Kanawha commissions approves funding for municipality employees

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission on Tuesday agreed to give municipalities $135,000 for paying first responders and essential employees who are working during the coronavirus pandemic.

The commission at its April 22 meeting approved matching the state “hero pay” block grant worth $100,000. The commission voted Tuesday to increase the funding by $35,000 from the county coal severance funds account.

The state block grant went to the city of Charleston, which will use the money for paying first responders.

The money will be split between municipalities depending on the number of employees:

— South Charleston will receive $43,224.30.
— St. Albans: $18,457.94.
— Nitro: $10,280.37.
— Dunbar: $10,046.73.
— Marmet: $9,672.90.
— Chesapeake: $7,102.80.
— Montomgery: $7,102.80.
— Clendenin: $7,102.80.
— Belle: $6,869.16.
— Glasgow: $4,635.51.
— Cedar Grove: $4,635.51.
— East Bank: $3,168.22.
— Pratt: $1,467.29.
— Handley: $1,233.64.

“It is not that difficult to manage if they just pay attention to the rules,” Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said.

“Every municipality in this county has issues with budgets right now. Technically, this doesn’t have quite the tight strings that other funds do, but, again, they understand what the rules are.”

The Kanawha County Commission approved “hero pay” for county employees earlier this month; law enforcement and other employees working during the coronavirus pandemic are receiving a $4 an hour increase, which is expected to end in early May.