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Preston Commissioners back UMWA resolution

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Commission passed a resolution this week in support of “protecting and preserving,” UMWA Plan pensions and health care.

Commissioners Dave Price, Don Smith and Samantha Stone voted 3-0 for the resolution. Marion, Kanawha, Marshall, Brooke and other counties passed similar resolutions.

The resolution says the bankruptcies of Murray Energy and smaller companies place the UMWA fund in jeopardy, possibly affecting 87,000 retired coal miners. It calls upon every elected official in West Virginia “to take a public stance in support of preserving the UMWA pension fund.”

Also Monday, Commissioner Stone said planning is underway for Preston and Monongalia counties Day at the Legislature, which will be Jan. 29. She urged people to get involved and look at it as more than a field trip.

“I think we go, we make a statement, we talk to people, we have a list of things we want to accomplish, we come back. We get to work. They get to work for us, and then see what comes of it,” Stone said. “When we go back next year, what did we get from going the year before?”

Goals should be set and plans made in advance, she said.

Commissioners also unanimously approved submitting a grant application for six Automatic External Defibrillators, which would be placed in county buildings.