Commission views requests for funding

PARKERSBURG – Wood County commissioners received several funding requests, some of which may be ruled on Monday, others that will be taken into consideration at the end of the county’s fiscal year.

The county’s budget year is July 1 to June 30. Last year the commissioners distributed more than $120,000 in direct funding to area groups and organizations and another $50,000-$65,000 in employee benefits from the ending balance. Last year’s total ending balance was $400,000.

Requests for year-end funding, as of Friday, include North Hills seeking funds for development of a trail system; 211 information/referral project sponsored by the Volunteer Action Center, and House to Home shelter for the homeless. Some entities ask for specific amounts, others requested assistance, but did not include a specific dollar amount they were requesting.

The commissioners discussed a request Thursday for funds to help repair facilities being used by the nonprofit, volunteer Civil Air Patrol Parkersburg Composite Squadron at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

Commissioner Blair Couch said the request included $800 for cosmetic repairs, $2,500 for plumbing and an unspecified amount for roof repairs.

“I think we need to add this to the ending balance funding requests,” Couch said.

Couch said the request was for the building the Civil Air Patrol is currently using out of moving out of their former Guard headquarters at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

“They moved to the old terminal building, that was their home before they moved to the guard building which is the last place they were located,” Couch said. “This building is in relatively good condition compared to the other building.”

Back in March, Wood County Engineer Bill Brown told commissioners the CAP’s former headquarters had “serious roof conditions that may have resulted in growth of possible mold and or mildew within the building.”

The CAP also has hangar space for its aircraft which is used for emergency services including search and rescue, disaster relief and cadet programs.

The commissioners received a request from Carlin’s Battery Civil War reenactors for $500 to help cover expenses in a total $1,800 budget for West Virginia Day activities scheduled at Veteran’s Park.

Jim Miracle, with Carlin’s Battery, said the unit has raised $1,300.

“But some of the contributions we were expecting didn’t come through so we need the $500 to get us through, then we can look at trying to repay the money,” he said.

Also on Monday’s agenda is a request heard earlier from Steve Parker, coordinator for the Gathering at Sweet Creek, an old-time music festival held during the Labor Day weekend on Parker’s Sugar Camp Road property in Mineral Wells. Parker said the festival is in its fifth year and replaced the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee that used to be at Jackson’s Mill.

The commissioners have provided funding to the festival in the past and have also fronted grant funds for later reimbursement. Parker said the festival has no admission or parking charge. He said he’s anticipating some state funding to come through, the total budget for the festival is about $16,000, he told commissioners. He asked the county officials to consider advancing the group $10,000 which would then be refunded from anticipated grant money.