The Wetzel County Commission met with Lisa Gonzales at its regular meeting on Feb. 28. Gonzales explained her work with Community Resources Inc. and the programs her organization offers Wetzel County. Gonzales told the commissioners they have helped her greatly with her accountable case management where she helps with financial planning and budgeting, to help teach people to be financially responsible for themselves. She has also helped with writing resumes and assisting people in their job searches. Gonzales would like to see struggling members of the community become more self-sufficient.
Gonzales said several people in the 200 percent poverty range may qualify for weatherization assistance, in which they can have insulation and heating repairs administered at no cost. Gonzales also helps people in need with their taxes. In fact, she did 278 tax returns last year between Wetzel and Tyler Counties. Gonzales also helps out senior citizens with their taxes as well. Gonzales mentioned there is a program that builds homes and sells them for minimal prices. They cover the cost of the initial bank deposit and the loan is forgiven after a year. In other words, if a person wants a house that costs $100,000 and the bank wants the initial 20 percent, Community Resources will cover the $20,000 deposit and then forgive the loan after one year.
Gonzales was also pivotal in the starting of the Gabriel Project. She stated that she would love to have a half way house with an office in the basement. She feels there is too much disparity and a lack of self-esteem throughout the community. She explained some people just wish for death because they feel their circumstances are so poor. Gonzales explained the poverty and homelessness in the area is getting out of hand and she is trying to help as best as possible.
Sheriff Mike Koontz released the name of the newly hired deputy who was scheduled to begin March 1. The commission passed a motion giving advice and consent to hire Cody Elliot as the new deputy.
Antonio Ritter of Casto Technical Services spoke to the commission about a remote access to the control the systems of the heating and air conditioning units. Ritter explained that this will better help Casto Technical Services monitor the devices from Charleston. The commission passed a motion to allow for the remote access.
The commission also passed a motion stating that they would be the fiscal agent for the Child Advocacy Center located in Paden City. Per WV Ethics and Open Meetings Act, agendas for the Wetzel County Commission will be posted two business days prior to meeting. Requests or items requiring actions should be submitted within that time frame. The next commission meeting will be held Tuesday March 14 at 9:30 a.m.