Arthurdale Heritage seeks help to repair Center Hall

KINGWOOD — The nonprofit, Arthurdale Heritage, needs $19,565 to match a grant that will pay for repairs to the Center Hall.
“Since the last time I was here it has gotten much, much worse. It’s getting to the point that we’re afraid that we’re going to have to rope it off and not allow people to come in because the support beams are hanging by a thread,” Arthurdale Heritage Director Darlene Bolyard told the Preston County Commission on Monday.
She asked Commissioners Dave Price, Don Smith and Samantha Stone to provide the match from county funds. With the match and the grant, the project will be 100% funded, Bolyard said.
Without the project, the Center Hall will continue to deteriorate dangerously, she said. The roof and support beams on the left wing of the building need to be replaced. The Center Hall is the centerpiece of the New Deal era community, where events are held and houses the organization.
It wasn’t the first time Bolyard’s alerted commissioners to the problem and requested funding. She first requested money to aid with the repairs in May.
Price said commissioners are awaiting the final carryover balance from the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Then funding requests from Arthurdale and others will be considered, he said.
“When we have no money, there’s nothing to do with it. But we’re in a new [fiscal] year, and we’ll look and see if our budgeting carryover works out better than it has so far this year,” Price said.
Price asked how much of the match Arthurdale could provide. Bolyard said the organization’s total budget for “critical” repairs this year is $93,000.
“Anything you can do is very, very appreciated,” she said.
Bolyard said she would like to have the matching funds deposited in a special account by the time she meets with the State Historical Preservation Office, which is offering the grant, on July 31.
In other money related matters Monday:
The county bookkeeper said the county ended the year with $31,361 more in coal severance carryover than expected. The county budgeted for a $70,000 coal severance carryover. This is separate from the general fund account.
County Administrator Shannon Wolfe said the State Supreme Court authorized a payment of $32,400 toward rent owed by the Preston County Magistrate Court. The state is still two years behind.
By law, the county can charge $6 per square foot for space provided the magistrate court. As reported by The Dominion Post in September 2018, the county estimates the court’s rent at $2,700 per month plus $549 for janitorial supplies and services. From July 2015 through September 2018 a total of $102,600 was owed.
The county asked that a payment be made from the $38,018 then in the county court’s worthless check fund, which is fed by fees the court charges when collecting on worthless check cases. Any payment is welcome, Wolfe said.
“That is $32,000 we did not have in the budget, so it is very good news,” Wolfe noted.
Wolfe also told commissioners that with the termination of the North Central Emergency Management Service, which provided training for EMS regionally, each of the member counties received money. Preston got $8,490, which can be used for EMS training.

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