I would like to thank HD Media for the opportunity to communicate with the citizens of Boone County about decisions and issues facing the Boone County Commission. It is important to share this information with you because, at the end of the day, we are your representatives and must answer to you.
In early June, Kevin Graley approached the commission about purchasing a large blow-up screen to allow Parks and Recreation to begin hosting movie nights at parks around the county.
The purchase price was $4,800, which is a considerable discount compared to what these generally cost. Parks and Recreation has hosted two events — at Racine Park and Water Ways — with great success and positive reviews. Those attending maintained social distancing and all safety precautions were observed. Those attending could listen to the move in two ways: either listening to the sound system by sitting outside their vehicles or listening to a predetermined station on the radio inside their vehicles. Several local businesses and individuals have donated to these movie nights and Russell Thomas and Melissa Legg and members of the Parks and Recreation Board have worked long hours to make this event happen. Parks and Recreation will be hosting two more movie nights: Aug. 7 at Water Ways with “Grease” and Aug. 21 at Dartmont Park with “Smallfoot.” This is a great opportunity for everyone to get out of the house and enjoy and evening of fun and entertainment. Concessions will be available at both locations — remember to maintain social distancing and follow all safety protocols.
As many of you know, Boone County received, as did the other 54 counties, a $100,000 COVID-19 Block Grant from the governor’s office in mid-April. The guidelines from the governor are vague and ambiguous and the instructions listed in the letter did not match what he discussed in his press conference. The stipulations for the Block Grant is to cover expenses incurred from March 1-Dec. 30. The Commission decided to apply for reimbursement of expenses before using any of the Block Grant money — we will be distributing this Block Grant money in the near future. At this point, the Commission has been reimbursed, for salaries and supplies, $233,508.33.
Michael Mayhorn, our Director of Emergency Management who has been doing an outstanding job as the coordinator of Boone County’s response to the pandemic, approached the Commission on July 21 asking to purchase the CURIS decontamination system — this is a fogging unit that can be used to disinfect rooms and buildings where those who have tested positive for the virus have been. The total cost of this system was $68,360.00 and is eligible for reimbursement and will have uses beyond the current pandemic situation such as cleaning/disinfecting police cruisers, first responder vehicles and ambulances.
As per West Virginia state code WV 24-6-12, the Boone County Commission is responsible for developing a policy governing towing services within our county — to be revised every three years. The commission appointed a Towing Policy Committee comprised of myself, County Administrator Pam White and Director of Emergency Management Michael Mayhorn to make changes to our current policy.
The Towing Policy Committee had a preliminary meeting on July 14 to set the guidelines of how to proceed. The committee invited representatives from the eight local VFDs, local law enforcement and the BCAA to a meeting on July 30 to get their views on the current policy and changes they would like to see in the revised policy — we wanted to get the opinions of the first responders who are on the front lines every day. It was a productive meeting and those who attended proposed several changes and offered solutions for solving issues that have arisen over the years.
Moving forward, letters will be sent to towing companies in Boone and surrounding counties to gauge their interest in towing in Boone County. Meetings will be scheduled for those who wish to be considered to be placed on the revised Boone County Towing Policy — at those meetings, the towing companies will present their credentials for consideration and the expectations of the commission will be expressed. After the individual meetings are completed, the Towing Committee will make a recommendation to the commission.
We encourage and invite you to attend Boone County Commission meetings:
- First Tuesday of each month: 1:30 p.m.
- Second Tuesday of each month: 3:30 p.m.
- Last Tuesday of each month: 5 p.m.