Commission Matches Broadband Grant, Estimated 1,400 Homes to Benefit
The Wetzel County Commission met on June 2, at the County Commission Office. Commissioner Larry Lemon called meeting to order following the Pledge of Allegiance. Wetzel County Assessor Scott Lemley was first on agenda for the signing of land book pages. The Assessor met with the County Commission to present the new land books (Real and Personal Property) for approval and signatures which was granted by the Commissioners. The Assessor is hoping to have real estate and personal property assessed and certified by the March 3, deadline.
The books contain the information of each property owner and the legal description of their property, while the personal property includes oil and gas interest, motor vehicles, pets, campers and more. The Assessor sets the apprasial ot the property and then a levy rate in applied to it to determine the amount of taxes an individual has due.
“Land Books are open to the public to inspect and we cannot refuse any member of the public to see them,” said Lemley.
The Commission received an acceptance of their offer to enter into a (10 year) agreement with Town and Country Days to continue to use the 4-H Campgrounds for the annual County Fair.
The Commission approved a revision to the approved budget in the amount of $2.1 million dollars in matching fund s grant money to RED (Regional Economic Development) for the Broadband internet project with City-Net and the USDA.
The request for the $2,094,500 came from the Ohio Valley Area Development Corporation, Inc. (OVADC) per an April 7, 2020 letter. The USDA RUS grant award is contingent on the ascertainment of the additional $2,094,500 in matching funds necessary to complete the Project The OVADC is the designated area development corporation in Wetzel County. “All of that money is coming back into the county,” stated county commissioner Greg Morris.
The OVADC has partnered with Ohio Valley Industrial and Business and Development Corporation (OVIBDC/RED) and supports its efforts to obtain grant funding under the Reconnect Program.
The USDA Rural Utility Service grant award to OVIBDC/RED will fund 50% of the estimated cost of constructing a fiber broadband network in Wetzel County, West Virginia. The Project is for a public purpose to make broadband service available to residents, businesses, community facilities, and public buildings, through a plan to partner with City-Net Communications to provide 87 Miles of Broadband Internet Fiber Access to an estimated 1,400 homes.
The Commission also approved a carryover/buyout of the unused vacation days due to COVID-19. Typically, all days must be exhausted by June 30th, but a one-time exception is being made due to the pandemic. It will be left up to the elected officials as to whether they allow employees to roll over the days or have them bought out.
The separation of interests in Oil and Gas in the name of Chas. W. McCoy estate was approval by the commission. This process will produce individual tax tickets for each person involved.
The next meeting of the commission will be on June 16, at 9:30 a.m. in the commission chambers next to the courthouse.