Featured, Government, News

County Commission Approves Donation Caps, Local Building Purchase, Return of Fitness Class

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

WELCH, W.Va. – The McDowell County Commission took a more conservative approach to donation requests at Wednesday’s meeting.

After discussion at a previous meeting, the Commission returned to their talks concerning donation amount caps to organizations across McDowell County. While helping local sports organizations stay afloat felt tremendous to Commission President Cecil Patterson, he said new rulings and decisions limiting expenses from Hotel-Motel Tax revenue would make donations harder in the future.

“A lot of the donations we’ve made were from the General Fund and it’s taking a $100 to $150 thousand dollar hit each year,” said Patterson.

“How many donations would you say were given,” asked Commission Cody Estep. An actual number was not mentioned but was described as a lot by County officials.  

“It’s been a lot lately but we didn’t have any for a while during COVID when a lot of activities were shut down,” said Brooks. “A lot of the money we gave this year was for equipment and other big money purchases. They shouldn’t need that again for a while.”

Commissioner Estep asked County Administrator Jennifer Wimmer what was on her mind, who recommended a thousand dollar limit.

The Commissioners voted to cap the donation amount to $1000 but allowed for exceptions to be made due to extenuating circumstances.
MCNB Purchase Agreement
William “Hoppy” Horne addressed the Commission on behalf of MCNB Bank and Trust Company concerning the sale of the local branch’s Trust Department building.

“It’s a real nice building and could be good for the Magistrate Court offices and others while your new structures are being built,” said Horne.

The Bank requested $90,000 for the structure as well as the removal of the walkway connecting it to the main bank building. Horne advised that the bank still had employees working in the building and would need several months to clear the premises.

The Commission voted unanimously to approve the purchase.
A Space for Fitness
Public health nurse by day, dance fitness instructor by evening Shannon Hardee addressed the Commission in search of a space to bring back her popular women’s dance class.

With a decade of success, Hardee’s class was another program ultimately shut down as the COVID pandemic unfolded and plumbing issues cropped up at the Superior Gym.

“I would really just love a space to help my ladies and help our county,” said Hardee. “It’s free of charge and more than just dance fitness. We do community work, we raised over $25 thousand dollars for Autism Speak, Toys for Tots, State Police Backpack Drives.”   

Commissioner Brooks said he would reach out to a contractor to repair Superior Gym’s water, arguing that with the loss of the current Commission buildings, every other space they have will be critical in the transition of building new Commission facilities.

“It’s an old building but it would be tough to lose it,” said Brooks.  

Commissioner Patterson suggested in the meantime that Hardee could use the Armory facility for her classes. It was approved unanimously.