(c)2022 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)
July 31, 2022 by Ben Conley, The Dominion Post
During a rare Friday meeting, the Monongalia County Commission revised its fiscal year 2023 budget to reflect an actual general fund carryover of $12, 025, 723.
That number is actually down $1, 474, 277 from projections included in the $41, 795, 661 2023 spending plan approved by the commission in March.
Commissioner Sean Sikora said the reduction will be offset primarily in two areas.
One, by pulling $549, 687 from the county's contingency fund, leaving contingencies 80 % funded at $3, 370, 735. The county can carry up to 10 % of its overall budget in the contingency fund.
Two, by reducing the amount of money set aside in the 2023 budget for the county's new MECCA 911 center from $1 million to $250, 000.
Site prep for that project is set to begin this fall in the Morgantown Industrial Park. Current estimates have the building completed in late 2023.
"We won't be making payments on that until the next fiscal year, so we reduced that down ... because we won't be spending those dollars, " Sikora said.
Sikora said the reduction in carryover is tied to a number of expenditures taken on late in the previous fiscal year, which ended June 30.
Those included the purchase of the land under the Mon County Center in Mylan Park ($560, 000); funding of the Mini-Swimmers program ($310, 000); support for a Your Community Foundation endowment ($150, 000); raises for Mon EMS employees ($130, 000) and others.
Also on Friday, the commission took an initial step toward the ultimate goal of creating a county human resources department with the approval of $10, 575 for an HR assessment to be conducted by Charleston-based AlignHR.
Sikora said the assessment will start by mid-September and cover everything from the county's mission statement and handbook to recruiting, hiring and orientation to compensation and benefits, safety, discipline and everything in between.
The end result will be a 40-50 page report that will serve as a roadmap for future HR support.
"We spend an innumerable number of hours working on HR issues and what this is really about is just doing right by our employees ; giving them all the benefits that we can and helping them utilize in a proper way anything we can offer them, " Commissioner Jeff Arnett said.
The county workforce includes approximately 360 full and part-time employees.
"This is really something that we've been working on for years. Not only this commission, but former commissions that I've been on, " Commission President Tom Bloom said. "It's something that we need."