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County Commissioners Discuss Animal Control

By Staff | Dec 7, 2016

Rosy Cozart, of the Wetzel County Animal Shelter, provided the county commission with an update, at its Nov. 29 meeting, on shelter improvements.

Cozart stated that shelter numbers were low due to the fact that the animal shelter had been closed for construction during much of the month. Her report stated that there were no animals euthanized, one dog and two cats adopted, three dogs and six cats rescued, one dog returned to its owner, nine dogs and two cats taken in, one dog and one cat in foster, and three dogs impounded from Oct. 7 to Nov. 2.

Cozart stated that the shelter has animals in custody from the New Martinsville area that have been delivered by the sheriffs department. There has been some confusion between the city and county in regards to the capture of loose animals. There are city ordinances in place in New Martinsville, allowing the city to have its own animal control; however, the city has just passed the repeal of said ordinances to allow the county to have jurisdiction in the city of New Martinsville once again. Cozart mentioned that there in nothing in the West Virginia State Code about cat control. It mainly focuses on the aspect of dogs. However Cozart stated that “they will do what they can without being a kill shelter for cats.”

Cozart also mentioned that she will accept volunteer work from anyone who would be interested in helping paint the interior of the animal shelter.

In a related matter, a a motion was passed to pay Treemendous Tree Trimming LLC. 1,800 for the removal of 10 trees at the animal shelter.

In another matter, the commission gave advice and consent in the hiring of Tiffany Palmer as a receptionist at the prosecutors office. They also gave advice and consent in the hiring of Jordan Swanberg as a deputy, effective Dec. 1. Finally, the commissioners gave advice and consent to hire Donna Price as a secretary at the prosecuting attorney’s office.

A motion was granted to certify the results of the November 2016 general election.

There was an opening of bids for the kayak/canoe access located off the 4-H grounds, but there was only one bid. The bid did not come with an itemized list of how the money would be spent, and so the commissioners decided to hold the bid until the list could be itemized. The commissioners also want to allow time for their project mangers to go over the bid.

Also, Kenna Smoyer took the floor to announce herself as the new agent over the Air Evac account that is up for renewal in March. Smoyer stated that she will take care of any questions and that she would be back in a few months with a proposal. It was also mentioned that the Air Evac base in Parkersburg is no longer in operation and the closest available base would be in Logan County.

Lisa Diehl, Mid-Ohio Valley Coordinator of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, appeared before the commissioners to share some facts about Medicare and affordable health care expansion opportunities. She stated that over 4,700 people, about 29 percent, in Wetzel County rely on Medicaid. Also 600,000 people throughout the state rely on Medicaid for health coverage and long-term care. Diehl stated that Medicaid pumps about 4 billion dollars into our state by supporting hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceuticals. Approximately 15 million was spent in Wetzel County, alone not including drugs and administrative costs. Medicare spending for the 2017 year is projected at 4 billion dollars and this is the first year in which West Virginia will have to pay for the Medicaid expansion. The way the agreement was set up, the federal government paid 100 percent of Medicaid for West Virginia for the first three years. Now that time is up and so the state will have to pay approximately one billion dollars to the federal government. Diehl said that she would return in a few weeks to see if the commissioners would like to pass a resolution.