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Highlights from Wednesday’s County Commission Meeting

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

WELCH, WV – The McDowell County Commission met Wednesday to approve new hires, their Annual Project Priority list, and more. 

Stevens Correctional Center Superintendent Scott Mutter informed the Commission that 4 recent hires left for the WV Corrections Academy earlier this week, as well as requesting the hire of 4 more employees. The Commission voted to approve the new hires. 

Each year, the Commission creates a Project Priority list to focus on across McDowell County. This year’s priority list was as follows:

1. Community Facilties (water, sewer, neighborhood improvements, libraries, recreation, public safety, solid waste.)

2. Economic Development (travel, tourism, industrial development, small business development)

3. Housing.

4. Transportation, everything from air, rail, water and roads. 

5. Environmental and Natural Resources, flood prevention and land use.

6. Energy.

7. Human Resources, health, education, child development and aging.

8. Government.

The list was the same in the previous year as well, according to Patterson, before taking a vote on the list. It was approved.

Poll workers submissions from both Democrat and Republican parties were received by the Commission on Wednesday in preparation of the upcoming election. The Commission approved the lists. 

Registered to speak was Felicia Spencer of the McDowell County EDA, in regards to the Blackwolf Links golf course being damaged during recent flooding. 

“Four of the bridges were damaged at the golf course,” said Spencer. “One has been temporarily fixed but the other three haven’t been fixed at all.” 

A local contractor estimated costs of $5,300 for repairs, but hopes to request $7,500 in light of any unforeseen expenses. 

“Arcelor Mittal will donate 10 loads of shot rock if our truck came come get it,” said Patterson. “That can save them a lot of money.”

The contractor also inquired about using a County-owned excavator for a day in order to lift the bridges out of the streams. 

“The bridges are tore up,” said Patterson. “It’s something that needs to be done.” 

Due to not being on the agenda, the Commission was unable to make any vote regarding the matter, but encouraged Spencer to double check the numbers and plan for repairs with the contractor, so they could make a formal decision at a future meeting.