Swaim retires after years of county service
Well-wishers, county employees and friends joined his fellow Morgan County Commissioners in bidding farewell to Commissioner Thomas “Tommy” Swaim at a party in his honor before his last commission meeting on Thursday afternoon, December 23.
Mary Lou Trump presented Swaim with a framed drawing of the old Morgan County Courthouse, done by her son Conrad Trump.
Later, during the meeting, Commissioners Brenda Hutchinson and Stacy Dugan gave Swaim a plaque commemorating his 17 years of service to the county.
Swaim retired at year’s end after serving as a commissioner from 1997 to 2010 and as a planning commission member for 25 years. He also was elected to a term as Morgan County Sheriff from 1973 to 1977.
“I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed this job, but I am looking forward to live a life a little less stressful. Being a commissioner is a very
stressful job and I want to say for all three commissioners in the coming years that they’ve got a tough job,” Swaim said.
“It’s not easy. They have to make hard decisions the way the economy is and the budget. I am glad I am not in their shoes. It is going to be tough around here,” he said.
“We have had differences of opinion, but I love you both.” Swaim told Hutchinson and Dugan.
With tongue-in-cheek, he garnered laughs by saying, “I am going to miss you girls, but I think I can learn to live without you.”
During the December 23 meeting, the Commissioners gave out service awards to county employees. Most notable were a 35 year award to Perry Gloyd and a 25 year award to Bill Clark.
Other service awards went to Deborah Weaver for 20 years, Miriam Rider and Wayne Spielman for 15 years, Melanie Shambaugh for 10 years and Cathy Spielman, Nicole McCarty and James Steiner for five years.
Grant Assistant Carol York presented two resolutions for the commissioners’ signatures.
The first was to allow the county commission to be the fiscal agent to administer a $45,942 Division of Juvenile Justice Title 5 Drug Prevention grant for the Morgan County Partnership.
The second resolution was to amend the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways Safe Routes to School grant.
York said because bids for that project originally came in at a higher cost than the amount of the grant, the project was broken down into two phases and rebid, allowing the installation of sidewalks along Concord Avenue to proceed.
York and commissioners also discussed changing accounting procedures for grants with Chief Deputy County Clerk Cathy Payne.
Payne was asked if a separate line item for each new grant could be programmed into the county accounting system. She didn’t believe it was feasible and said County Clerk Debra Kesecker, who was not present, had said “no.”
Hutchinson said the issue is something that needs to be addressed at a later date.
County Administrator Jody McClintock reported that problems with the courthouse heat pumps had been corrected by CT Mechanical except for one unit which is awaiting a part.
She said the geothermal system has been repaired but is waiting for a safety feature to be enabled before the system can be started.
In order to get a permit for the geothermal system, the county had to pay a $5,000 industrial wastewater discharge fee.
The geothermal system pumps water in from Warm Springs Run and discharges the same water back into the stream at a slightly different temperature.
Since this is the first public building in the state with a geothermal system, there is no state code for permitting discharge from a “green” system.
Hutchinson said the commissioners will ask the Legislature to amend the state code for “green” systems and reduce the permit fee.