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Commission OKs Accounting System

By Staff | May 13, 2015

By LAUREN MATTHEWS

Staff Writer

The Wetzel County Commission approved of a new accounting system for the county’s tax office during its April 28 meeting. Shelby Titus of the tax office explained that her office’s current accounting system is six years old and was “never complete to begin with.”

“It never did the sheriff’s settlement,” she said of the system, adding that she has had to do some calculations manually. Furthermore, Titus noted that the system does not correlate well with the county clerk office’s system.

Titus noted that CSSI, the company the county implements for its computer systems now has a new accounting system available that would rectify these problematic issues. Titus noted that normally the cost of the program would be $29,808; however, for a limited time the county can purchase the program for $14,008. “They wouldn’t install the system until July,” she said adding that she only has to agree to buy the system now. “The billing wouldn’t come in until August. I just need to know if you will allot that money out of the fund balance.”

Commissioner Don Mason asked County Clerk Carol Haught if the new system would benefit her office.

“Yes,” Haught noted, “particularly with revenues, because it takes a lot of time. We have to rekey every receipt.”

“Will our monthly statement change in format and display?” Commission Vice President Larry Lemon questioned.

“I cannot tell for sure,” Titus said “It’ll be similar and give the same information, that it may just look a little different.”

Lemon asked Titus if she would recommend the system.

“Just for modernization,” she noted. “The amount of time I spent on the sheriff’s settlement every year, it’s overtime because it has to be done in July. By doing it manually, I’m putting in overtime. Like Carol (Haught) said, it saves time.”

Titus explained there are also other counties that are using the new system, “It’s been tested,” she said.

In another matter, Rick Healy of Belomar Regional Council provided the Wetzel County Commission with an update on the several public service district projects taking place in the area. Healy noted that the older of the two Hundred-Littleton Public Service District projects are now complete. The Commission signed off on the final performance report for the project, which was originally funded in 2007 with a $850,000 Small Cities Block Grant from the West Virginia Development Office. It allowed the PSD to replace approximately 10,600 lineal feet of water line, and install a water purchase station at the water plant.

Healy stated that the environmental review has been completed for the newer Hundred-Littleton project; he noted that no public comments were received in regards to the environmental review. The Wetzel County Commission was awarded a Small Cities Block Grant award in January for the Hundred-Littleton Public Service District. This grant of $1,325,000, will add to the $175,000 grant received last year, which will fund approximately six miles of waterline extensions to Route 250, Rush Run, Pogue Run, and Route 7. Over 80 residents will receive new water service. This project is projected to go to bid in August of 2015.

Healy noted that the Grandview-Doolin project is going well and the commission should expect a drawdown of funds “to come down here anytime.” Healy added that Litman Excavating is well into its portion of the project and that the contractor on the plant is doing well. He noted the foundation has been dug out for the plant.

“They are coming along pretty good,” he noted.

This $8.7 million project will provide water line extensions to serve residents along West Virginia State Route 7, American Ridge, St. Josephs Ridge, and Fish Creek. This will also include treatment plant rehab, storage tanks, and booster stations. The Grandview-Doolin project is approximately 30 percent complete. Funding came from a $100,000 grant from the Marshall County Commission, a West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council loan of $8 million and a WV IJDC grant of approximately $600,000.

Two other Public Service District projects include the Wetzel County PSD One project and a project currently underway in Pine Grove.

The Wetzel County PSD One project involves a waterline extension and water storage tank project, both of which are complete. Additional work, being completed with remaining funds, will start in mid-2015.

An additional project for the WC PSD One includes rehab of the existing VETO storage tank and construction of an additional tank at that same location. This project is approximately $550,000, and will be funded by an Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council loan. It is currently in the design/permit phase.

As for Pine Grove, on January 22, 2015, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the award of a $1.5 million Small Cities Block Grant (SCBG) to the Town of Pine Grove Phase II Sewer System Project. The project consists of the installation of 6,655 LF of 8 inch and 6 inch sanitary sewer line, two 4 inch duplex grinder pumps and 52 lateral hook-ups to eliminate failing vacuum type sanitary sewer collection system.

In other county related matters, Chief Deputy Mike Koontz of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office announced that the county’s law enforcement recently received an approximate $54,000 grant, which has allowed them to purchase 14 in-car camera units. Koontz reported that these units are new technology units that are all digital, high-quality video. These units operate with SD cards and have the ability to record from multiple cameras at the same time.

“You can actually record in front of the vehicle as well as the interior of the vehicle, simultaneously, which is something new for our system.

Koontz stated that the commission donated one of their old systems to the Hundred Police Department, which the county commission paid to have installed in the vehicle for Hundred PD.

Koontz noted that the cameras are installed and in use and have been used so far for traffic stops and DUI arrests.

“They should help promote officer safety as well as safety of the public,” Koontz noted.