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Sam Nolte takes the oath of office as county commission president Thursday morning at the first commission meeting of 2024. / (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

County elects new commission president at first meeting of 2024

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has elected Sam Nolte as commission president for the 2024 calendar year.

The commission met for their first session of the year on Jan. 4, where the three commissioners agreed to pass the reins from Kristie Tenney, who held the position for three years, to Commissioner Sam Nolte.

“I appreciate all the years you served as president; this was your third year, which is a long time,” Nolte said to Tenney. “I remember Terry [Cutright] commenting to me that you don’t know how hard you work as president until you’re not president.”

This will be the third time Nolte has been selected to be president of the commission.

“It’s a lot of work, and Doug [Bush] been with us for a little over a year – I did it after my first year – and you’re still learning a lot your first couple of years,” Nolte said. “It would be nice to give him another year or two just to get a better understanding of exactly what’s going on before he’s president.”

Nolte wants to continue facilitating partnerships with other counties and the City of Buckhannon to provide the best quality of life for people living in the region.

“I want to continue what we have done, which is making sure we’re giving folks the best service possible with the courthouse, continuing to support economic development and keeping our partnerships between the city and county strong,” Nolte said. “I want to work together with our surrounding counties – Lewis, Randolph, Barbour and Webster – to see if we can attract jobs to this region, and I think what benefits them benefits us as well.”

He and the rest of the commissioners are looking forward to working on the new recreational complex that will be constructed adjacent to U.S. Route 33 across from Red Rock Road.

“The rec complex is definitely going to be a focus, I think not just for myself, but for the entire commission, and we’re going to keep moving in the right direction,” Nolte said. “It’s going to be a longer process, but we are definitely excited, and I can’t say enough that the Allen family really helped out not just Upshur County but the whole region.”

The commission voted to continue meeting weekly at 9 a.m. on Thursdays on the third floor of the Upshur County Courthouse, with the ability to cancel meetings at their discretion. The rules, sign-in sheet and agenda for these meetings will remain the same as previous years. The commission also decided to maintain the current courthouse operating hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Typically, we follow the state’s scheduled holidays, and in the last couple of years, the governor has also typically thrown three other dates in there, but we don’t list them because he usually makes that announcement a week prior – sometimes the day –before just to see what’s going on,” Nolte said.

The official list of scheduled holidays and administrative days can be found on the county website, at the bottom of the main page.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved and signed a 2023-2024 school year Prevention Resource Officer Agreement by and between the Upshur County Board of Education, Upshur County Commission and Upshur County Sheriff’s Office for the placement of a Prevention Resource Officer that will rotate among the seven elementary schools in Upshur County.
  • The commission approved the purchase of a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from the 26th Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Program for $12,000 for use in the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office.
  • The commission approved a Request for Bids and Minimum Vehicle Specifications for one sport utility vehicle for the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office. Sealed proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2024, at the Administrative Annex located at 91 West Main Street, Suite 101. Bids received by the deadline will be publicly opened, reviewed and read aloud by the Commission at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

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