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Commission OKs pay increase for county workers

by Jim Fisher

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Harrison County Commissioners unanimously approved Monday a 3 percent across-the-board pay increase for county employees.

Commission President Beth Taylor said the 3 percent would be given to the elected officials to pass on to employees on a merit basis. The increase is retroactive to July 1.

"We waited on the pay increase until we could see what effect the (North Central) Regional Jail bills were going to have on the budget," Taylor said.

Commissioners also decided Monday to leave the issue of whether to allow Sunday hunting up to the county's voters.

The vote was accompanied by little discussion Monday. Harrison County Farm Bureau President Bill Coffindaffer said the bureau supported a vote on the issue.

Commissioner Roger Diaz said he had been considering the issue over the weekend.

"I'm wondering if (the state Legislature) shouldn't just do their jobs the right way the second time around," he said. "I'm thinking maybe we should tell the Legislature, take this back and clean up your law to give us a clear-cut concise decision."

Diaz said one of the main reasons for including the issue is that vague wording of the state law has led to some dispute about interpretation.

Some have interpreted the law to say Sunday hunting can be allowed if approved by voters. The state Division of Natural Resources has said that the law says Sunday hunting is allowed unless it is voted down by referendum.

One stipulation to Sunday hunting is that it must be conducted on private property with express written permission of the property owner, Diaz said. Sunday hunting is not allowed on public property, he said.

In other business:

n Commissioners met with Circuit Judge James Matish and Chief Probation Officer Dave Ross about putting together a resolution to create a county Community Corrections program.

n Prosecuting Attorney John Scott said he has finished reviewing a proposal to ban skateboards and in-line skates from the courthouse plaza.

Scott said he included the city's ordinance for "anyone who wants to raise Cain about the taking of a skateboard or little Johnny or Bobby getting a ticket."

n Commissioners passed an amended recycling ordinance. Solid Waste Authority Director Paul Hamrick said there has been some confusion about the amended ordinance.

"The intent is not just to get tough, but to get tough on the haulers," Hamrick said. "A lot of the history is collectors who are taking recyclables the people have taken the time to separate and putting it with the garbage."

n Commissioners appointed Michael Romano, Vicki Huffman and Chad Biller to the Parks and Recreation Board.

Staff writer Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com

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