The work at the town office is a marathon, and not a sprint.
One year after some of the present projects were first put into play, the work goes on. The update for this week is really more of the same. We continue to work at taking personal responsibility for the type of community that we can express pride in and enjoy being a part of. Getting committee work accomplished is a slow pro-cess, but, those on-board will continue to put together a comprehensive plan that can be used by the town going forward. One thing is for sure, Marlinton is not alone or unique, so far as some of our local issues are concerned.
The West Virginia Municipal League recently reported as many as one in 16 properties in West Virginia is vacant or abandoned. Most communities in West Virginia have dilapidated properties that reduce property values, create public safety hazards, and can be a barrier to economic development. Neglected properties affect not only the property owner, but the surrounding property owners, and the community as a whole.
It is apparent that we will have to work together to address these neglected properties. In the last few years, communities have been coming up with innovative strategies to address neglected properties with promising results. We can and must learn from the success of others.
Areas with neglected pro-perties will not get better on their own. They only get worse, and those same areas, left unattended, see increased crime and all that goes with it.
We can do better. These same neglected properties represent an opportunity for community revitalization and Marlinton is seeing some of that, as well.
Our youth have begun a new school year and the State Fair is over. That means fall is upon us, and winter is just around the corner.
I remember Richard Barlow saying he always felt like fall followed him back home from the fair.
But, September is my favorite time of year. Feel the crispness in the air, and the sky will be at its best and bluest. The grass isn’t growing as fast now, and we have a break before cutting wood and shoveling snow.
But, even September changed 15 years ago. Now, it reminds me of 9-11. We should understand that people under twenty-five years of age may not remember that terrible day and may not understand what life was like in these United States prior to that senseless attack on our homeland. I will always remember the horrific images of people jumping from the twin towers and the black smoke rising against the bluest September sky.
Last year, the town had a brief remembrance ceremony at the gazebo area on Main Street. I hope to have something again this year, but, have not worked out any specifics. The 11th falls on Sunday this year. I hope all of our churches will pause and remember.