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COUNTY COMMISSION NEWS: Precinct Changes Approved for Rock Branch, Nitro

The very last item listed on the agenda for the January 9 meeting of the Putnam County Commission was Public Comment. Public comment was not the very last agenda considered but the call for comment waited until after the commission approved the signing and recording of an order to rezone 36 acres in Fraziers Bottom from C-1 to C-2. Nine of the speakers to address the commission following the approval of the order expressed their disapproval of the commission’s decision on December 28 to rezone the Fraziers Bottom property.

The commission’s first action of the day was to approve a recommendation by County Clerk Brian Wood to move 33 voters from Precinct #22 into Precinct #23 and to transfer 202 Precinct #23 voters into #22. The moves will place all Putnam residents in the City of Nitro into the same precinct and remove non-Nitro residents from Precinct #22. Wood stated that the new state requirement that municipal elections be held in conjunction with Primary and General Elections made the changes necessary.

Commission president Andy Skidmore conducted swearing in ceremonies for two new deputy sheriffs. Sean Fletcher and Chris Campbell swore to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the State of West Virginia and to execute their duties as Putnam County deputy sheriffs.

Commission appointed Robinson Vanater to the DAEA Board and reappointed Jared Tully and Mike Steorts to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Terry Martin advised the commission that Phase 2 of the Jim Ridge Waterline Extension had exhausted funds from HUD and the West Virginia Economic Enhancement Grant. All future Jim Ridge funding must come from the Infrastructure Council Grant, the County, or from WV American Water. The project is 65% complete. Jim Nagy of Terradon stated that the first taps will be made within a week and that testing of a second section will be completed before the end of January. The funding for an extension on Mud Lick is in place but an extension on Bowles Ridge will require a different funding source. Martin said that Bowles Ridge may qualify as a critical needs project but must wait until Jim Ridge is fully completed.

Terrell Ellis of Advantage Valley informed the commission of plans to establish a commercial kitchen in the region such that cottage industry food producers might become qualified suppliers of large food distributors.

The next county commission meeting will be Tuesday, January 30th.

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