Community, Government, Latest News, Monongalia County

4-H project leads to request for Mon Commission; $1.9M carries over to 2022 budget

MORGANTOWN — Emma Sollars isn’t anywhere near old enough to vote.

She is old enough, however, to appreciate the importance of history.

She’s also old enough to task the Monongalia County Commission with helping her preserve it.

Her issue is with the county’s historical road markers — or lack thereof — which came to her attention as a project with the Wadestown Busy Bees 4-H group.

The Mason-Dixon Elementary 5th grader said she recently set out with her family to see each of the county’s 40 markers.

“There are a lot of them missing, and I think they need to be replaced,” Sollars wrote to the commission. “If they are not fixed, eventually there will not be any left. There is a lot of history in our county and if the signs are missing, then people cannot learn about it.”

As a part of her project, Sollars created a map showing marker locations and indicating which markers are missing — at least 14 by her count.

“I had my mom take pictures of me at each marker to make a photo album, and it would be really nice to be able to fill in the blanks,” she wrote, before asking the commission to take up the case, which it intends to do.

“What we’d like to do is probably ask Ms. Sollars to come in and give a presentation to the commission. … And then we’ll look into this matter further,” Commissioner Jeff Arnett said, noting the commission’s appreciation for her interest in the issue. “I think it’s something that’s important, and we’re going to try to address it.”

In other county news, Commission President Sean Sikora said the county is carrying an additional $1.9 million into its 2022 budget, up from the $11 million anticipated when the commission approved a $39,292,159 FY ’22 spending plan in March.

That brings the total county carryover to $12.9 million, which includes a fully funded contingency account at $3.9 million, or 10% of the overall budget.

Of the additional $1.9 million in carryover, $500,000 is going toward the construction of a new Daybrook communications tower; $500,000 is going into an Economic Development line item; $342,793 is going into financial stabilization; and $242,736 is going toward the new Extension Services & 4-H Center director position and other projects related to that building.

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