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Commission distributes 2016 Hotel/Motel tax

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

Last Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting garnered a full house as representatives from numerous nonprofit organizations gathered in anticipation of the 2016 Hotel/Motel tax allotments.

Each organization was given an opportunity to speak, and many provided the commission with annual updates on their respective organizations and asked that their funding remain the same for the coming year.

Following the public’s input, the commission voted on the first of two motions concerning the 2016 Hotel/Motel tax allotments.

Commission President Bill Beard moved that the commission remain consistent with last year’s distribution and allot 50 percent of the Hotel/Motel tax to the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau; $75,000 to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital; $75,000 to Pocahontas County Emergency Service; $50,000 to the Pocahontas County Fireman’s Association, and $25,000 to the Pocahontas County Bricks and Mortar fund. The motion passed unanimously.

As for the remainder of the money, commissioner David McLaughlin proposed a one percent increase to Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation’s allotment for a total of 33 percent.

“I think they’re doing a service to Cass in taking over the park,” he said. “That park needs some work, and you can’t always count on promised labor and materials. I’d like to come up with one percentage to add to their thirty-two percentage. My suggestion would be to take it from [Pocahontas County] Dramas, Fairs and Festivals.”

In dispersing the remaining tax, the commission awarded three percent to Preserving Pocahontas; three percent to the Pocahontas County Artisans Co-op; four percent to the Pocahontas County Arts Council; five percent to the Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission; 20 percent to Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs and Festivals; 32 percent to Pocahontas County Free Libraries; and 33 percent to Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation.

In other news:

  • 911 and Office of Emergency Services Director Mike O’Brien was authorized to renew an agreement with Nixle Emergency Notification Program for one year at a cost of $5,150.
  • Nancy Jordan was re-hired as a full-time Deputy County Clerk, effective January 25, 2016.
  • In response to a letter from the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, the commission agreed to write a letter of support for their request for funding from the Claude W. Benedum Foundation Grant.
  • Tammie Alderman presented the Pocahontas County Day Report Center’s monthly update and requested that Day Report Officer Kelly Fugate’s employment be terminated.

    According to Alderman, Fugate left his office keys on his desk on January 6, and following a leave of absence due to illness, has neither provided an explanation for his absence nor been seen since. The commission voted to terminate Fugate’s employment and directed commission attorney Bob Martin to draft a letter to Fugate, requesting that he return the cell phone provided to him by the county.

  • The commission rejected quotes for a 2004 Toyota 4Runner and a 2011 Honda Pilot, respectively, and authorized Administrative Secretary Sue Helton to advertise for process server vehicle bids.
  • No action was taken concerning the proposed law enforcement contract between the commission and Snowshoe Mountain Resort. According to Martin, Snowshoe’s lawyers in Denver, Colorado, were still looking over the contract.

The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled for February 2, 2016, at 8:30 a.m.

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