|By Al Owens
Meeting in regular
session last week, the Lewis County Fiscal Court moved to approve the second reading of an
ordinance creating the Lewis County North-Central Fire Protection District.
A proposed new firehouse will be constructed on county-owned property on Lions Lane,
and the district would extend in a diameter of five miles by road from that location.
The tax is not to exceed ten cents per $100 of assessed property value. The tax should
create an estimated $24,431 annually to operate the district.
Second District Magistrate Todd Ruckel could not attend the meeting but at his request
Judge Steve Applegate announced that the magistrate supports the ordinance.
The court approved the first reading of the Lewis County Proposed Budget for fiscal
year 2004-2005 that will end June 30, 2005.
Lewis County Attorney Clayton "Buddy" Lykins, Jr. read the budget to the
court. He said that the budget calls for a total of $2,041,432 in the General Fund;
$1,494,280 for the Road Fund; and $678,111 for the Jail Fund. The grand total for all
three funds comes to $4,213,824.93.
Jim Vaden and Barbara Kennedy appeared before the court to explain a request for the
court to act as fiscal agent for a partnership of local entities to establish a Boys and
Girls Club of America in Lewis County. The leaders of the effort are writing a grant under
the 21st Century Program for $150,000 annually for the next three years and then $75,000
and $50,000 the next two years respectively. The court is asked to assist as the agent to
handle the finances.
Kennedy told the court that the funds for the grant are available through President
Bush's faith-based initiative.
She said that the idea is to bring
partners together to collaborate on helping small communities.
Plans are to establish a community learning center that would include recreation
along with the learning effort. The Lewis County Board of Education, the Vanceburg United
Methodist Church, the Harmany Foundation, the Clarksburg Christian Church and the Boys and
Girls Club of Madison County, in addition to the Lewis County Fiscal Court, would form a
partnership to establish the local club. In the beginning the Lewis County club would be a
satellite of the Madison County organization.
The Harmany Foundation is so spelled and named after the late Allan Harman, long time
teacher and Methodist minister in the area.
Kennedy explained that in conjunction with the Board of Educations after-school
programs the objectives of the program are to provide academic remediation and enrichment,
to provide a safe environment for kids after school, and to give students service learning
opportunities that are rather like on-the-job training.
In addition to that, a parenting skills component, a technology education component,
nutrition and health and drug and alcohol prevention plus sports and fitness components
will be written into the program.
The program is for elementary, middle school and high school students. Plans call for
opening the Learning Center at two sites four hours a day after school five days a week.
In addition to that it would be open four hours a day during the summer.
After a brief discussion with questions answered about insurance and other matters all
covered by grant funds the court moved to comply with the request and to act as the fiscal
agent for the Boys and Girls Club. The service would be temporary until the club is
officially established as a non-profit corporation through the state.