We will probably operate okay here, but what the budget problems could affect are our Hundred site. We would still maintain our in-home education, but we may not be able to afford to have a place there."

Goddard said the playgroup at the Hundred center is "amazing out there," adding that the center works with several families in the area.

"It is nice that we can serve them, and we can do it, but not at the capacity that we can with state funds."

Commission Vice President Bob Gorby advised Goddard to reach out to the commission if state funding to the center gets cut.

In other commission matters, the commission voted to donate $167,000, maximum, for renovations to the Hundred pool.

It was noted that the commission had just communicated, that morning, with the gentleman who is to administer the upgrades.

"The contractor will do preliminary leak detection on Saturday, and after that, construction will probably begin. We have agreed to pay the contractor in monthly installments with the understanding he will submit an affidavit showing he has paid his workers and paid the material men and subcontractors, as well as evidence he has paid taxes and workers compensation and unemployment," Lemon explained.

The commission explained that they were donating to the cause for the kids of Hundred. Furthermore, it was noted that it would be difficult for the pool committee to obtain or raise that amount of money for the cause.

It is anticipated that by starting the pool project now, the pool will be re-opened sometime this summer.

In another matter, the commission opened a sole bid for the assessor's office, for Document Imaging, Aerial Photography, and Mapping Services. The bid is in the amount of $59,450 and is from Blue Mountain, located in West Virginia. The matter was deferred to the assessor's office for review.

Also, the commission agreed to donate $2,500 to the Wheeling YWCA. The Wheeling YWCA has an office in Wetzel County, and the organization is involved in assisting victims of domestic violence.

 
 
 

 

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