Hancock County is the recipient of a $2.73 CARES grant which will expand and enhance the microwave capability in the County and result in improved 911 service. Commission President Joe Barnabei announced at the Dec. 30th meeting that Governor Jim Justice had recently notified the Commission of the grant award. Barnabei said that since the grant application in September he had been in daily communication with the Governor’s staff regarding the status of the grant. The funding will move the current communication system from a wire-based system providing a more reliable and robust microwave thus aiding first responders. Connectivity issues will be addressed allowing first responders and dispatchers to work remotely if needed. Equipment in the 911 dispatch system will also be replaced. Commissioner Jeff Davis said the current equipment is seven-years-old. In the last meeting of his six-year term Barnabei bid farewell to his fellow Commissioners, County officials and Courthouse staff. “You were always looking out for the residents of Hancock County,” observed Commissioner Paul Cowey. Barnabei was defeated in his bid for re-election by Eron Chek, who will assume her Commission duties January 1. Humane Officer Nicole Felouzis thanked all three Commissioners for their unwavering support of the Hancock County Animal Shelter in the past years. Felouzis said that the Commissioners’ support had resulted in a change in perception of the Animal Shelter. She said the Shelter is an open door shelter noting that it has a 4 % euthanization rate while no kill shelters have a 10 % rate.
In other business, the Commission:
**Approved the appointment of Assistant Prosecutors David Cross, Mike Lucas, Mike Adams, April Manypenny Raines and Vince Gurrera;
**Approved the appointment of Barnabei as an emeritus member of the Brooke Hancock Jefferson Planning Commission (BHJ) to serve a two-year term expiring Jan. 1, 2023;
**Approved the purchase of three police cruisers. Cruisers currently have a six-month waiting period prior to delivery;
**Proclaimed January 2021 Human Trafficing Awareness Month and Stalking Awareness Month;