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Chad and Michelle Akers address the Logan County Commission on Monday, Feb. 1.

LOGAN — The Logan County Commission on Monday approved two memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) documents to continue their partnership with the Southwestern Regional Day Report Center for another year.

The program, which is through the federal Division of Justice and Community Services, is provided to the county thanks to the commission matching 30% on grant funding. According to the program’s director, Michelle Akers, the total maximum cost to Logan County for the year is $50,892.75, which is divided into quarterly payments.

However, Day Report pays $1,500 monthly in rent to the county for county resources and space, so the cost to the county is reduced to $32,892.75 after rent is paid, Akers said.

Commissioners unanimously approved two MOUs — one to continue the partnership with Day Report and one to agree to accepting the $1,500 monthly rent.

Akers then briefly discussed Day Report’s most recently quarterly report, which revealed that fentanyl overdoses have seen a sharp surge since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past quarter, more than 800 Logan County residents received a service of some sort from Day Report.

Akers also announced that a spring farmer’s market will be held at the Logan County Commission’s Resource Center, located at Peach Creek in the old 84 Lumber space, thanks to a grant in conjunction with PRIDE’s BuildJobs Initiative.

Michelle Akers’ husband, Chad Akers, also discussed the Hungry Lamb Food Initiative, which he helps oversee at the Resource Center. He said the number of people being served by the food bank has increased since the pandemic began as more and more families have suddenly become out of work.

“I just can’t tell you how many stories we have heard of people that have come down and, you know, it’s their first time ever having to come to a food bank,” Akers said, “but, they’re out of jobs and you have to do what you’ve got to do, and that’s what we’re there for.”

Chad Akers said that from January to March 2020, anywhere from 107 to 130 families were served by the food bank. In April, those numbers went down due to widespread quarantining, but by October through December, that number had risen to more than 300 families.

“Without the 84 Lumber and Logan County Resource Center, we couldn’t do what we have been doing,” Akers said. “Our last one we did in December, we had 320 Logan County families that we fed. That was almost 1,200 individuals. It was 583 adults, 425 children and 190 seniors that we had to feed, and it’s not getting any better, and with the help of you guys (the Logan County Commission) letting us use that facility, we’re able to do things that most places can’t do and feed the amount of people that we feed. It wouldn’t be possible.”

Chad Akers added that members of the Day Report’s Fresh Start program, which allows individuals in drug recovery to tend to a garden, contribute greatly to helping the food bank, noting that they stepped up after the pandemic began because it was too dangerous for the older individuals who were there before.

Akers said all vegetables grown by Fresh Start are donated to the food pantry, as well as all fresh eggs from their chicken coop.

In other news from Monday’s commission meeting, commissioners:

  • Accepted the resignation of Terry Jude from the Buffalo Creek Public Service District Board and appointed Jim Blevins in his place.
  • Adopted a resolution affirming their intention to join the State Auditor’s WV Checkbook program.
  • Implemented a new community grant application process which Commission President Danny Godby said will provide a “better itemized account.”

The next regular session of the Logan County Commission is set for 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22. Meetings are currently closed to the public for in-person attendance, but are streamed on the commission’s Facebook page.

Anybody who wants to address the commission during the public comments period may call 304-792-8626.

HD Media news reporter Dylan Vidovich can be contacted via email at dvidovich@HDMediaLLC.com.