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Mayor’s Corner

On September 16, 2015, I attended a WVU Land Use program at Mountain Quest – dealing with dilapidated buildings. Obviously, this is a problem all over our state that has been compounded by the general downturn in the economy. The efforts following this meeting have been ongoing. It has taken one year to fill the seats of the Marlinton Housing Authority and create a Planning Commission. Another meeting of the Land Use program is scheduled to take place October 10 and will serve as a training session for as many of both groups as are able to attend. This particular meeting has been at least two months in the making.
Some of last week’s activities, in addition to day-to-day operations, are as follows:
Monday – The (SWPP) Source Water Protection’s required Public Meeting took place in the evening at the municipal building. The meeting consisted of a presentation and discussion following how the regulation was born following the Freedom Industries spill into the Elk River, nearly two years ago. This meeting advanced Marlinton and three other county utilities in the certification process. Now, we await a two-week period for public comment; following which, the Town’s plan will be sent to the state board for final authorization. The program will be updated every three years, but, should not require another public meeting. All of our county systems are blest to have great water sources.
Tuesday – Just before noon, FEMA canceled the scheduled Hazard Mitigation meeting which was to be held that evening at the municipal building. To save time and resources, it was combined with the Richwood meeting on the 28th. According to the state coordinator, there are two rating systems, one is through the International Code Council (ICC) and the other from FEMA. The June flooding in West Virginia brought a “flood” of state and federal agencies’ focus upon what will be known as “CRS” – community rating systems.
The Town has been informed that the better we enforce and enhance our floodplain management and enact and enforce International Building Codes, the cheaper insurance will become for our community. Both are on a point system. The better the score, the lower the insurance premium. Availability (and affordability) of flood insur- ance coverage demands that we keep up flood insurance requirements. Of course, this also means more work on the community’s part.
NOTE: A statewide IBC analysis is scheduled to begin soon. This will grade every community and the state as a whole. West Virginia will be hard-pressed to score well, since many areas have no building codes and where codes do exist, they are weakly enforced.
Wednesday – The morning consisted of final discussions on council’s agenda before posting, and the pros and cons of a Smart Growth America program – details of which may be viewed online. Also, a sewer pump with a bad seal at the lagoon went down and had to be sent away for repairs.
Thursday – Updated e-files, and listened to citizens’ complaints, as such.
Friday – Localized flooding added to tensions again as the town received 4.75 inches, according to my rain gauge on 10th Avenue. Beaver Creek and Edray Fish Hatchery reported five inches of rain, and it sounds like eight inches fell in and near the Frost/Dunmore area.
I believe the 1985 event was 7.5 inches, but more widespread.
By the way, we have just hosted another successful Autumn Harvest Festival and RoadKill Cook-off.
The BBC was in town to do a story. This is the type of article that makes me want to say, “Never again.”
Key points were left out entirely. Other comments were only partially quoted.
Just for the record, when the Mayor’s Corner begins to come across the way the BBC portrayed our region and our festival, please tell me, and I’ll quit.
Read it for yourself at:
I never run out of topics, but, I do often run out of time.
So, I will see you next week with more items of interest.

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