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Statutory Duties and Authorities

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The West Virginia State Constitution gives broad powers to the legislature to authorize the county commissions to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties, not of a judicial nature, as the legislature might elect to do. Many of the county commission duties and authorities are set out in Chapter 7 and elsewhere in the West Virginia Code. The following is a partial list of duties and powers: (NOTE: This material taken from the County Commissioner’s Handbook)

  • Lay and disburse county levies (7-1-3)
  • Preparation and adoption of a budget for all county offices except judicial (7-7-7)
  • Supervise the general management of the fiscal affairs and business of the county (7-1-5)
  • Approve purchase orders and payment vouchers for all elected county offices except judicial (7-1-5)
  • Sit as Board of Equalization and Review to hear appeals on property assessments (11-3-24)
  • Jurisdiction in all matters of probate (7-1-3)
  • In cases of contest, judge the election, qualification and returns of their own members and of all county and district officers, subject to appeal (7-1-3)
  • Custody of all deeds & papers presented for record through county clerks (7-1-3)
  • Supervision & Maintenance of County Courthouses (7-1-5)
  • Agriculture Extension (19-8-1)
  • Authority to treat streams to prevent floods (7-1-3u)
  • Cable Franchising Agent (Chapter 24D)
  • Authority to hire litter control officers (7-1-3ff)
  • Responsibility for naming and renaming roads, ways, streets, avenues, drives and the like, to assure uniform, non duplicative conversion of all rural routes to city-type addressing (7-1-3)
  • Construction of waterworks, sewers and sewage disposal plants within their jurisdiction (7-1-non duplicative)
  • Authority to lease, rent or permit the use of county property (7-1-3k)
  • Appoint members of certain county boards, authorities and public service districts
  • Appointment of Coroner/Medical Examiner (61-12-14)
  • Adopt ordinances and orders in areas of jurisdiction as prescribed by law
    • Authority to adopt, by order State Building Code (7-1-3n)
    • Authority to require, by order, permits for mobile homes or house trailers (7-1-3p)
    • Authorizing voter approved county service fees for infrastructure projects (7-20-11 & 7-20-12)
    • Dog Leash Ordinance authority (19-20-6)
    • Authority to govern business of massage (71-3z)
    • Ordinance for regulating dilapidated building & structures (7-1-3ff)
    • Ordinance restricting the location of business offering exotic entertainment (7-1-3jj)
    • Ordinance authority to provide for the elimination of hazards to public health and safety (7-1-3kk)
    • Ordinance authority to restrict certain activities in relation to obscene matter (7-1-4)
    • Ordinance authority for counties with a county-wide comprehensive plan to further regulate or prohibit ATV operation on any road in the county (17F-1)
    • Ordinance authority for county planning & zoning (Chapter 8A)
    • Ordinance authority for County Addressing and Mapping
    • Ordinance authority for Enhanced 911 (7-1-3cc)
    • Floodplain ordinance authority (7-1-3v)
    • Authority to establish a Hotel/Motel (Tax) Ordinance (7-18-1)
    • Authority to establish a Fire Fee Ordinance

The following services and functions are under County Commission authority (and/or city where applicable):

  • Ambulance Services
  • Animal Shelters Armories
  • Airports
  • Emergency Telephone Systems
  • Fire Protection
  • Historic Preservation
  • Hospitals
  • Jails
  • Law Enforcement
  • Libraries
  • National Guard
  • Building and Housing codes
  • Recreation
  • Emergency Services
  • Industrial and Community Development
  • Planning and Zoning
  • Water
  • Sewage collection and disposal
  • Solid Waste collection and disposal
  • Watershed improvement
  • Housing Authority
  • Floodplains and mudslide area management
  • Public health
  • Parks
  • Traffic and parking
  • County Building Commissions
  • Community infrastructure authority
  • Beautification initiatives
  • Senior Citizens programs
  • Community action
  • Community improvements
  • Air pollution control
  • Civil Defense
  • Soil conservation Districts
  • Public Service Districts
  • Inspection for food and drug adulteration
  • Stream treatment to prevent floods

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