Upshur Commission delays funding decision

The Upshur County Commission delayed its response to a request to fund a community fair Thursday, deciding to see how many community groups need financial help in maintaining its building before making a commitment.

Bonnie Crouse, the president of the Brooks Hill Community Group, asked if the commissioners would consider helping offset the cost of staging the annual fair in July. The letter to the commissioners stated that the community group hosts regular fundraisers and socials just to pay for the upkeep of the Brooks Hill Community Building.

“As a small community, we have difficulty raising enough funds to maintain the building and grounds and host an annual fair without assistance from the county,” the letter stated.

Commissioner Buddy Brady said it would be fair to offer financial help for the community fair because the commission routinely funds the West Virginia Strawberry Festival and the Upshur County Fair.

“If you donate to one, you should give to all three,” he said.

Commissioner Donnie Tenney, however, said the two events funded by the commission are considered statewide and countywide events. He feared a backlash from the other community building groups across the area should the commission opt to help the Brooks Hill group.

“All of these little communities that have buildings to maintain are going to be calling,” he said. “If you give it to one to maintain a community building, you have to give it to all of them.”

But, Commissioner JC Raffety said, the Brooks Hill organization was only seeking help with its annual fair.

“They are not asking for fundraising help,” he said.

The county commission has set aside about $25,000, Tenney said, to help with different community events and civic organizations.

Raffety asked that a decision be delayed to allow the commissioners to compile a list of the various community buildings scattered throughout the county. He said that will allow the county commission to determine what its response to the Brooks Hill group’s request will be.