Laura Dean Bennett
The regular 8:30 a.m. meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission was convened on time Tuesday and proceeded with approval of minutes and other regular administrative business.
There was one person present to be heard during the public input portion of the meeting.
Margaret Worth reminded the commissioners that April 6 would be the last day that FERC would be receiving public comments on the Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
She said she had been studying the possible deleterious effects of the ACP and of fracking on the county’s precious and irreplaceable water resources.
Worth asked commissioners if they would be going on the record to approve or disapprove the construction of the pipeline through Pocahontas County.
Commissioner David McLaughlin replied that the commission had, some time ago, written a letter asking Dominion if they would reconsider their original, northern route.
The original route would have had the ACP going through the national forest and crossing only four private property owners’ land.
“Our position was and has always been that we supported the northern route,” commission president Bill Beard said. “We felt that route would have the least impact on property owners in the county. By definition, the commission is opposed to any other route.”
Worth asked if, since Dominion has abandoned the Northern route in favor of the new route, would there not be a benefit to now writing a letter of non-support of the current route.
No reply was forthcoming, but commissioners thanked Worth for her concern.
Mike Cain brought a contract for approval for the annual maintenance including inspection and testing of the fire alarm system for the courthouse, the jail and the 911 Center.
Annual inspection and testing of these fire alarm systems is mandated by the state fire marshal.
The bid and contract were offered for the annual term of April 2017 to April 2018 by Secure Tech, LLC, owned by Joseph P. Clendenen.
Cain said the bid was for a lower price than he had found elsewhere and mentioned that he felt a local business would be more likely to do a better job for the county.
The contract specifies a total cost of $2,327.15 for the three alarm systems, an amount which, Cain said, he could cover in his existing budget.
Commissioners asked if SecureTech might not be the appropriate company to offer a bid to do the fire alarm inspections needed by the Board of Education.
Clendenen said that he was in the process of discussing that possibility with the BOE.
Commission counsel Bob Martin asked to look at the contract before the commission signed it and commissioners agreed.
McLaughlin made a motion that, assuming that the contract language met with counsel’s approval, the commission approve and sign it. The motion was passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned, in record time, at 8:50 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the county commission is set for 5:30 p.m. April 18.