POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has been awarded a $150,000 grant for its Day Report program.
The Department of Justice Community Corrections Grant, which assists in operating the program, was discussed at Thursday’s regular commission meeting. Steve Pressley of the Day Report program was in attendance to talk about the grant with Commissioners Tracy Doolittle and Rick Handley. Commissioners commended the Day Report program, as well as the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, Judge David Nibert’s office and Mason County Circuit Court for combined efforts to help reduce the county’s regional jail bill.
Sheriff Greg Powers informed commissioners his office had been approved for a $42,000 grant to purchase a laptop for every deputy to use and new office computers. Powers said Kim Harbour of the Mason County Commission Office worked on getting the grant. In addition, Powers said the department had purchased an evidence tracking computer program to use on the new computers which would be a “top notch” tracking system.
Powers also told commissioners, due to a vacancy in the PRO program at Hannan Junior/Senior High School, Jason Gilley of the sheriff’s department would be taking that position. This left a vacancy for a full-time deputy with commissioners approving Powers’ recommendation to hire Jesse C. Johnson at an entry-level deputy’s salary of $30,959, effective Aug. 16. Powers said Johnson is already certified and works for the town of New Haven.
Powers also informed commissioners deputies will be on duty at the Mason County Fair handling security issues as well as traffic. Commissioners Handley and Doolittle expressed gratitude to all the fair workers and volunteers which help with the event, and expressed well wishes to the young people who are exhibiting at the fair and the queen candidates.
Powers also confirmed the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police will have a new commander in Sgt. Joe Finnicum, a native of Mason County who began his career at the sheriff’s department. Commissioners congratulated Finnicum on the promotion.
County Administrator John Gerlach spoke about meeting with architects to go over some minor repair issues at the new sheriff’s department building. Issues include some condensation caused by pipes which need re-wrapped, some electrical issues and issues with the water system sprinkler dripping - all of these items are still under the one-year warranty for repairs.
Gerlach also said there are plans to possibly refinish the second floor of the new sheriff’s department to modify the space to accommodate being used as a training facility for law enforcement as well as poll workers. The second floor will also be used to store voting machines.
At Thursday’s meeting, in addition to Handley, Doolittle, Gerlach, Pressley and Powers, was County Clerk Diana Cromley.