Nick Nunn, staff writer

Morgan County Manager Michael Lamar sent an interoffice memorandum to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) on Dec. 18 outlining county projects and initiatives that were handled during 2013.

The memorandum listed almost two dozen initiatives, including the Mannington plant expansion, 911 radio system upgrades, the construction of a new fire/EMS station, the recent changes to the county’s retirement plan, and the commissioners’ inaugural retreat, which took place on Aug. 30.

Lamar stated that 2013 was “the best [year] since I’ve been here,” in terms of dealing with initiatives.

“The BOC deserves tons of credit for their leadership,” stated Lamar. “Local governments have a tendency to be reactive, i.e. they wait way too long to address issues/circumstances, but the current Board of Commissioners has implemented a number of proactive initiatives.”

Lamar cited the reduction of employee healthcare and retirement costs, emergency communication and facility upgrades, and private employer recruitments as examples of proactive projects that the BOC delved into during 2013.

“I find working on anticipatory projects that make positive impacts on our organization, and more broadly our community, very rewarding,” continued Lamar.

When asked which initiatives he is personally proud of, Lamar said that he is “most proud of our work on Mannington’s expansion and pending warehouse construction, as these projects will lead to a couple hundred quality employment opportunities for local folks.”

According to Lamar, the topic of agriculture will be at the forefront of BOC discussions in the coming months. “The Board of Commissioners and I are committed to ensuring agriculture remains a viable and vibrant local industry,” said Lamar. “As such, I would look for us to spend some time in 2014 figuring out how we might best foster, develop, and promote agriculture.”