Mark Sankoff, engineer with Podesta & Associates, Inc., updated the Pocahontas County Commission November 1 on the feasibility study he conducted at the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital site. The commission had contracted Podesta to examine the current water and sewer systems and provide options for improvement to meet future expansions of the facilities there.
Sankoff said that the current water tower is in good shape, although it should be cleaned out and painted.
Sankoff said the options for the water system include:
1. The hospital and county commission continue to operate the current well and tower as a private water system. He did not believe the hospital or commission really want to operate this water system, but one of the two existing wells would need to be replaced if they do.
2. Tie into the Marlinton Water and Sewer Systems and operate the systems as a public utility which could provide water and sewer to about 35 other residences west of the Greenbrier River. Because Marlinton’s water rates are so high, the rates for this system would have to be even higher.
3. Drill two new wells and operate the system as a public utility serving other residences on the west side of the river.
Regarding the sewer system, Sankoff said his fellow engineers at Potesta came up with the idea of using an eight-inch pipe gravity system to send the waste from the hospital to the Marlinton treatment plant, since the owner of the current disposal area does not want to continue to lease the location. He said operators of the Marlinton Sewerage Treatment Plant told him that they have the capacity to handle the additional sewerage. He said other residences, the school and the West Virginia State Police office would have pumps installed to send their sewerage to the hospital from where it could flow into the gravity system.
He recommended that, if the new water and sewer systems are public systems that provide water and sewer to other residences, it should be administered by a public utility such as the Pocahontas County PSD.
The commission said it will take this information under advisement.
The commission also held a short public discussion with Ruthana Beezley and Amy Truesdale of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC) about submitting an application for an EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant application to remove the asbestos from the East Fork Tannery buildings. They approved a motion to submit this application along with a letter stating that after the asbestos is removed from those buildings, the buildings will be demolished. They said this will provide space for future industrial buildings at the location.
Amanda Smarr of Region 4 submitted a draft operations/management agreement with Citynet for the ARC Power Grant broadband project. The commission will review it before it is submitted to Citynet. She said it is very similar to the agreement Roane County signed with Citynet for its broadband project.
The commission approved its annual agreement with the GVEDC to continue serving as the county’s economic development partner. They also discussed testing the water discharge at the East fork Industrial Park and obtaining permits for the discharge from the WV DEP.
Bid were received for the exterior reconstruction of the old County Clerk’s Office in Huntersville, and were discussed with Architect Mike Gioulis of Michael Gioulis Historic Presentation Consultants, Inc. Gioulis told them that the bid received for the base exterior work came in at $112,410, which is more than the original $70,000 estimate. Commission President Walt Helmick said they fully intend to restore this historic building, however the commission decided to delay action for several weeks while they try to figure out how to lower the cost.
Clayton Shaver of the St. Joseph Recovery Center received commission approval to set-up a mobile substance abuse treatment van on the parking lot of the Day Report Center. They will provide rehab services to the community every Tuesday.
The commission agreed to contribute $5,000 to the Humane Society of Pocahontas County to help support its Spay and Neuter Program.
At the request of Nancy Dotson of WV Caring Hospice Care, the commission issued a proclamation designating November as National Hospice Month in the county.
In other business, the commission:
• approved for 911 director Mike O’Brien to apply for the Tower Assistance Fund grant to help fund 911 tower construction in the county.
* approved writing a letter to Senator Joe Manchin asking for his support for broadband construction in the county.
• approved two budget resolutions – LATCF Funds and an insurance refund.
• approved the following appointments to the county’s Local Emergency Planning Committee:
1. Gail Siers -Town of Hillsboro
2. Heather Niday – AMR
3. Leisha Cassell – BFD
4. John Leyzorek – Community Representative
5. Cindy Wilfong – Health Department
6. Jason Scotchie – PMH
7. Preston Cline – Snowshoe Mountain Resort