By Stephen Smoot
The Harrison County Commission worked a light agenda for their meeting on Dec 13. Commissioner Patsy Trecost left the assembled in prayer, sharing that “Lord, we thank you for this Christmas season. Not the holiday season, the Christmas season.”
Commissioners then recited the Pledge of Allegiance and commenced the proceedings.
On the subject of turnover at Harrison County 911, Commissioner David Hinkle asked about “why we have constant rotation in and out of there with these employees.” Laura Pysz, county administrator, responded that many of those leaving the position have spent less than a year in the job. Partly due to rotating shifts, “they decide this is not the best job for them.”
Last April, the 911.gov website ran an article explaining that “more than half of 911 centers across the US are facing a staffing emergency.” Almost 4,000 telecommunicators left their job in 2022.
Pysz then reported that she had been in phone conversations with contractors about working to resolve issues with the General Services Building requiring resolution, but had held no regular meetings recently.
Next, commissioners discussed the proposal from Thrasher to construct a recreation barn on a property near the North Central West Virginia Airport. The proposal calls for separating 10 acres from a 54 acre plot, with the remaining 44 tobe sold for private use.
Hinkle stated that one or two more acres should be added to the initial 10. He said he “saw how we left the potential of land all the way around it, which is unusual. It will be strange for someone else’s use.” Hinkle proposed that the land set aside for the recreation barn be extended all the way to the current property line to eliminate the issue.
The purpose of the barn would be to serve student and youth agricultural organizations with livestock sales and other activities.
In her administrator report, Pysz stated that “we’re trying to finalize plans and projects we want to wrap up before Christmas.” She then added that the county offices had been holding a Christmas decoration contest with the Harrison County Senior Center staff as judges.
Unmentioned in the meeting, but included in the agenda’s accompanying documents was a statement from West Virginia Waste Management, As of Jan 1, their customers will see a 6.94 percent fee increase that excludes fuel and tipping charges. The West Virginia Public Service Commission allows a rate increase without permission if customers receive notice and if the increase does not rise above previous year to year increases.
The statement also notified customers that the fuel surcharge would be reclassified as an energy surcharge.
While the commission will meet next week, they will likely not meet on the Wednesday between Christmas and New Years.