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W.Va. could save millions on Courtesy Patrol, audit finds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia could save millions of dollars if the Division of Highways operated the state Courtesy Patrol internally, instead of contracting the service out to a non-profit agency, a legislative audit released Sunday found.

In the 2014-15 budget year, the DOH paid non-profit Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia $3,185,174 to oversee the traveler assistance program, which has Courtesy Patrol drivers patrolling 25 routes around the state 16 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The audit concluded that if the DOH operated the Courtesy Patrol internally, wages and benefits for drivers, supervisors and dispatchers would run $1,963,252 a year, a savings of more than $1 million annually.

Prior to the current budget year, the state paid CCCWV $29.3 million to operate the Courtesy Patrol from fiscal years 2005 through 2014, according to the audit.

In 2014, Highways extended its contract with CCCWV, despite concerns that five executives of the non-profit had salaries totaling in excess of $500,000, including executive director Robert Martin, who reported a salary of $248,330, and Courtesy Patrol director Jennifer Douglas, with a salary of $107,500.

Since then, Martin’s salary has increased to $349,250, and Douglas’ salary to $113,000…

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