Government, Latest News, Monongalia County

Mon County Courthouse hours to change Nov. 1

MORGANTOWN — The hours of operation for the Monongalia County Courthouse will change to 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Nov. 1. 

The Monongalia County Commission approved the new hours during Wednesday’s regular meeting. 

Assessor Mark Musick explained the move away from the traditional 9 a.m.-5 p.m. workday is supported by the county’s elected officials and Gary White, who oversees security personnel for the courthouse as well as the Monongalia County Justice Center, which opens daily at 8 a.m.  

Musick said the majority of counties within the state have already made this adjustment. 

“We thought it would also be a benefit to the taxpayers who we see a lot of times lining up outside the courthouse at 8:00 or 8:15  to get in at 9 during the busy times. This might help those going to work at that time,” Musick said. “We monitored the time from 4:30 to 5:00 on the amount of traffic coming in, foot traffic into the courthouse. It wasn’t as much during that time as it is through the middle of the day.” 

In other county news, the commission conditionally approved a pair of resolutions tied to extending the sales tax side of the University Town Centre Economic Opportunity Development District. 

During its most-recent regular session, the West Virginia Legislature approved extending the district 10 years, to Dec. 31, 2053. 

Along with the extension came a request currently before the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to raise the bonding capacity of the district. The cap is currently $200 million. The developer has requested that number be increased or, preferably, no cap be put in place. 

Wednesday’s resolutions included authorization for the issuance of additional bonds for the district. They were passed on the condition that the necessary approvals are received from the state. 

Commissioner Sean Sikora said the commission would normally wait until those documents were in hand, but there are activities looming in Washington, D.C., that could dramatically impact the bond market; primarily the Nov. 1 meeting of the Federal Reserve. 

“We had a small window to do this issue. The biggest impending act that’s going to happen in the beginning of November is a possible rate increase, which would have affected all the work you’ve done,” Sikora said, noting there also remains the potential for a government shutdown in mid-November. 

Also on Wednesday, the commission approved $1,170.91 in emergency funding for the McCurdysville Community Building Association to address a gas leak and other issues. 

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