FOSTER — Del. Rodney Miller and Boone County Commissioner Brett Kuhn were invited to speak at a Foster Crime Watch meeting on Nov. 21, and both elected officials took questions from about 20 attendees regarding legislation at the state level and budget-related concerns with county government.

Kuhn, also an educator at Scott High School, was the first to address those in attendance and took a second opportunity to speak after Miller.

One of the first questions regarded the transfer station (dump) reopening by a local businessman who has sought permitting via the Public Service Commission.

“There was a public meeting and 10 to 12 people who spoke in favor of the dump and supported the reopening,” Kuhn said. “Dain (Bender) has changed the scope of the project. He had initially hoped to open Rock Creek and Fosterville. In order to get the PSC on board he is focused on Rock Creek only. I spoke to Dain and his lawyers felt that it was a positive hearing. I believe they have until Dec. 17 to make a decision.”

Kuhn discussed property that the county would like to unload due to its current ever-shrinking budget.

“The Boone County Commission met with Boone County Schools on Tuesday about the possibility of the school board purchasing Lick Creek Park,” Kuhn said. “That is where the Scott High and middle school girls play their softball games. I can’t go into a lot of detail, but I will say that we want to sell that property and the school board isn’t interested in selling that property. The bottom line is that we want to make sure the girls are taken care of and have a place to play.”

Miller, also a former Boone County Sheriff, discussed potential legislative session items like the elimination of the business and inventory tax.

“They want to drastically reduce state government and in order to do that, they want to eliminate the cost,” he said. “To eliminate the cost it has to be paid, so (state officials) want to pass it to someone else, which means it gets passed on down to the counties and then it affects you by jacking your property taxes up. You combine that with the economic state of Boone County right now and we can’t take another hit.”

Miller expressed his desire to hear ideas from citizens and encouraged them to reach out to him.

“I carry a notebook around with me because somewhere out there is the next great idea to push through the legislature,” he said. “I’ve taken ideas from meetings like this to the statehouse and been pretty productive.”

 
 For the first time, West Virginia is offering drug treatment to inmates. The new pilot program launched at the Western Regional Jail is aimed at saving lives and helping those in jail that are addicted to drugs transition into a clean lifestyle.

Circuit judges in the counties served by the jail have started sending eligible offenders to the program. The pilot provides individual and group therapy daily as well as medication-assisted treatment in qualifying cases. It has a capacity of 32 beds each for men and women, in separate sections and away from other jail inmates.

“Last Thursday five legislators went down there to Barboursville and we looked at the program and people can be sentenced to the jail and get drug treatment while in the jail,” he said. “I have visited jails around the state and I’ve seen a lot and I think it is important for legislators to see this.”

The Foster Crime Watch groups meets at the old Foster Elementary School, which is now the Foster Community Center on Foster Road at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.