County resident Brenda Mershon was recently denied tuition assistance through the Workforce Investment Act even though she was recently laid off from the Gallipolis Development Center.
“It just upsets me that Gallia County can’t help me,” Mershon said.
Mershon already posseses a bachelor’s degree and is scheduled to begin classes in August at the University of Rio Grande to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing. However, due to area policy, she was denied help with tuition.
Mershon stated that other workers recently laid off from GDC have also been denied tuition assistance in Gallia County, but have been accepted through Chillicothe’s WIA program.
“The confusion was, why did she go to Chillocothe and get it? Maybe that’s what I need to do, I don’t know,” Mershon said.
Glassburn, whose agency handles the Gallia County WIA program, explained that area policy states that the WIA funds are not intended for those individuals who are changing their careers unless their previous career skills are no longer in demand. The review of the labor market does not support a career change for Mershon. Also, WIA funds are not for individuals who have demonstrated that they can pay for tuition on their own. If an individual is already enrolled in school, it is implied that they are able to afford to pay for tuition without the help of WIA funds, Glassburn said.
“We want to help the citizens of Gallia County,” Glassburn said. “That is our agency’s goal: to help everyone that we can.”
The county commissioners asked Mershon to give them time to research the issue and find out if they can assist her in any way.
Children Services Director Russ Moore and Gallia County Department of Job and Family Services Director Dana Glassburn presented the approved memorandum of understanding (MOU) between their two agencies. The MOU was approved during a children’s services board meeting June 17. The commissioners also approved the MOU which will allow a continued relationship between the two agencies.
“I appreciate the relationship and I hope we can build upon this to better support the children we are representing,” County Commission President Joe Foster commented.
The Departement of Job and Family Services will continue to perfom fiscal agent duties for the Gallia County Children Services Board.
Assistant County Engineer Jennifer Brown presented the commission with an application for the slip repair project on Sugar Creek, White and Woods Mill Roads. Although the bid for this project has already been awarded to U.S. Bridge of Cambridge, Ohio, the project is considered an emergency project and thus, the associated paperwork was set aside to be completed when made available. Brown also reported that work on Woods Mill Road began on Thursday.
During the meeting, the commissioners approved a quarterly sub-grant report for the community liasion officer presented by Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning. Browning also discussed the upcoming contract renewal between the sheriff’s office and the Gallia-Jackson-Vinton Vocational School District for the contraction of two full-time deputies for the Buckeye Hills Career Center and the Gallipolis City Schools’ Alternative School. One deputy works for 200 days and the other for 180 days.
As per the contract, the sheriff’s office is being paid for the salary of both deputies but the office is not being reimbursed for the cost of the use of sheriff’s cars and equipment. Browning suggested that the use of the vehicles is a positive part of the presence of the deputies at these facilities but he wanted the opinion of the commissioner’s as to whether the costs of the vehicles and equipment should be absorbed by the sheriff’s office. The commissioners directed Browning to assess the cost for the use of the vehicles and report back with his recommendation.
• The commissioners received a letter from the Gallia County Health Department which indicated the review and approval of the remodeling of the Gallia County Work Release Center.
• The commissioners received notice that Precise Boring of Lancaster, Ohio will begin boring of the Kanagua-Addison Sewer Project on June 29.
• A letter was approved and signed that will be sent to the ODOT Office of Aviation in response to a recent inspection of the Gallia-Meigs Airport. The letter advised that the areas of approvement concerning the airport would be reviewed and work on certain projects will begin as soon as possible.
• The county commissioners gave Blair Builders a notice to proceed with the replacement of the windows in the Gallia County Senior Resource Center. Nearly half of the windows will be replaced.
• A vendor servies contract between the Gallia County Department of Jobs and Family Services and Community Aciton Agency was amended and increased by $10,000 to allow for additional non-emergency transporation mileage.
• The commissioners entertained a motion to allow the county auditor to create a new fund for the Continuing Professional Training Grant for the sheriff’s office in the amount of $920.
• The county commissioners attended a road viewing of several unused alleys in Patriot village that local residents have asked to be given back to the adjacent property owners.