Last Thursday, representatives from the county made the trip to Charleston to meet with various state agencies and officials as part of Tucker County Day. “I think it went really well,” Hinkle said. “We had an excellent turnout, all areas of the county were represented.”
County representatives included the officials from the county municipalities, businesses, the National Youth Science Foundation, and even private citizens. “I don’t even know if I can list all the names that were there,” Hinkle said.
Rubenstein Cadets were in attendance and presented the colors before the reading of the resolution on the Senate Floor. “We were very fortunate to have the Rubenstein Cadets there and Pastor Brad Spencer,” Hinkle said. Hinkle reported that this year’s strong attendance is about on par with years past.
The day was packed with meetings with various state entities. During the meeting with the Department of Highways, county welcome signage, widening the section of Rt. 32 between Davis and Thomas, and an easement for a rail trail between Davis and Thomas were all discussed.
Development Authority Executive Director Steven Leyh played a role in the meetings throughout the day. This was Leyh’s first Tucker County Day in Charleston. “For me, I came into it with a completely blank slate, and it’s great to see this community come together,” he said. “Tucker County is phenomenal and wonderful, it’s a rare thing.”
Leyh headed the conversations surrounding the industrial park off Corridor H. Limited access to industrial trucking is an issue that Leyh would like to see resolved.
“We talked a little bit about, specifically, making sure the second entrance or exit is in the works or in the plans as the rest of the highway is developed,” Leyh said. “I think if were going to have an industrial park with a lane coming in, it’s hard to turn a truck around in there because it’s a linear, long and skinny, park. It would be best if we had a second entrance, in the future as the development progresses,” he said.
The Development Authority is looking for a light industrial business that would create job opportunities to occupy the location.
Leyh found the meeting with the Community Advancement and Development Office promising in regards to the broadband issues Tucker County faces. “We got an understanding of how projects get funded,” Leyh said. “Somewhere around five percent of their budget will go toward internet and broadband projects across the state. That gives us hope that there will be funding source to support broadband,” he said.
In regards to that meeting, Hinkle said, “They understand broadband is an essential utility that our communities need. They are dedicating part of their funding directly to broadband.”
During a meeting with Senators Sypolt and Smith, the County Commission asked for a review of the windmill tax currently in effect. The windmill revenue in the county is taxed at 5 percent of salvaged value. The Commission asked for a tax that was, “more fair and equal to other energy sectors,” Hinkle said.
The amusement tax and hotel/motel tax were also discussed. The idea of removing the cap that exists on the hotel motel tax was discussed.
Hinkle relayed the high praise from state representatives about Tucker County and its residents. “They were so complimentary of the people of Tucker County, and our energy and our willingness to work with state officials. Senator Smith was complimentary of the elected officials in Tucker County. Of all the counties he works with, he feels Tucker County is by far the, one of the most responsive and best to work with,” Hinkle said.