The Pocahontas County Commission heard from Mark Smith of the County Public Service District (PSD,) at its October 17 meeting. Smith asked the commission to give the PSD $25,000 for its Headworks Project at the sewerage treatment plant near Snowshoe. The commission had already allocated that money to the PSD to use at the Tannery Lift Station Project, but it was not needed there. At an earlier commission meeting, Smith had explained that when that sewerage treatment plant was originally built, incorrect filters were installed in it which resulted in a massive reduction of the volume of sewerage the plant can treat, compared to its designed volume. The PSD and the original builders of the plant have been tied up in court over this for years, with no end in sight. Smith said the plant’s present capacity is not nearly enough to meet the needs, so they need to quickly replace the filters, and cannot wait years for the legal issues to be settled.
Smith explained that the job of replacing the filters is not a simple one as they had been built into the basic construction of the plant. The PSD has budgeted $3 million for the construction necessary to install the correct filters, but their requested bids came in at about $3.6 million, so the PSD needs to come up with the difference. They did come up with $165,000 of the money but are still short by $410,000. He had asked to commission to allow them to use the unspent $25,000 from the PSD’s Tannery Lift Project and for any other contribution the commission could make, however the commission only approved the $25,000.
Smith also provided an update on the success of the PSD’s new waste compactor, which has reduced the volume of raw sewerage to being basically composted soil. Prior to using this compactor, they were transporting 80 to 90 loads of sewerage to Clarksburg, it has now been reduced to being a few loads of compost that are sent to the Lewisburg Solid Waste Landfill.
Also, during this meeting, the commission authorized Region 4 to draw down $12,788.54 from the county’s ARC Broadband Project’s Grant funds, which will be used to pay for invoices for legal, engineering and administrative expenses.
Commissioner John Rebinski announced that the signs have been erected dedicating a portion of Frost Road from Dunmore to Minnehaha Springs to Roland P. Sharp, Sr. Dr. Sharp died in 2013, at the age of 105. He was born in Frost in 1907 and practiced medicine for 75 years, 40 of which were in his rural practice in Pocahontas County. Dr. Sharp was also the founding president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton asked the commission for an update on the status of the demolition project for the old board of education building in Marlinton. Commissioner Jamie Walker assured Felton that the grant money for the demolition has been approved and the demolition should occur in early 2024.
In addition, the commission:
• authorized publication of the September Delinquent List.
• approved John Norman’s request for the commission to provide a letter of support for First Energy’s Investment Infrastructure Jobs Grant Application.
• approved hiring Brenda Jackson as a part-time driver for the Pocahontas County Ambulance authority at a pay rate of $13 per hour.
• granted permission to David Cain, a resident of East Cass, to plant three medium sized pear trees on a county-owned lot adjoining Cain’s property. These trees will continue a line of pear trees Cain is planting on his own property along a ditch.