Greenbrier County Commission wishes Robert Ford a happy retirement, amends county-employee handbook

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Commission, on Tuesday, affirmed the retirement of Robert Ford from the Greenbrier County Planning and Permit Office. Ford began his employment with Greenbrier County in June, 2012.

“I’d just like to thank Robert for his service over the years,” Commissioner Lowell Rose said. “I hope that he has a long and happy retirement.”

After approving new hires for the County Prosecutor’s Office and 911 Center, commissioners attempted to resume deliberation of the 911 Center’s Motorola and Aviat system-upgrade project. However, as no representatives of the 911 Center, nor any representatives of either company, were present to answer questions, commissioners tabled the topic for future consideration. A supplemental meeting to discuss the project has been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1.

Next, the commission discussed revising county employment policies, and amending the employee handbook to add a 40-hour work-week requirement for full-time benefit eligibility. On-hand to provide an overview of the proposed revisions and amendment was County Attorney Britt Ludwig.

“There is a discrepancy in the handbook about qualification for fringe benefits,” Ludwig explained. “With the purpose of clarifying the policy, written guidance has been established that would require an employee to be scheduled for a 40-hour work week in order to qualify for fringe benefits offered by the county.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “A fringe benefit is a form of pay for the performance of services. For example, you provide an employee with a fringe benefit when you allow the employee to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.”

“You have to be a permanent employee,” Ludwig added. “Temporary employees would not be eligible, and part-time employees would not be eligible for fringe benefits. It clarifies that the 40-hour work week can include the meal breaks that the County Commission provides to employees as part of their eight-hour workday.”

Ludwig further explained that paid holidays, as well as sick or personal leave also counts towards accrual of a 40-hour work week for the purposes of achieving full-time status. At the conclusion of Ludwig’s explanation, the commission unanimously approved the revisions and amendment, effective Nov. 28.

In other business, commissioners approved a resolution granting the Greenbrier County Economic Development Commission (GVEDC) $41,221 for the continuation of their work, and signed a formal “subrecipient grant agreement” for the Fort Springs Hazard Mitigation grant project.

As explained by Commission President Tammy Tincher, the Hazard Mitigation grant project, known as the “Fort Springs, W.Va. elevation project,” is a residential-restoration project “that has been submitted to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) after the flood.”

“It’s been ongoing for quite a while within the system,” Tincher said, adding that the property in question is located on John Perry Lane. “It is an elevation project, which means raising the structure to be able to meet the floodplain elevation requirements. We’ve received federal funding and state funding, and this is the agreement for the state funding.”

As the meeting’s conclusion, Tincher noted, “If there is still anyone that’s interested in public water between Charmco and Rainelle, and Sam Black, Clintonville, Alta, and Asbury, to the top of Muddy Creek Mountain, please reach out to Public Service District #2. Their phone number is (304)438-9292, and they can assist you with all the information you need.”

The Greenbrier County Commission is next scheduled to meet on Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m.

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