POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission kept with its tradition of honoring state champions by recognizing Cody Mitchell’s recent Class AAA discus title.
Last month, Mitchell, who is also the 2015 Curt Warner Award winner and West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year for football in West Virginia, won the Class AAA discus title during the 2016 WVSSAC track and field championships held at Laidley Field. Mitchell’s winning throw of 173 feet, 6 inches in the discus event came on his sixth and final attempt of the day.
Commissioner Rick Handley, who is also a retired elementary school teacher, had Mitchell in his last year of teaching fifth grade. Handley said in his opinion, Mitchell was the best football player to have played at Point Pleasant High School, and one of the best he’d ever seen.
Handley, along with Commissioner Miles Epling and Commission President Tracy Doolittle, presented Mitchell with a certificate recognizing his achievement. Mitchell is a 2016 graduate of PPHS and has been recruited to play football for Marshall University.
In other commission business:
Health Department Administrator Diana Riddle spoke to the commissioners about the new clean air regulation, saying it took 15 years to pass it and that included three recent meetings of the board of health to discuss it and a public comment period in which one letter of opposition was received. The regulation eliminates smoking in all public places and private places of employment as of July 1. The previous 2001 regulation only partially limited smoking in areas. In addition, smoking cannot occur within 20 feet of an entrance to those public places or private places of employment. This includes smoking cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes or “vaping” pens.
Riddle answered various questions from the commissioners and County Administrator John Gerlach who asked about penalties for violations. Riddle said the regulation did allow for penalties and the business owner was required to put up no smoking signs — this signage is free and will be provided by the health department. If someone still smokes after the business owner asked the person to stop, the health department can be asked to intervene with help from law enforcement, to remove the person who is smoking from the establishment.
Riddle said the health department also approved increases in environmental permit fees as allowed by law but the increases are only expected to be bring in around $2,000 more a year than the previous year. She said the increases were determined by also looking at income in the area, to keep the raise in fees at a minimal level.
Sheriff Greg Powers reported a secretary/dispatcher was moving to magistrate court and he had moved a tax office employee into that vacant position at the sheriff’s department. Powers also informed the commissioners he had filled the vacancy in the tax office as well. Commissioners also approved the hiring of Adam Bryant as a process server, to replace Gary Lewis who is retiring from the sheriff’s department.
Melanie Sang was approved for hire as the victim’s advocate in the prosecutor’s office.
County Clerk Diana Cromley spoke about the records management grant her office once again received for $12,500.
Jacob Errett was appointed to the Solid Waste Authority Board.
Gerlach reported he had found out that the $12,786.58 recently awarded to the county by the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office in the form of unclaimed property, had to do with a 2015 community corrections grant. Gerlach reported each fire department in the county was given $2,000 from that unclaimed property money.
Handley, speaking for Doolittle and Epling, also wished the Wahama White Falcons Baseball Team well in their bid for another state title.
Commissioners gave Wyatt Zuspan permission to use a county-owned basketball court in Point Pleasant for a 5-on-5 basketball tournament on July 2, pending the property insurance being obtained by Zuspan.
Attending the meeting were Doolittle, Epling, Handley, Gerlach, Cromley, Riddle and Powers.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.