KEYSER - When area residents travel to Charleston for Mineral County Day in January, they will be focusing on three main topics for discussion with elected officials and department heads.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - When area residents travel to Charleston for Mineral County Day in January, they will be focusing on three main topics for discussion with elected officials and department heads.
John Lecky, interim president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, and Anne Palmer, executive director, sat down with the News Tribune recently to share their thoughts on the three topics and how important Mineral County Day is to this area.
The three areas they wish to address are:
 - Substance abuse - prevention and recovery.
 - Higher education funding (targeting Potomac State College of WVU and Eastern WV Community & Technical College).
 - Community development and tourism.
“Mineral County Day is all about networking, and networking has opened up so many avenues for us,” Palmer said, noting that major projects such as the construction of Memorial Bridge, the construction of the Frankfort District water and sewer systems, the traffic light at the intersection of U.S. Route 220 and Pin Oak Lane, and the Keyser and Piedmont water and sewer projects have been placed on the fast track thanks to contacts made during past Mineral County Days.
Rather than “networking,” Lecky prefers to call what they do in Charleston “relationship building,” and notes that once the one-on-one contact is made with the legislators and department heads, “they remember us.”
Mineral County Day 2018 is scheduled for Jan. 11 and meetings are either already scheduled or in the works with representatives of the West Virginia Economic Development Office, Division of Transportation, Health and Human Resources, Division of Agriculture, and more.
“We have requested to meet with the Governor,” Lecky said, noting that they have not yet received confirmation.
Gov. Jim Justice will be giving his State of the State address the evening before Mineral County Day, and many Mineral Countians go down the day before to be in the capitol to hear that.
“Mineral County also hosts a luncheon for the legislators and department heads … and we have other side meetings,” Lecky said.
It has also become tradition for someone from Mineral County to open each chamber with prayer, and Tom Braithwaite will be offering prayer for the House of Delegates and Patsy Koontz for the Senate.
Various businesses and governmental agencies also prepare exhibits which are set up in the rotunda during Mineral County Day, and anyone wishing to be a part of that is urged to call Palmer at 304-788-2513.
“We invite anyone to get involved - clubs, organizations, businesses - everyone,” Palmer said.
Mineral County Day is funded entirely through contributions and sponsorships, and those who travel to Charleston to represent the county do so at their own expense.
Anyone wishing to become involved, or donate toward the event, may also call the chamber office at 304-788-2513.
The next planning meeting is set for Wednesday, Dec. 13, at noon at the Microtel Inn & Suites in Keyser.