Commissioners discuss pandemic, projects


By Kayla Hawthorne - khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com



POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commissioners met on Thursday afternoon for their regular meeting.

During the meeting, commissioners heard from Dennis Zimmerman, director of Mason County Office of Emergency Services (OES), about updates in the COVID-19 pandemic and at the emergency medical service (EMS). Zimmerman said that as of Thursday afternoon, there were seven active COVID-19 cases in Mason County. Zimmerman said one of those cases was hospitalized.

Zimmerman told the commissioners that the county had not used all of the block grant from Gov. Jim Justice. Zimmerman said the plan was to use that money before seeking grants and loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Zimmerman also presented the commissioners with $100,000 to return the money that was given to the EMS over two years ago. Zimmerman said that in January 2018, the commissioners loaned the EMS $100,000. Commissioner Sam Nibert said that Zimmerman was doing well at “turning it (EMS) around.” Zimmerman said the office is now “doing well” financially.

County Clerk Diana Cromley requested that commissioners approve to increase the payroll amount to $125,000. The bank had a limit on the payroll amount, but the county needed to increase the limit due to an increase in the total payroll from EMS workers. This motion was approved.

County Administrator John Gerlach said crews were working on the concrete at the health department. Gerlach said he has a meeting planned to talk with someone about setting up the county website.

Commissioners approved reappointing Mindy Kearns to the Mason County Library Board. Kearns’ current term ends this month. The new term will continue through July 2025.

Commission President Rick Handley said workers with the United States Census will be traveling throughout the county to contact households who have not responded to the 2020 Census. Households can still complete the Census online, by phone or by mail.

Handley said the public transit system has had an increase in usage in the last couple months. Handley said in May, the bus has 103 rides and in June, there were 135. The non-emergency medical transportation had 164 riders in May and 194 in June.

During the meeting, a community member told the commissioners that they were happy with their recent experience at the animal shelter. The individual said they were treated well and said the shelter was clean. A staff member brought three dogs out for the family to meet and they will be picking up their new dog on Friday.

A representative from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito was at the meeting to introduce himself to the commission.

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By Kayla Hawthorne

khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.