Morgan Haymond and Dave Simmons, representing Linwood Alive, appeared before the Pocahontas County Commission at Tuesday’s meeting and asked the commission to provide $160,000 toward the construction of approximately eight-tenths of a mile of sidewalk from the intersection of US 219 and State Route 66 to Snowshoe Drive.
Simmons explained that this project has been proposed for many years and, at one time, the state had approved $800,000 for it, but recently reduced that amount to $640,000, leaving Linwood Alive to not only acquire the remaining easements, but to also raise the remaining $160,000.
Commission president Walt Helmick agreed that the project was needed not only for the safety of pedestrians, but for its ability to unite the Linwood Community. The commissioners agreed to study this further and discuss the matter at one of their work sessions.
Stephany Moore, Executive Director of the Family Refuge Center, requested $45,072.54 from the county’s American Rescue Plan allotted funds to make up for FRC’s temporary loss of funding from the “Victims of Crime Act” (VOCA) due to COVID-19. These funds would cover the salary for their employee at the Marlinton office and help fund their assistance to victims of domestic violence. The commission again decided to discuss the request at a future work session.
During the meeting, the commissioners received a phone call from John Norman of Mon Power, who said he was responding to the commission’s complaint of high billing for electric service at the ARC building in Marlinton, a county owned building that houses the Day Report Center, Animal Control and several other agencies. Helmick said the bills have been averaging $2,500 per month. Norman said he would send several technicians to meet with one of the commissioners and an electrician at the building Wednesday to determine the cause of the high electrical use there.
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Cara Rose updated the commission regarding Pocahontas County Bicentennial events. Rose said the Huntersville events were cancelled due to COVID, but a low-key event was held this past weekend at Discovery Junction. She said they are planning to go ahead with a reading of the original resolution creating Pocahontas County at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Huntersville, which was the original county seat. A mock commission session is also planned for March 3, 2022 at Huntersville to commemorate the first county court session which was held there.
The commission approved an official proclamation relating to the founding of the county, which will be read at the December 21, 2021 regular meeting. That meeting will be held on the actual date of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the county, which was December 21, 1821.
In other business, the commission:
• Agreed to open a checking account to handle the funds from the approved two and a half million-dollar ARC Broadband Grant.
• Approved sending documents to the state regarding the Broadband Project.
•Approved Draw #3 in the amount of $11,500 from the Broadband Study Grant to pay for Engineering/consulting for the month of August.
• Agreed to interview three Architectural firms for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s HVAC and Roof Project. Those companies are Becker-Morgan; ZMN Architects; and Thompson and Litton. The interviews will begin at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 19, before the regular commission meeting.
• Selected three engineering companies to be interviewed for the Water/Sewer Project at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital on the same date. Those firms are E.L. Robinson Engineering; Potesta and Associates; and Dunn Engineers, Inc. These were the three firms recommended by a selection committee to be interviewed out of the seven companies that submitted proposals.
• Approved a sub-agreement with the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District to remove a large Weeping Willow tree along Marlin Run in Marlinton for$3,250, which is reimbursable to the county under the sub-agreement. The tree is leaning and threatening buildings in town.
• Approved the appointments of Janel Ghigo, Donald McNeel, Christine Rebinski, Jennifer Barlow and Ron Flemming to the EMS Authority Board.