Commissioners set their sights high for 2013
The Tucker County Commission is expecting 2013 to be an eventful year.
Commission President Mike Rosenau said hard work last year will result in the continuation and conclusion of several projects this spring.
“I’m proud of the progress we made (in 2012),” he said.
Rosenau said he is excited to see the final stages of construction being completed on the county courthouse annex. Recent bouts of severe weather have caused some setbacks, but work on the annex is nearing completion.
He mentioned Corridor H as a county-wide project that is coming to fruition. Stretches of the Corridor have been completed already, he said, and he is looking forward to what will be done this year.
Newly-elected Commissioner Diane Hinkle said it’s important to spread the message of how the commission operates. She gave the Inter-Mountain a County Commissioners Association of West Virginia document addressing that concern.
“It’s important for people to know what we do,” she said.
The CCAWV document said commissioners’ responsibilities include setting an annual budget, funding offices of elected officials and supporting community services like libraries and E911 centers. More information can be found at ccawv.org.
Hinkle said she is looking forward to working with different county boards, including the Local Emergency Planning Committee and Heart of the Highlands.
She has a positive outlook on how the Commission currently operates.
“I’m hoping to keep up the forward momentum,” she said.
However, she said there is always room for improvement. Communication is an important issue she wants to bring to the table.
“(I want to) open the line of communication between the public and county officials,” Hinkle said.
“I encourage everyone to participate,” she said, urging citizens to attend public meetings and voice their opinions.
She mentioned the Tucker County Comprehensive Plan as an essential resource for communication.
“I encourage residents to be aware of that document,” she said.
The Comprehensive Plan was updated this year and approved at a commission meeting. It lists aspects of the county, such as goals and objectives, demographics, land usage and infrastructure.
Hinkle said the document can help different committees and boards synchronize their efforts, and it can allow citizens to view the goals of the county as a whole.
She also said county severance taxes are an issue to be addressed.
Specifically, she mentioned the West Virginia Coal Severance Tax. The state treasurer’s office website says this tax is collected from entities in the coal business who are operating in West Virginia. It is then transferred back to counties and municipalities in the state.
Hinkle said she would like to see a portion of any state severance tax be placed into a trust. Tucker County could then use trust funds to support infrastructure projects, school-based projects and grant applications.
It would be a good resource to build upon and a good starting place for investment in county needs, she said.