CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
WOOD COUNTY FIRE SERVICE BOARD
Wood County Court House
Parkersburg, WV 26101
The Wood County Fire Service Board (Board) hereby states that the object of the Board is to provide for the improvement, advancement, and development of fire services within Wood County, to establish funding priorities and mechanisms and to do any and all necessary business for the furtherance and advancement of fire protection for the fire service and citizenry of Wood County in accordance with any and all existing federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. Generally do any and all things necessary or convenient for the purpose of improving fire service protection within the area to be served.
ARTICLE 1- Title and Organization
Section 1: The official name of this organization will be “Wood County Fire Service Board, Inc.”.
Section 2: Creation and forming of the Board will be according to West Virginia State Code Chapter 7, Article 17 and shall be governed by said code.
ARTICLE 2- Membership and Terms
Section 1: The Board shall consist of seven (7) members in accordance with WV State Code Chapter 7, Article 17, Paragraph 6.
Section 2: Membership, service, and terms of members on the Board shall be in accordance with WV State Code Chapter 7, Article 17, Paragraph 6.
ARTICLE 3- Meetings
Section 1: The Board shall at a minimum meet quarterly the second (2nd) Wednesday of January, April, July, and October of each year. Other meetings may be called by the Chairman with seventy-two (72) hours proper notice either by phone or email. Emergency meetings may also be called by the chairman upon twenty four (24) hour notice and the Chairman must state the reason for calling the emergency meeting and only that topic or business can be discussed or acted upon. All meetings will be held in accordance with the WV Open Meetings Act.
Section 2: A Quorum shall be 4 members according to WV State Code Chapter 7, Article 17, Paragraph 6. All board members shall attend three fourths (3/4) of the Board meetings annually.
Section 3: If any member misses 2 consecutive meetings a letter will be sent to the Wood County Commission advising them of the absence and the Commission shall appoint a new member per WV State Code Chapter 7, Article 17, Paragraph 6.
Section 4: The board shall publish in compliance with the provisions of Article 9A, Chapter 6, of the Code of West Virginia 1931, as amended, all meetings, times, and places.
ARTICLE 4- Election of Officers
Section1: Annually the board shall elect one of its appointed members as chairman and another as vice chairman and another as secretary-treasurer. The first election will be held at the first organizational meeting.
Section 2: At the annual July meeting, officers will be elected. Nominations for the officers will be made from the floor by any board member.
Section 3: The officers may be elected, by ballot, to serve for one year or until their successors are elected. The officer’s term of office shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they were elected.
Section 4: No member shall hold more than one office at any time.
ARTICLE 5-Duties of the Officers
Section 1: The chairman shall have the general supervision of the affairs of the Board and shall perform such duties as may be vested in him by these by-laws not inconsistent with current applicable laws. The chairman shall preside over all regular and special meetings and shall use the “Robert’s Rules of Order” as the governing authority of parliamentary procedures.
Section 2: The vice-chairman shall assist the chairman in the discharge of his duties and shall perform the duties and responsibilities of the chairman in his absence, illness, death, or other inability to perform his duties, or upon his resignation.
Section 3: The secretary/treasurer shall be responsible for the recording of the minutes of all meetings of the board.
ARTICLE 6-Board Operations
Section 1: The Board shall oversee the distribution of funds collected by The Sheriff of Wood County in accordance with the Wood County Fire Fee Ordinance. The formula for the distribution of those funds will be contained in the ordinance and if not, will be amended to these by-laws at the appropriate time.
Section 2: The Board shall operate on a fiscal year to coincide with the Wood County Commission fiscal year, which is to run from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.
Section 3: The Board will be allocated an annual budget of $3000 to cover insurance, operating, and normal business expenses. These funds will be supplied by the 10 volunteer fire departments in Wood County and due and payable to the Board annually by July 31st. The Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer shall co-sign any and all disbursements from the general account.
Section 4: The Board shall incur no debt or borrow money on it’s or any Wood County Fire Department behalf. The Board shall not purchase any apparatus or equipment for and on behalf of any fire department within Wood County. The Board shall manage the disbursement of the fire fee only per Article 6, section 1 of these by-laws. If at any time during the year the Board would need additional funds above the $3000, a request shall be made in writing to the Wood County Fire Fighters Association to request an additional equal allocation from each fire department in Wood County. Funding for operations of the Board shall not, in any fiscal year, exceed 0.5% of the total fees collected by the fire fee ordinance.
Section 5: The board shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts and shall keep minutes of the proceedings of its members, meetings, and committees having any of the authority of the board and shall keep at its principal office a record of the names and addresses of its members. All books and records of the board may be inspected by any member at any reasonable time.
Section 6: The chairman shall annually cause an audit to be conducted of the books and accounts of the board by an independent firm. The auditor’s report shall be made available to all members of the board. The county fire board shall keep strict account of all its receipts and expenditures and shall each quarter make a quarterly report to the county commission and municipalities containing an itemized statement of its receipts and disbursements during the preceding quarter. Within sixty days after the end of each fiscal year, the county fire board shall make an annual report containing an itemized statement of its receipts and disbursements for the preceding fiscal year. The annual report shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of Article III, Chapter 59 of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county in which the county fire board is located. The Board shall also require an audit be conducted by each fire department receiving funds under the jurisdiction of the Board. These individual fire department audits will be due by Oct. 1 each year.
ARTICLE 7- Amendments to By-Laws
Section 1: These by-laws may be amended, altered, or repealed in whole or part, and new by-laws or amendments may be adopted, so long as they are not in conflict with the provisions of the laws of the State of West Virginia. These by-laws may be amended, altered, or repealed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the board at any regular meeting. These by-laws shall be provided to every member of the Board.
ARTICLE 8-Indemnification of Board Members
Section 1: The Board shall reimburse and indemnify each present and future board member, officer, and employee against expenses actually incurred by him or her in connection with the
defense of any action, suit, or proceeding to which he is made a party of by reason of being or having been such trustee or officer, except in relation to matters as to which he or she shall be adjudged in such action, suit, or proceeding, to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of duty. Such indemnification shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which he or she may be entitled under the laws of the State of West Virginia or otherwise. No member of the board may receive any compensation in connection with his services as a member. Each member, however, is entitled to reimbursement by the county fire board for any necessary expenses actually incurred in connection with the performance of his duties.
ARTICLE 9- Non-Discrimination
Section 1: The members, officers, committee members, employees, and persons serving this board shall be selected on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to age, sex, race, religion, national origin or physical handicap.
ARTICLE 10- Severability
Section 1: If any provisions of these articles or sections or application thereof to any persons or circumstance shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of these articles or sections, and to this end, the provisions and sections are hereby declared to be severable.
ARTICLE 10- Dissolution
Section 1: Upon dissolution of the Board any and all funds and assets then in its control, after payment of its obligations, shall revert to and becomes the property of the Wood County Commission, to be distributed equally to the Wood County Fire Departments and shall be used totally for the fire service in Wood County.