Barbour Commission honors youth for achievements

PHILIPPI – The Barbour County Commission recognized and congratulated local youth on their recent achievements Monday.

Roger Nestor, a retired West Virginia University Extension agent, told the commissioners the Barbour County 4-H Soils Judging team won two national championships in Oklahoma.

The team won the national championship for both the homesite and the land judging competitions. It is the fifth time the Barbour County 4-H team has won both titles in the same year, and only the sixth time that kind of double-win has ever occurred in the 63-year history of the competition.

“I still believe that Barbour County has some of the best kids in the country,” Nestor said.

Four students competed: Elkins High School student Nathan Yocum and Philip Barbour High School students Chloe Mouser, Mikhela Freeman and Kelton Miller.

“We appreciate the time and the effort that you all put in to represent Barbour County,” Commissioner Phil Hart said.

“We’re proud of you,” Commission President Tim McDaniel told the students.

Three Golden Horseshoe winners from Barbour County, Maddi Carpenter, Brandon Messenger and Johnny Williams, all Belington Elementary School students, received recognition at the meeting, although Williams and Messenger were unable to appear in person.

Also during Monday’s meeting:

– Tammy Smith, the director of the Belington Public Library, said she is anticipating a shortfall of $5,000 in funding from local government sources to meet the library’s grant in aid requirements for the year. She asked the Commission for help.

“We have done all that we can,” Smith said. “There is no way to make that. It can only come from three different sources.”

Local public libraries require tax-based funding for operational and program costs, Smith has stated at previous public meetings before the Belington City Council and the Barbour County Board of Education.

The funds raised from local governments are matched by the state, and local libraries raise money through fines, donations and fundraisers to further support costs. However, non-government funds cannot be counted toward state aid, Smith said. Without receiving the money the library is lacking to meet requirements, the library could see a drop in funds for the next fiscal year.

Matt Bennett, the Barbour County Community Corrections director, offered assistance from the program for services like mowing the library’s lawn, that would otherwise have to be paid for by the library.

Smith also said she was waiting for a property appraisal she hopes will show an increase. Before answering Smith’s request for more funding, McDaniel asked that she first find out the results of the property appraisal and then report back.

– The Commission accepted a proposal from VFP Fire Systems in the amount of $4,480 for the 911 Fire Suppression System inspection.

– Commissioners also entered into a 5-year lease agreement with Cummins Crosspoint for the maintenance of three generators located at the Barbour County Fairgrounds, the county 911 Center and near the West Virginia State Police barracks.

– The Commission voted to fund costs in the amount of $1,987 for the hosting of a training class on the proper handling of meth labs, as requested by the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department.

– Commissioners voted to donate $500 to the Philip Barbour High School Future Business Leaders of America for an upcoming trip to a national conference.

– Commission also voted to donate $500 to the local Boy Scout organization to help fund summer camp for this year.

– The Animal Friends of Barbour County also will receive a $300 donation from the Commission toward the cost of transporting pets.

– Garrel Burner was reappointed for another term to the Central Barbour Public Service District. His term was set to expire June 30.

The next meeting of the Barbour County Commission is scheduled for 5 p.m. July 7 in the Commission Chamber of the Barbour County Courthouse.