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Upshur County approves $8.5M budget

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Commission has approved a budget balanced at $8,581,286 for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget, which is slightly above last year’s, was made possible through higher public utility values and the anticipated savings expected from the county’s transition back to the Public Employees Insurance Agency, according to commission president Terry Cutright. This allowed the county to adequately fund county offices and accomplish many of their priorities for the fiscal year.

Although elected officials requested a 5 percent pay raise for their employees, the commission increased all personnel budgets by 3.5 percent with the understanding that the elected official will distribute them at his or her discretion in their respective offices, according to a press release.

“We were also able to replace a portion of the financial stabilization fund that we expended in fiscal year 2019 to satisfy debt payments,” Cutright said. “We have enough to purchase one new vehicle for the sheriff’s department and a new vehicle for the maintenance department.

“We will be able to do some repairs on the courthouse, the EMS building and the health department,” he said.

The commission also allowed for the following contributions: $20,000 to the Buckhannon Upshur Airport Authority, $2,000 to the Child Advocacy Center, $5,000 to the Corridor H Regional Authority, $10,000 to Country Roads Transit, $15,000 to the Lewis-Upshur Community Corrections, $1,500 to Mountain CAP Summer Food Program, $25,000 to Stockert Youth and Community Center, $8,000 to Tri-County Visitation, $40,000 to the Upshur County Development Authority, $1,500 to the Upshur County Parish House and $41,500 to the Upshur County Public Library.

“We haven’t been able to contribute to the Parish House for the last few years,” Cutright said. “We were also able to give an extra $10,000 to the Upshur County Public Library this year. When we cut coal severance we weren’t able to give them any extra above the required amount (roughly $31,000).”

At Thursday’s Upshur County Commission meeting, commissioner Sam Nolte moved, seconded by commissioner Kristie Tenney to approve the budget which passed unanimously.

Regular commission meetings have been canceled unless an item requiring immediate attention arises, according to a press release. The meeting will then be conducted via teleconference.

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