West Virginia Housing Development Fund Supports Community Development Initiative
Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

When the Fayette County Beautification Committee demolishes a dilapidated, abandoned structure, they have been using one of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s signature programs for the last few years. To date, Gerald said her committee has razed 10 structures. Thanks to a bill passed during the 2015 Session of the West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the program is evolving.

The West Virginia Property Rescue Initiative, formerly known as the Demolition Program, mandates that the Fund allocate an additional $1 million per fiscal year over the next five years for a revolving loan program available to counties and municipalities that want to rid their communities of blighted, dangerous properties.

Jackson County
Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

Constructed ~ 1918 / 1920

Style ~ Neoclassical Revival

County Seat ~ Ripley

The current courthouse, located in the downtown area is set within a park-like square, and was built over a two-year period at a cost of $125,000. In 1961 an annex and jail were added, at a cost $350,000, to the rear of the courthouse without impacting the original building.

The striking façade is gray Indiana limestone with rustications and quoins that accent the building and add to the solid nature of a center of government. The large octagonal cupola, which can be seen from a distance, has clocks on all sides and a central acorn finial on the roof.

The President's View (December 2015)
Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

Hello December, Winter and the Holidays!

December has been a very busy month for the WVACO. We have had a By-Laws Committee conference call, a Budget Committee conference call and an Executive Operations Committee meeting in Charleston followed by the Governor’s Stakeholder’s meeting.

Your Board of Directors have taken the time to review recommendations, made by the above-mentioned commit-tees, and approve end-of-year bonuses for the Association staff, approve the Conference of Counties agenda for February, 2016 and many other items of business this month.

FOIA Database News
Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

House Bill 2636, which was passed during the 2015 legislative session, mandated that the Secretary of State’s office set up a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) database to be used to publicly report the results of FOIA requests. Initial development of the FOIA database has been completed and it is currently in testing. Beginning on January 1, 2016, all governmental entities subject to the Freedom of Information Act will be required to submit FOIA re-quests using the new database as outlined in W.Va. §153 CSR 52. The system will not be used until January 1, 2016.

While the Secretary of State’s Office is providing the database, it has no authority to make sure FOIAs are entered, nor any authority over the content. Our role is to provide the database and make sure it is working properly both for users and the public. It is up to each individual agency to comply with the law.The Secretary of State’s Office cannot assist agencies with how to respond or the exemptions to use with FOIA requests. Each agency’s attorney will need to advise them on how respond.

  • Beginning on January 1, 2016, FOIA requests will only be accepted through online data submission. The Secretary of State’s Office will only accept hard copies if the online platform is not available which then may cause an agency to miss a deadline.

Governor Hosts Annual Intergovernmental Stakeholders Meeting
Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

Governor Tomblin hosted officers of the WV Association of Counties, the WV Sheriffs’ Association, the County Commissioners’ Association, and the WV Municipal League on December 14th to discuss issues facing both state and local government. All of his regional representatives and most of his executive staff and cabinet secretaries attended the meeting. Governor Tomblin opened the meeting with discussion of some of the concerns including the decline in revenue but also included the positive actions that have been implemented such as job training for coal miners and others. Substance abuse was also a major topic, and the Governor noted that steps have been taken to eliminate pill mills and make treatment resources more readily known and available, particularly through the recently established hotline,1-844-HELP4WV. Secretary of Revenue Bob Kiss advised “preemptive planning” for budget shortfalls. Currently the state is $100 million short of projected revenue for this fiscal year. In discussing the upcoming legislative session, the Governor said, “I got more thank yous for that veto than on anything else,” in reference to the permitless concealed carry bill which is expected to come up again in the 2016 legislative session. Commissioners attending the meeting made it clear that counties did not seek nor were they in a position to accept any responsibility for roads. Tax reform measures were also on the table for discussion and we learned that the proposed rule for managed timberland which would have been detrimental for most counties was withdrawn at the request of the State Tax Department.

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