Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston Commission donates to foundation

KINGWOOD — Preston Commissioners approved a donation to the Tucker Community Foundation this week and said they are still considering funding for other agencies and offices.

Commissioners Dave Price, Don Smith and Samantha Stone have been criticized by some county office holders for not providing raises to all workers.

Commissioners also have requests from several outside agencies, all of whom were left out of the budget.

County Administrator Kathy Mace noted that the foundation is wrapping up its (in this year virtual) Run For It fundraiser and will be distributing grants.

“They understand that in July the money wasn’t there, but they asked that you reconsider,” Mace said.

The commission gives the organization $3,000.

Run For It organizations sign up team sponsors for the run/walk. Additional cash awards come through funds from race sponsors. Preston organizations can receive more than the $3,000 from the county.

Any group can sign up for Run For It.

In 2019 a total of 11 Preston groups received money from the run: After School Explorers, Arthurdale Heritage, Aurora Area Historical Society, Friends of the Cheat, Jacob’s Ladder, Kingwood Elementary School Stags, Preston County Humane Society, Preston County Parks and Recreation, Preston Fund Runners, Preston Taylor Health Center and The Aurora Project.

The foundation serves eight counties: Barbour, Grant, Mineral, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph and Tucker counties in West Virginia and Garrett County, Md.

“Since this began there’s been many thousands of dollars from the volunteers who went there and ran or walked,” Price said. “It just benefits a lot of people for a lot more than $3,000.”

Stone said “I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page … I just don’t want anyone to think that this is the only thing we’re looking at.”

The difference, she said, is “this one just happens to have a deadline.”

Price made the motion to approve the $3,000 “and move forward with all the others as we figure that out.”

Smith took some time before seconding the motion. “I’m just looking at some numbers, guys,” he said. Those numbers were the requests for other contributions and the budget.

Mace noted some agencies funded by Tucker Community Foundation have also requested money from the commission.

“You might want to look at the bang for the buck on some of those things,” Mace said. “And it’s a relatively small allocation of $3,000. Historically other counties have given more.”

Smith said he’s talked with the foundation and he and his wife participate in Run For It.

“I just get nervous when I see some of these numbers that are coming at us,” he said. “We still have to look at our contingency budget and everything, especially after this year and everything that happened.”

He seconded the motion and commissioners voted unanimously to approve the donation.