Mickey Brown, far right, was selected to remain county commission president for 2013. The commission also hosted an open house for the new judicial annex located behind the courthouse.
MADISON – Mickey Brown will remain as President of the Boone County Commission for this year following a unanimous vote during the commission’s Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, organization meeting held at the new judicial annex at the Boone County Courthouse.
“I am honored,” Brown said. “I’m around town and have a lot more time on my hands to be here at a moment’s notice.”
Brown was re-elected to the commission this past year and served as president last year as well.
Brown said the organizational meeting was to also set the commission’s meeting dates for the year.
“We will be meeting at the same times, which are the first and third Tuesdays of each month, with the first Tuesday at 10 a.m. and the third Tuesday at 5 p.m.,” said Brown. “We want to urge the public to attend the meetings.”
The county commission also set all of its various committees.
“We kept the same committees we had last year,” he said.
All the newly and re-elected county officials were sworn into office and the commission also had a ceremony to open the new judicial annex.
“This new judicial annex is a $4.1 million project,” Brown said.
The new judicial annex is located behind the Boone County courthouse and adjacent to the old courthouse annex will house Family Court offices on the first floor and the sheriff's offices on the second floor. The county commission will move to the third floor, and the basement area will provide much needed space for county records.
Brown said providing sufficient space for Family Court is mandated by West Virginia Code. The commission was approached by the Family Court judge and the West Virginia Supreme Court informing the commission that the county was out of compliance in meeting the minimum specifications for space.
Brown said the commission had put aside money for capital projects and that's how the county was able to fund the construction of the building this time.
Brown also spoke about several other on-going services the county plans to continue to improve on in the coming months, not the least of which are water projects.
"One of our top priorities, if not the top one, has been to provide good water to residents in all parts of Boone County, and we're about 95 percent of that goal," Brown said. "Our next water projects will be in the Cox's Fork and Mud River areas."
Another priority of the commission, Brown said, is to increase the capacity of the present sewer system, which is nearly at capacity now. This is a must for economic development and increased housing.
Other projects touched on by Brown included the solid waste transfer stations, improvements to parks and recreation, the county's seven senior citizens centers, and renovation of the courtroom and the jurors’ room.
“We are still a little worried about the situation with our coal mining industry in the county and our revenues,” Brown said. “We plan to stay aggressive with our water projects and other projects as well and keep Boone County moving forward.”
All the commissioners said the new judicial annex was a wonderful thing for the county.
“There seems to be a great spirit of cooperation here in the courthouse and this is only more good news for the people of Boone County,” Brown said. “These new facilities are more open and make is better for public access and public meetings and several departments will have a lot more room.”
Several officials, courthouse employees and members of the public attended and spoke during the new judicial annex open house ceremony. The new facilities were designed and built by G&G Builders.
“I want to thank all the workers as well,” said Commissioner Atholl Halstead. “There was a lot of money spent on this and we feel like we have spent the taxpayers money wisely. They can see and will get a benefit immediately from these new facilities.”
Mike Davis, a Boone County native who is vice president and general manager of G&G Builders, said he appreciated the opportunity the county gave his company.
“I am a graduate of Van High School and I wanted to come back home and do something great in my home county,” he said.
Commissioner Eddie Hendricks said he was amazed at how well the process went.
“They were building at the same time we are still conducting county business,” Hendricks said. “This building will enhance government in this county and make it much safer and more efficient.”