Two well-used facilities in the county presented budget requests to the Jackson County Commission at its meeting on Jan. 29.
Joe Casto from the Cedar Lakes Foundation Board requested $25,000 for fiscal year 2020-21. It would be used to renovate one of the cabins at the conference center. The Foundation is currently raising money through a Veterans Memorial Brick campaign and other fundraisers to renovate the VFW cabin.
“We also received a $25,000 donation from the Cavendish family to renovate the Main Cabin, and are in the process of doing that,” Casto said. “With your budget approval for this fiscal year, we are renovating the FFA cabin.”
According to Casto, the maintenance staff at the conference center is completing the majority of the work. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture, which operates the facility, has also given assistance.
“We are making the dollars stretch and the crew is doing a very nice job,” Casto stated. “You can be assured that we are using any money you allocate the best and most efficient way possible.”
Cedar Lakes Conference Center, in operation since 1955, has hosted a variety of events including the State FFA Conference and multiple band, and 4-H camps. It has been the site of the annual Mountain State Art & Craft Fair since its inception in 1963.
The Green Center also requested funds for a project.
Rod Winters explained that the water line going into the facility needs replacement.
“We need to fix about 200 feet of line and would tap into the EMS site,” said Winters. “With free labor, we would only need reimbursement for materials.”
The Center, located at the site of the former Kenna Elementary School, opened its doors in 2018. It has become a hub of the Kenna area and beyond, hosting a variety of events including exercise classes, a monthly public auction, corn hole tournaments, and an upcoming bridal show.
Winters also noted that the Commission has previously funded the roof repair and may be asked to help with replacement of heating and cooling units.
All three commissioners expressed appreciation for the contributions and value both the Greene Center and the Cedar Lakes Conference Center bring to the county.
Commissioners Dick Waybright, Mike Randolph, and Mitch Morrison also heard updates from Office of Emergency Services (OES) Director Walt Smittle.
Smittle reported that the After Action Report had been completed at Jackson General Hospital.
“This was the first radiation hazard exercise in the state,” Smittle said. “Decontamination was up and running within five minutes. Other hospitals in Region 5 are interested in the same training and we’ve set up May 8 to get that started.”
The director also apprised commissioners on pending grants and the monitoring of proposed legislative bills on emergency management.
In the public comment portion of the meeting, Toby Johnson asked for the commission to pass a resolution making Jackson County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. He said that many counties had already done so, including Putnam, Cabell, and Wirt. Commissioners said they will research the request and take possible action in a future meeting.
The commission went into closed door executive session to consider OES financial and county clerk personnel issues. After approximately 30 minutes, no action was taken. The commission then adjourned until 1 p.m. for the Board of Review and Equalization. This process addresses any issues with tax assessment not resolved by the assessor’s office. The Board of Review and Equalization is scheduled to meet again at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3.
The Commission’s next regular meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 5 at the Jackson County courthouse.