GRAFTON—The Taylor County Commission met on Tuesday night and discussed multiple items, including the 150th Annual Memorial Day Parade and hiring a new part-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
West Virginia Memorial Day Parade Committee Chairman, Scott Willis, and committee member, Doug Robinson, met with commissioners to ask for funding for the parade.
“We have the longest running continuous Memorial Day parade,” said Willis. “This year is special, because it is the 150th celebration, so we want to make it something special.”
Willis told commissioners that on an average year, it cost at least $25,000 for the committee to put on their parade, but that this year, he expects the costs to be substantially more.
“We have already had five high school bands agree to come march and perform in the parade,” explained Willis. “The cost of each band is approximately $1,000, and that’s just a small part of the entertainment planned.”
Willis said that it is their goal to both honor the veterans and their service and sacrifices, but to also entertain parade goers.
“The committee isn’t made up of a paid staff, we are all volunteers,” shared Willis. “This is something we like to do in our spare time, for the community.”
According to Willis, the committee does receive some funding from the West Virginia Department of Veteran’s Assistance, but that those funds are not always guaranteed each year.
Doug Robinson said that this year, the state is allotting approximately $15,000 for the committee.
“You have to keep in mind, that the $25,000 that we mentioned before is only the cost of the parade, it doesn’t include any other activities,” expressed Robinson. “Take for example the programs. Luckily this year, the Mountain Statesman has stepped up to do the design and printing of our programs, and from what we have seen so far, this year they will be better than in years past.”
Willis proposed that the commission might be willing to match the contribution they made to the committee last year saying, “Look, we will take anything you are willing to give. The way we look at it, is that if you give $10 or $200, it is more money for us to work with.”
Commissioner Tony Veltri asked County Clerk Georgianna Thompson for the amount given last year, and she verified that it was $2,000. He then made a motion that they give that amount to the West Virginia Memorial Day Committee this year, as well.
“Scott said earlier that they have already had five bands confirm their participation, and that’s at $1,000 a pop,” voiced Commissioner Rusty Efaw.
He then seconded the motion, stating that they would match the $2,000 contribution, but if the committee incurred costs that needed covered, to come back to the commission and they’d be willing to discuss contributing more.
Following the Memorial Day fund request, Prosecuting Attorney John Bord and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Nines discussed the option of hiring a new part-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
Bord and Nines addressed the need for some assistance, because the number of cases each is carrying has become increasingly time consuming.
“If you take the numbers of just abuse and neglect cases from last year at this time and extrapolate it, we are well above the number cases we carried,” explained Nines.
The commission agreed to hire Christopher Miller, a lawyer from Morgantown, who handles cases in Taylor County.
“One of Mr. Miller’s duties will be to attend your commission meetings, so that you have legal council here for when questions arise,” Bord told the commissioners.
The commissioners said they are excited to being working with Miller.