By Cody Neff
After nearly a year without a county administrator to keep track of the budget, the Raleigh County Commission choose Jeff Raines to fill the job.
“We’ve been 11 months without an administrator,” President Dave Tolliver said. “We came to an agreement on Mr. Raines and he will take care of the day-to-day operations of the county commission office and deal with elected officials. The main thing is he controls the budget. He takes care of budgets and grant-writing.
According to Raines’ submitted work history, he is originally from Beckley and a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. He recently moved back to town after serving as a management and fiscal analyst for the Department of Transportation in Prince William County, Va.
With the new year, a new president had to be chosen to lead the commission. Dave Tolliver was re-elected for the job.
“In 2013, as president, I have enjoyed it and I appreciate the commission’s confidence in me,” he said. “I think we have made great strides in the previous year and hopefully this coming year will be the same.
“Our finances are in order and I want to thank everyone on the commission for the great job they did over the previous year.”
During the commission’s meeting Tuesday, they approved several budgets and grants that would progress some projects in the area.
A change to the budget was made to pay for upgrades to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the mental hygiene building.
“We have tentatively set a grand opening of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Feb. 4 at 11 a.m.,” Tolliver said. “If there’s inclement weather, we will have it in Judge Burnside’s old court room. The thing about the PA building is that it will have a state-of-the-art security system in there. It’s been completely gutted, so it’s practically a new building.
“Also during the grand opening, we will dedicate the mental hygiene building that is over next to the judiciary office. We have the state-of-the-art television and camera hooked up to the hospitals, so if the judge orders a mental hygiene test then we do not have to go to the hospital and the doctors do not have to come here.”
The Prosecuting Attorney and staff are working at the courthouse until the work is done.
Another approved project was a grant for the County Assessor’s Map Scanner Program. Tolliver said the grant paid for a way to scan all county maps so people can get online and look at properties.
The commission also approved the Coalfield Community Land Use Master Plan. This plan would study Raleigh County’s people and locations. The commission and county government will use this plan to rate possible sites for businesses and services in the county.
The last item the commission approved was the bid to upgrade the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office radio systems from Very High Frequency to Ultra High Frequency. Sheriff Steve Tanner says the new radios would give better signal and be more secure.
“With comparing all three bids, we looked at the reputation, as well as the desire to have local vendors and most importantly, the prices,” Tanner said. “We are offering to you that our strongest recommendation would be Electronic Communications of West Virginia.
“They are the lowest bid at $58,437.40. They are offering us a turnkey product that includes all costs and labor charges. They will come to us to install the radios.”
When the radios are installed, old VHF scanners won’t work any more.
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