POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Commissioners discussed vehicles within the sheriff’s department during their regular meeting held Thursday afternoon.
Mason County Sheriff Greg Powers was present at the meeting to discuss the need for new vehicles with the commissioners. Powers said the current cruisers have many miles on them — more than what could be safe for the deputies and community — with an average of 150,000 miles on the cruisers. The cruiser with the most miles on it was reported to have 308,000 miles.
Powers told commissioners that they need to “catch up” by purchasing a couple new cars every year for a few years. This will allow the department to “constantly rotate” the vehicles. Powers said the department has even installed a used motor in one of the cruisers to keep it running.
Powers said he had been told that Enterprise has a program to lease new cruisers with the option to purchase the vehicle at a very low cost. The commissioners asked County Administrator John Gerlach to collect information from Enterprise and other options. The estimated costs will be discussed at a later meeting to allow commissioners to make a decision.
Commissioners approved the new hires at the request of Dennis Zimmerman, director of Mason County OES. The new hires are Bruce Davis, Betsy Flannery, Chris Conner and Joseph Day.
Zimmerman also told commissioners there is $17,981 left of the block grant given by Gov. Jim Justice for expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zimmerman said there are a few new requests for money. The commission went into executive session at the end of the meeting after Zimmerman requested the session.
Tiarah Thornton, the newly crowned 2020 Miss Pre-Teen United States, received recognition during the meeting. Thornton told the commissioners about her platform, which is volunteering with hospice care.
Commissioners signed a proclamation from Holzer Health System for National Home Care/Hospice Palliative Care Month, which is November. The proclamation declares that November is National Home Care Month in Mason County.
In her report to commissioners, County Clerk Diana Cromley gave an update on voting in Mason County. Cromley said that as of the 4 p.m. meeting on Thursday, 4,094 ballots has been completed with three days of early voting left.
Cromley said voters who are in quarantine or positive for the virus can call the office to schedule an appointment to vote. The Secretary of State office sent safety guidelines for these situations. Cromley said these voters will remain in their vehicles to complete their ballots while the clerk’s employees will have extra personal protective equipment.
Commissioners approved the request for Cromley to apply for a grant to fund record preservation, which will allow more space in the record room.
All three commissioners — Rick Handley, Sam Nibert, and Tracy Doolittle — were present at the meeting.
The next Mason County Commission meeting is schedule for Nov. 12 at 4 p.m.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304)675-1333, ext. 1992.