Mayor’s Corner

Christmas and winter decorations should be in place by end of this week.

I attended the public meeting at Green Bank Observatory last week. Also, for your information, I delivered a letter in support of the GBO. The following is a condensed version of that letter:

As a citizen of Pocahontas County, I have personally observed the valuable contributions of the Green Bank Observatory. The payroll deposited into our county is a stabilizing factor in the local economy. The support provided by GBO to the Pocahontas County educational programs cannot be overstated. Our school system and social fabric have benefited from the GBO being here. The facility is a tremendous asset to our State, the Green Bank community and Pocahontas County.

The Green Bank Observatory has provided opportunities for employees and visiting scientists. The NSF science camps, student mentorships, and teacher work-study programs are unique in their own right. GBO has provided technology support and other assistance to our overall educational system.
Tourism is part of the GBO. But, tourism is a huge part of the Pocahontas County economy. Literally, thousands of tourists visit each year. Many of our county businesses have grown to depend upon the traffic that we receive because of the GBO. The loss of this facility would be devastating to these businesses.

Another factor that cannot be overstated and should not be overlooked are the people who have contributed to the success of the NRAO and the GBO. As the GBO has given to us – our people have given of themselves. A long list of residents and many personal friends have provided loyal service to the on-going work there for upwards of 50 years.

In summary, Pocahontas County is one of the most sparsely populated counties east of the Mississippi River, with an area of nearly 1,000 square miles.

While the community has welcomed and embraced the Green Bank Observatory, what must also be considered – the quiet zone that surrounds the GBO, has also limited other opportunities these last fifty years.

If this facility were to cease operations – the quiet zone would be all we have left.

Respectfully,
Sam

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