Better late than never: Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week. The program is all about making sure children are properly buckled in the correct car seat for their age and size. The fact of the matter is that many children are not properly buckled – if at all. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHT SA), nearly half (46 percent) of car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) has partnered with NHTSA in sponsoring a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible – every trip, every time. 

“Correctly using car seats – that are both size-appropriate as well as age-appropriate – is the best way to keep your children safe.” 

 Good News: The Mountain Transit Authority was in Town for new bus-driver employee training Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 
The Marlinton to Bartow route will launch on Monday morning, September 30.

A Marlinton Loop (two days per week) begins October 8, and the Marlinton to Snowshoe route is planned for December 1. 

See ad on page 12 of this week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times for entire schedule and fees. 

As Council advertises for a consultant to evaluate the sewage treatment plant and collection system, the Town government is forced to look at sewer rate increases. The fact is, we must increase rates before funding is possible. Without a rate increase, grant funding will not be a possibility. While looking at other town and city projects that are being funded, I noticed a confirming aspect of obtaining funding. It is all about MHI [Median Household Income].

For instance: Projects Recommended to Pursue (IJDC) Infrastructure Fund Assistance were described as follows:  

Mineral Wells Public Service District, proposed project includes the replacement of several grinder pump stations, increasing the capacity of lift stations, additional head works at the wastewater treatment plant, and associated collection system improvements. The existing rate per 3,400 gallons is $43.70 and the proposed rate is $55.78. The 1.5 percent MHI is stated at $52.36. 

City of Piedmont: The proposed project is emergency repairs to the raw water booster pumping station. The existing rate per 3,400 gallons is $35.92 and the proposed rate is $52.42. The 1.5 percent MHI is stated at $27.94.

Town of Paden City: The water line replacement, tank rehab, and water treatment upgrades. The existing rate per 3,400 gallons is $42.06 and the proposed rate is $54.28. The 1.5 percent MHI is stated at $44.87.

Town of Rainelle: Water Storage Facilities Upgrade. The existing rate per 3,400 gallons is $29.75 and the proposed rate is $34.74. The 1.5 percent MHI is stated at $31.25 with sources in the preliminary application consisted of a SCBG and a CDBG. Total project cost is $1,500,000. Motion passed.
 
Then, The Town of Farmington, Preston County PSD, Nettie Leivasy PSD, Bruceton Mills WP, the list goes on. The pattern is obvious. Recommended projects for funding had all achieved at least the 1.5 percent MHI.  

CONCLUSION: Whatever you may think about current Marlinton utility prices, the fact is that  Marlinton utility costs are at 0.61 percent of Pocahontas County’s MHI. That is less than half of what funding agencies say we should be charging for services.

Inco-Check