Pocahontas County Commission President Walt Helmick announced at the September 21 commission meeting that the proposed demolition landfill project, to dispose of materials from demolished abandoned buildings, will likely need to find a new site. The plan up to now had been to put the landfill on a couple of acres of land at the county-owned East Fork Industrial Park in Frank. Because the site the commission had chosen is in or very close to a flood plain, Helmick said they would need a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which would require that the county hire an engineering firm to study the site, which could cost an additional $60,000. Because of that additional cost, he wants to look for another site in the area that has about two acres and is out of the flood plain.
Helmick said he is interested in a flat piece of land at the top of a nearby hill, which is well out of any flood plain. This is part of a 116-acre tract of land the commission sold to Interstate Hardwoods years ago. The commission wants to visit the site to see if it would be practical before considering making any offer on it.
During an informal discussion, Helmick talked about issues the proposed new Courthouse Annex project faces because the jail building, which would need to be demolished to make room for the annex, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Helmick said he has been in discussion with the state office about how to decertify the jail’s historic status. Helmick also said he believes the State Fire Marshal might condemn the jail building which could help move the plan forward.
Rita Griffith, Director of the Day Report Center, asked the commission to sponsor two new employees to work as janitorial, maintenance and litter removal employees. These positions would be paid for by the COVID-19 National Health Emergency Grant, which would pay to hire displaced homemakers or people who have a hard time getting jobs because of criminal records or for other reasons. They would work under the supervision of Day Report personnel at public places such as Stillwell Park, Discovery Junction or the Greenbrier River Trail. The commission agreed to sponsor those positions.
Robert DiDomenico asked the commission to appoint five people to serve on the Pocahontas County Selective Service Board. This board normally holds no meetings or has any responsibilities unless a military draft were to be resumed in the U.S. If that were to happen, the board would hear local appeals from individuals who receive draft notices who don’t believe they should be drafted. The commissioners agreed to do this.
In other actions, the commissioners:
• agreed to appoint a selection committee to review the seven engineering proposals received for the proposed water and sewer project at the hospital. The commissioners agreed to appoint themselves plus allow Mayor Felton to select two Town of Marlinton officials to this committee.
• authorized 911 director Mike O’Brien to hire Sarah Stanley as a full-time 911 Dispatcher.
• passed a resolution supporting the County Clerk’s and the Circuit Court Clerk’s applications for the Records Management and Preservation Board Grant applications.
• passed a resolution supporting their application for the West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund grant.
• approved the 2020-2021 Pocahontas County Financial Statement.