MADISON — The final step in making voting precinct consolidations in Boone County were presented to the Boone County Commission during its Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, regular session meeting in Madison.
“We started in April on this project,” said Pam Johnson, a deputy clerk in voter registration in the Boone County Clerk’s Office. “Now we are in the final steps of this ongoing project to consolidate precincts and also clean up our voter rolls.”
West Virginia Code 3-1-5 establishes state law on voting precincts and allows for the consolidations, Johnson told commissioners.
“The county will now save approximately $7,000 on each election,” Johnson said.
Precinct 1 will be consolidated with precinct 11 to be known as Lick Creek/Trutle Creek.
Precinct 5 will be consolidated with precinct 4 to be known as Jeffrey/Ottawa.
Precinct 16 will be consolidated with precinct 15 to be known as Foster/Lory.
Precinct 33 will be consolidated with precinct 32 to be known as Seth.
Precinct 38 will be consolidated with precinct 40 to be known as Whitesville/Seng Creek.
Precinct 48 Bandytown will be consolidated with precinct 49 Cazy, then precinct 49 will be consolidated with precinct 46 to be known as Van/Bandytown/Cazy.
Precinct 50 will be consolidated with precinct 52 to be known as Barrett/Wharton.
All the consolidations are the result of precincts numbers dropping too low and some precincts being located in the same, or very close by, locations.
Johnson said the voting precinct consolidations had to be completed during an “off” election year. Public hearings have already been completed as well.
• In other county commission news, Larry Greene with the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office presented the county’s regional jail invoice for the month of August. The total bill was $83,279.50 after adjustments and credits. The county’s inmate population average is 51 per day, down from 57 per day, according to Greene. He said the county could also be in line for a $6,000 credit regarding a Lincoln County case.
• Appalachian Power officials gave an update regarding tree trimming and spray work in Boone County. The company has spent $725,000 this year on tree trimming and spray work and anticipates to spend an additional $300,000 to $400,000, according to AEP official Cindy Wiseman. AEP is focusing on areas where there are more reported outages due to trees falling on power lines. They said they have six line employees in its Madison office. They added that the county averages approximately 3 to 4 outages in the county each year and most of those a weather related.
• The commission also reviewed and approved moving foward with its petition to removal Boone County Ambulance Authority president and vice president, Harold Green and Joseph Gollie. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph, who is the county’s lawyer, also advised the commission that the authority can have a board with as little as five members and as many as 15. It currently sits seven, Randolph said. He added that the commission could appoint new members, but urged the to carefully review those that apply and to select highly qualified candidates. The board came under fire after it was discovered it had voted to secure a $103,000 personal loan from the agency for its director Randy Lengyel to buy into a retirement plan designed for its employees.
• The commission voted unanimously to accept the resignation of E911 employee Guyneth White. She had 22 years of service with the department.
• Kris Mitchell, director of the Boone County Economic Development Authority, gave the commission a business incubator rent check of $1,000. She also had the county review and approve a Courthouse Improvement Grant to repair a leaking roof at the courthouse and a $20,000 Justice Assistance Grant for the school resource officers.
• Jerry Brown with Summit Engineering gave an update on the Madison/Danville pedestrian bridge project. Brown said the land deed has been recorded and now the company is awaiting the state Department of Highways to get funding back in place for the project, which he said would be very soon. “We should be moving foward with this project soon,” he told commissioners.
• The commission proclaimed October 5th as “West Virginia Breast Cancer Awareness Day” and the month of October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in Boone County. A copy of the proclamation is available at the Boone County Commission Office in the new judicial annex of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison.
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at [email protected] or @fcpace62 on Twitter.