Preston commission receives first dose of opioid settlement funds

KINGWOOD — Preston County commissioners received the first check from the Opioid Settlement Funds during their Tuesday meeting.

Hunter Mullens of Mullens and Mullens hand-delivered the $599,802.64 check to commissioners and said Preston County would receive future checks from the settlement. He said the first check represented only 24.5% of the funds due the commission.

Mullens said half of the money the county received can be used for regional jail fees and for law enforcement.

In other business, Don Smith was elected to serve as commission president for 2024. Commissioners were also reappointed to serve on the following boards and committees:

  • Samantha Stone: — 911 Advisory Committee, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), Preston County Economic Development Authority Board and the Farmland Protection Board.
  • Smith — Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors, Region VI Planning and Development Council, Community Corrections Board of Directors, and Greater Morgantown Convention SD& Visitors Bureau.
  • Hunter Thomas — Preston County FEMA Board, Workforce West Virginia Board of Directors and the Extension Service Committee.

Smith announced the courthouse annex hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Hours for the courthouse are set by the West Virginia Supreme Court and will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Commissioners also discussed legal holidays and the recent additional holidays announced by Gov. Jim Justice.

“Any days the governor announces as a last-minute holiday, we have to vote on it,” Smith said. “Announcing one at 3 p.m. the day before is not acceptable.”

Stone said it made sense to take the next day off if the holiday falls on Monday, but said the extra day or days off should be at the discretion of the commission.

“This year they got out of hand,” Smith said.

No further action was taken.

The next meeting of the Preston County Commission will be 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.