MORGANTOWN — Doddridge County Sheriff Michael Headley said effective Nov. 1, his office began charging $35/hour, plus mileage, to drive inmates to mental health evaluations and appointments.

According to Headley, the financial burden of transporting inmates from the North Central Regional Jail to Huntington for mental hygiene evaluations has become a hardship for his office.

North Central Regional Jail is in Doddridge County. It also receives inmates from Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Wetzel, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties.

“Per West Virginia Code Section 27-5-1, the sheriff may seek reimbursement from the county of residence for reasonable costs incurred by the county attendant to the mental hygiene proceeding,” Headley wrote in a letter shared at the Nov. 22 regular commission meeting.

“Therefore we regret to inform you that as of Nov. 1, 2017, we will be seeking reimbursement for the transportation of all mental hygiene transports.”

County Administrator Rennetta McClure said she’s attempted to contact Headley in an attempt to understand roughly how many trips the county can expect to pay for.

“If we’re talking about one or two a year, that’s one thing, but I honestly don’t know that number. We’ve never been privy to that,” McClure said.

The commissioners said they would also like some explanation as to how the $35/hour, plus 54 cents per mile, charge was decided upon.

In other county news, the commission selected Revize, of Troy, Mich. to create a new county website.