POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission held its 2020 organizational meeting on Thursday morning.
Commissioner Rick Handley was nominated by Commissioner Sam Nibert as the 2020 president of the Commission. Nibert was nominated by Commissioner Tracy Doolittle as the president pro-tem for 2020.
Regular meeting dates were set for the last three Thursdays of every month at 4 p.m.
In January, the commission will meet on Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. February meetings will be on Feb. 6 and 20, both at 4 p.m. The commission will meet on March 5 and 19 at 4 p.m.
The commissioners scheduled the following dates for the Board of Equalization and Review meetings: Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.; Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. and Feb 18 at 3:30 p.m.
During the organizational meeting, the commissioners approved the minutes form the previous county commission meeting. They also approved reports from County Clerk Diana Cromley — including a lease purchase from 9-1-1 Director Dennis Zimmerman for an ambulance, an annual letter for changes in values to the 2020 tax year, and hired Beth Fisher at the request of the Circuit Court Clerk Elizabeth Jones.
Handley presented a proposed agreement with Mason County Schools to the other commissioners to review. The agreement will be on the agenda at the next meeting.
Handley also said he will be attending the WoHeLo Community Education Outreach Services (CEOS) meeting on Jan. 8 to present them with a proclamation for its 90th anniversary.
Commissioners heard a concern from a Mason County business owner about delinquent tax collections. The business owner stated he owns a business that he said is dependent upon the coal industry and railroads, and told commissioners he is behind on taxes, but has been denied when trying to make a payment. The business owner told commissioners he has tried to make payments, but said his checks were returned because they were not full payments.
Commissioner Doolittle said that the West Virginia state law is that property taxes can be paid in “halves,” or twice per year, but after they are delinquent, the full year would have to be paid off at once. The business owner said he would not be able to do that. Recently, the commission decided to work with a law firm to collect delinquent taxes. Doolittle said she would talk to the state tax office and thinks that the attorney they hired would be able to set up delinquent tax cases so individuals and business could make payments — but the commission is unsure of how the attorney plans to handle these issues.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.