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Putnam County Health Department discloses debts

By Kara Moore

WINFIELD - The Putnam County Health Department finished its fiscal year 2012-2013 well in the red and still owes $344,372.60 in outstanding bills.

Lolita Kirk, the department's temporary administrator, gave the Putnam County Commission a budget report at its regular meeting Tuesday morning that detailed the department's income, expenditures and outstanding debts.

The report wasn't news to commissioners, who have been paying outstanding bills one by one since the department was dissolved earlier in the summer because of financial strains.

Kirk provided a list of outstanding debts, many of which aren't yet finalized as she works with vendors to negotiate settlements for things like equipment leases.

Commissioner Steve Andes asked Kirk about $20,000 owed to Jesse Greer for website development.

Kirk said that invoice was hand delivered in June, but she hasn't been able to locate a contract.

"I could not locate any contract for him," Kirk said. "What he provided me was an e-mail, which was more or less just a discussion between health department staff and him, but no agreement."

"Did he develop a website?" Andes asked.

"There was a website up and running," Kirk said. "A few people I've talked to in the technology field - in their estimate, not a $20,000 website," Kirk said. "We're working on getting some of that pulled off, updated, modernized."

Commissioners also heard a presentation from Teays Valley Church of God pastors Melissa and Tom Pratt about the new facility they plan to build just east of Rocky Step Road on Teays Valley Road near Scott Depot.

The Pratts told the commission that the new building will seat 1,200 people in a multipurpose room set up as two basketball courts. The building will also have a large kitchen to accommodate banquets and conference rooms. The total cost of the project will be $4.3 million.

Teays Valley Church of God will have worship in the new building on Sundays, but they intend to make the building available to the public as a community center during the week.

"We plan on developing on the building to the point where we have programs that meet not just the spiritual needs but also the physical, emotional, social, recreational needs of people in the community as well," Melissa Pratt said.

Tom Pratt added that their goal is not to just build a church, but a center for the entire county.

Melissa Pratt plans to spend four days walking across Putnam County in the first week of October to demonstrate the church's commitment to the community and raise funds for the project.

The church will also hold a "Vision Reveal Day" 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at Teays Valley Acres Community Park, 4606 Teays Valley Road, Scott Depot.

The church's current facility is for sale for $2.2 million.

In other news, the commission:


  • Heard from Jake Hunt of WorkForce Investment Board Region 2 about an information session on the Affordable Care Act at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 in the old courtroom of the Putnam County Courthouse.

    Hunt encouraged dislocated workers, small business leaders and the general public to attend to learn about coverage and benefits under the new law, often called "Obamacare."

    The effort is in conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, which is the agency tasked with implementing the healthcare law at the state level.

    Region 2 of Workforce West Virginia encompasses Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Putnam and Wayne counties. Mason County residents are invited to the session as well since that county is included in DHHR's region 2.


  • Set a date for a public hearing on proposed projects in the TIF district at Valley Park. Proposed projects include resurfacing the pool and developing a master plan for the park. The public hearing will be 9:30 a.m. Oct. 8 during the regular commission meeting.


  • Heard from County Attorney Jennifer Scragg Karr that a proposed plan to assign three part-time civilian bailiffs to courtroom duty to add a deputized officer to patrol would be OK as long as the judges accept the bailiffs. All three have either law enforcement or military experience, which was retired Judge O.C. Spaulding's stipulation for civilian bailiffs.

    The Putnam County Commission meets at 9 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the county courthouse in Winfield. All meetings are open to the public.


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