These are words from a letter, addressed to the Town of Marlinton, and signed by Governor Underwood, dated September 5, 2000:
“I am pleased to advise that various streets in the Town of Marlinton have been made an official part of the Division of Highway’s State Local Service System. Inclusion in the state system means the DOH will be able to maintain these roads and provide greater service to the people of West Virginia.”
This information is being shared for a specific reason. Everyone is concerned about the condition of the streets in the Town of Marlinton – including the Mayor. Some say, “if paving is not done soon, some streets are going back to dirt.”
Most want to know why something can’t be done – including the Mayor.
Identifying problems are easy.
Complaining about problems is easier still.
Working through the layers of bureaucracy and compliance on the way to correcting the problems is a cumbersome process.
For those who did not know – now you are aware.
The first obstacle with regard to street repairs in Marlinton is to convince the DOH to do something. With few exceptions, the streets in town are owned and are to be maintained by the State of West Virginia – but not the alleys.
The streets and avenues of the town were taken over by the state in September 2000, by Record of The Commissioners Orders, dated August 11, 2000.
DO NOT COMPLAIN TO OUR LOCAL DOH.
Our local DOH does a good job with repairs, as far as they are able. Your complaints about street conditions should be directed to the attention of the office of the District Engineer, PO Box 1516, Elkins, WV 26241.
Maybe your calls and letters will help.
A little good news
The current Governor’s County Priority Plan identifies the “problem streets” that have been complained about. Anyone interested can look up this list online.
For instance, Fourth Avenue (CR39/14) is to be paved from SR39, north and past the town garage. This bid was set last August or September. This particular paving has been promised by the District Engineer – every year for the last five years.
After meeting the Highways Commissioner in January, he was fired by the Governor, before I could get answers to two questions.
What was the advantage to the State in taking over city streets? And more importantly, what was supposed to be the benefit to the town by giving up its responsibility for the streets?
Obviously, we still plow snow and do other work as necessary, without any reimbursement.
As a last resort, Marlinton Town Council agreed to set aside money in the 2019/2020 budget for patching. However, the town hopes to see DOH begin to utilize the Governor’s Pocahontas County Priority List, before the town begins patching state streets.
Town business and projects are just like taking care of improvements at home.
Whatever the issue – money is the ultimate problem.
Somebody has to pay.