[caption id="attachment_3387" align="alignleft" width="300"]<a href="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2014\/05\/GH.-Town-Councilsm.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3387" src="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2014\/05\/GH.-Town-Councilsm-300x200.jpg" alt="Officials from Region IV, Jobs Development Council briefed Marlinton Town Council Monday night with details of a $4.35 million grant\/loan application for upgrades to the town water plant and water tanks. Pictured, l-r: Cassandra Hughart, Region IV administrative assistant, Councilmember Sue Helton, Councilmember Louise Barnisky and Recorder Robin Mutscheller. " width="300" height="200" \/><\/a> Officials from Region IV, Jobs Development Council briefed Marlinton Town Council Monday night with details of a $4.35 million grant\/loan application for upgrades to the town water plant and water tanks. Pictured, l-r: Cassandra Hughart, Region IV administrative assistant, Councilmember Sue Helton, Councilmember Louise Barnisky and Recorder Robin Mutscheller.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nDiscarded hypodermic needles have become a safety hazard for town employees assigned to clean up Marlinton's Mini-Park. Marlinton Town Council discussed the issue during its meeting on Monday evening.\r\n\r\nMayor Joe Smith asked council for ideas how to address the issue.\r\n\r\n\u201cAt the Mini-Park, the issue over there is the abundance of needles that have been discarded,\u201d said the Mayor. \u201cI sent a town crew over there to clean it up before the river festival and to pick up garbage and they was almost afraid to pick any of them things up. So, I went and got them some leather gloves. They had these plastic gloves and they was real hesitant on even doing anything with it. In the fireplace in the little shelter, there were probably 20 needles. It was just plum full of needles.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncilmember Norris Long said more police patrols had been requested.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhenever this issue came up before, council requested that the State Police provide more patrols in that area,\u201d he said. \u201cI have not noticed any increased patrols.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncilmember Louise Barnisky said suspicious activity continues in the park.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou'd be surprised what goes on down there at night,\u201d she said. \u201cLate in the evening and noise. Cars all night and screeching and screaming all the time.\u201d\r\n\r\nSmith suggested installing a dusk-to-dawn light to illuminate the area.\r\n\r\n\u201cI'm a firm believer that light deters problems,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nLong and Councilmember Sue Helton agreed.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think a light would deter a lot better than somebody sitting out there in a cop car,\u201d said Long.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think the light's a good idea,\u201d said Helton. \u201cLight does deter crime.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncil directed the mayor to install the security light and to speak to the State Police again about increasing patrols at the Mini-Park.\r\n\r\nCouncil moves ahead with grant\/loan application\r\n\r\nCouncil conducted a public hearing on a Small Cities Block Grant application, that the town is submitting to obtain funds to upgrade the town water plant and tanks.\r\n\r\nRegion IV Jobs Development Council Executive Director John Tuttle and Administrative Assistant Cassandra Hughart requested council action on the combined grant\/loan application. The town is requesting $1.5 million in Block Grant funds, along with $2.8 million in low interest loans, to fund the upgrades.\r\nSmith said the town would seek other grants to reduce the amount of loans.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere's a lot of sources out there,\u201d he said. \u201cIt's just that all projects don't fall under the guidelines that we have to meet for our project. But there are other sources, other than Small Cities Block Grant and the IJDC.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncil approved three resolutions necessary to move forward with the application. Tuttle said the grant awards would be announced in December or January.\r\n\r\nCouncil approves wild animal feeding prohibition\r\n\r\nCouncil considered an ordinance prohibiting town residents from feeding wild animals.\r\n\r\n\u201cDNR does recommend that we adopt this type of ordinance,\u201d said Smith. \u201cThis would totally forbid the feeding of wild game in the corporate limits. DNR feels if you do not feed them, you will lose some of the population because they will go somewhere else.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI am a proponent of this ordinance,\u201d said Long. \u201cIf you can't have a hunt, you've got to stop the feeding,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nCouncil voted down an urban deer hunt to reduce the town's deer population last month.\r\n\r\nRecorder Robin Mutscheller said some people enjoyed feeding deer.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe folks at the nursing home derive a great deal of pleasure, and you know, when you get to be that age and confined to a facility like that, you don't get much joy out of life,\u201d she said. \u201cWhat I was wondering is if there could be an exception, like we have exceptions here, if we could make one little place at the nursing home, but outlaw it every where else.\u201d\r\n\r\nFollowing further discussion, council voted 4-0 to approve the ordinance on first reading. Councilmembers David Zorn and Loretta Malcomb were not present.\r\n\r\nCouncil seeks Building Commission members\r\n\r\nSmith told council that he had not received the names of any candidates for the Town Building Commission. The defunct Building Commission owns a key parcel of real estate in the downtown business district, adjacent to the Pocahontas County Opera House. The town must re-form the commission to dispose of the property and any other Building Commission assets.\r\n\r\nThe mayor said original Building Commission member Ernie Shaw had expressed interest in serving, but that four more names are needed. According to Smith, Building Commission members may not serve on other public boards.\r\n\r\nCouncilmembers agreed to actively seek candidates for consideration at next month's meeting. Any Marlinton residents interested in serving on the Building Commission should contact Mayor Smith.\r\n\r\nIn other business, Marlinton Council agreed to consider the purchase of streetlights during next month's meeting, and authorized the Mayor to advertise for proposals for repair of the Municipal Building roof.