The Mingo County Commission finalized almost all of the actions necessary to rid itself of the old Williamson High School complex that had become the source of a controversy and often referred to as a “white elephant” Tuesday evening.

The meeting proceeded fairly quickly as Commission President Diann Hannah and Commissioner Thomas Taylor worked their way through the agenda. Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith was on vacation and did not attend the meeting.

Tina Lockard, county finance officer and commission liaison, presented the pair with two of the last three bills for the complex. The first was a $1,633 utility bill for the middle school portion of the complex. The second was the final payment to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority for the entire complex in the amount of $140,850.

The commissioners voted to pay those bills and acknowledged their relief of the complex being out of their hands with smiles and laughter.

Lockard told them the only thing that remained would be the final utility bill on the Community Services Building because a final read out for it by the power company was not done at the same time as the other portions of the complex. She said she is not expecting that payment to be very significant.

The complex had sold at auction in mid-October with a final bid of $800,500. The county had set a minimum bid of $330,000 but a bidding war ensued and greatly increased the final selling price.

After paying the bills on the property, Taylor made a motion to transfer $650,000 of the proceeds to the county’s rainy day fund. That amount left the remaining $3,000 in the general fund to cover the remaining utilities of for the Community Services Building which Lockard said would easily cover the outstanding bill.

“It is better to go ahead and put the money in savings,” said Hannah. “if you don’t it will just be easy to spend it.”

Lockard told the commission that the budget is currently in good condition and the county should end the year in the black, however, if something negative did occur money from the rainy day fund could be transferred back into the general fund. 

“We have not had to take any money out of the rainy day fund this year,” Lockard said. “But we have had to make transfers over the years.”

The rainy day fund is based on a percentage of the annual county budget and currently caps out at just over $1.4 million dollars. The transferred approved by the commission will bring the fund total to $1,088,073.

In other business, the commission:

• Signed the professional services contract for Design 9 to conduct a broadband needs study for the Gilbert area;

• Awarded a bid to M&L Electric for a generator at the Naugatuck Water Plant; and

• Extended the employment contact for the courthouse custodian for 120 days.