Hancock County Magisterial Districts’ boundary lines will remain the same for the 2022 Election. County Commissioners voted not to move the boundary lanes for Grant, Clay and Butler Districts at its December 22nd meeting. The 2020 Census required that Congressional, Legislative and County Districts be re-apportioned to reflect any population shifts. The change in district population, which ranged between 400-500, is under the threshold which would require redrawing the Magisterial District lines.
A pay raise was granted to both County employees and Sheriff’s Deputies. Beginning January 1, 2022, a $1/hour pay raise will go into effect for County employees. Deputies will receive $2/hour. Commissioner Jeff Davis noted that Sheriff’s deputies are currently making $4/hour less than surrounding communities. Commissioner Eron Chek said that from a business perspective it costs twice as much to replace an employee.
Commissioners pointed out that the raise does not apply to elected officials.
A request from the association representing horsemen at Mountaineer Racetrack for funding was made a matter of record. Commissioners will meet with the HBPA(Horseman’s Benevolent Protection Association) from Mountaineer to discuss a request from the group for CARES funding. A letter from Jamie Poole, HBPA president, stated that as the industry begins recovery from the COVID pandemic, horsemen have not recovered their workforce. The group is requesting infrastructure funding to construct exercise machines for horses so that they can continue to exercise and maintain fitness levels if riders are not available..
“The addition of these machines will allow the horses to continue to exercise and maintain their fitness levels which will allow them to race and generate incomes for the owners, racetracks and provide local and state taxes,” wrote Poole who said the machines would allow the horses to exercise if there were no riders available.
Poole pointed out that the thoroughbred industry in the Northern Panhandle contributes more than $93.3 million in direct and indirect business volume and provides over more than 1,400 jobs according to a study by West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
In other business, the Commission:
**Dispersed remaining COVID-19 Block Grant of $11,400.00 to the Brooke County Commission on Aging (48 percent of meals delivered by that agency are Hancock County residents), Chester Newell FISH and the Community Bread Basket;
**Entered into a contractual agreement enabling a West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority Funding Award for installing a new roof on the main courthouse;
**Proclaimed January 23-29 School Choice week;
**Learned of a fundraiser being held by the Hancock County Park Board in January;
**Agreed to advertise for a position on the Hancock County Public Service District Board;
**Appointed Jolene Cox to the Northern Panhandle HOME Consortium Board;
**Transferred Stephanie Wuebbles to the Deputy Clerk position in the Assessor’s Office;
**Agreed to advertise for a Deputy Clerk position in the County Clerk’s office;
**Approved the payment of accrued vacation time to Sandy Casto who has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Circuit Clerk Chuck Wright;
**Approved the Beaver Valley Power Station Grant Agreement with Energy Harbor Nuclear Corporation;
**Agreed to hire John Michael Cox and Colin Stanley as bailiffs;