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WV Legislative Update

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While Mom’s birthday wasn’t until this week, we celebrated it with her last Saturday while Justin and the twins were here for a couple days.  It’s always enjoyable to have Kenzie and Carson here, as TV and video games hold little interest.  They’d rather be in the woods, on the lake or river fishing, swimming or camping.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Good news for the Correctional training facility at Glenville, as DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy informed me on Friday that as of that date, 345 new officers have been hired to fill vacancies and provide much needed overtime relief for regional jail personnel.  More will be hired in the weeks and months ahead, now that the compensation is beginning an upward trend for the next several years.  Moreover, this will strengthen our training facility and staff, while bringing hundreds of trainees into central West Virginia and Glenville.  This helps GSC and our local economy.

Meanwhile, pipeline right-of-way work and construction is bringing many into our area, with local workers also benefiting from the projects.  Highway maintenance is also in full swing, both on I-79, state routes and secondary roads.  Now the problem is finding enough daylight hours and catching an extended break from the localized torrential rains that have delayed maintenance with major slips and slides.  Heavy rains in the headwater areas of Elk River are playing havoc with wildly fluctuating river levels downstream below Sutton Dam.  This is further causing slips and erosion problems for residents and proving costly for highway maintenance.  It also is hindering the large flotillas of kayaks and canoes on the Elk that we’re now accustomed to seeing this time of year.

I want to thank the members and staff of the Braxton County Commission for arranging an informational meeting regarding the issue of dilapidated property on which many residents and property owners have voiced their concern.  An attorney from WVU School of Law provided an informative overview of the pros and cons of potential ordinances that may be adopted on a county or municipal level.  The presentation was informative and one that provided important information for the county and municipal governments should they opt to move forward.  As was pointed out by the attorney, farm property is exempt.

Finally this week, the state news was again filled with reports of the breakdown in the State managing federal flood damage and relief funds from the 2016 disaster that hammered parts of Nicholas, Clay, Kanawha, Greenbrier and other areas of the state.  While Braxton and Gilmer were dealt a glancing blow by this major flood event, the communities and counties most affected are our neighbors, friends and fellow West Virginians.  Richwood, White Sulphur Springs, Elkview and many parts of Clay County are just some of the hard-hit areas.  When one hurts, we all hurt and we should respond accordingly.

And respond we did.  Tens of thousands of volunteer hours were donated to clean out homes, remove debris, and help rebuild homes and bridges.  Churches, civic groups, students and other volunteers reached out to help and many continue nearly twenty-four months in its aftermath.

However, nearing the two year mark since the deadly and devastating flood, many needs remain unmet or buried in bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork, finger pointing and promised services that have yet to materialize.  Reports indicate $300 million in unmet housing needs and as many as 1,000 homes needed.  Of the original $149.8 million available, there is over $148.7 remains unspent.  That represents lots of unmet road, housing and infrastructure needs.

Learning from the 2012 derecho that impacted the entire state, state and local emergency management is much better prepared than before that event.  So, the news reported to the Legislature and the public detailing the breakdown that still exists in delivering post-flood aid from two years ago is not acceptable.

The Governor needs to get the vital relief and rebuilding funds flowing immediately and efficiently.  If we are now witnessing this kind of delay, what can we expect when the next natural disaster hits?  We know from past experience that sooner or later, disaster will strike again.

One final note:  As I type this week, the eastern panhandle is experiencing some extensive flooding.

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Dilapidated buildings seem to make the news on a regular basis.

Dilapidated buildings are nothing more than an great indicator of a ‘dilapidated’ economy.

Comment by WV's dilapidated economy  on  06.05.2018
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