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MTC addresses plans and options for the future

Jaynell Graham
Marlinton Town Council had a long, non-controversial agenda at Monday night’s meeting.

In the public input portion of the evening, David White with Grow Appalachia, presented a proposal for a community garden for downtown Marlinton and expressed interest in some possible sites.

White has worked with Linwood Live and Linwood Daycare to establish a community garden and high tunnel as well as encouraging folks to have home gardens.

Over the years, there has been a loss of knowledge when it comes to gardening, canning and cooking, White said, and Grow Appalachia is working to bring back an interest in growing fresh and healthy produce.

One focus is to get children involved in the program to “raise another generation of gardeners.”

As this was not an agenda item, council took no action, but will put it on the agenda for the March meeting.

Nancy Martin and Kenneth Faulknier appeared before council with a proposal to install a “map sign” at Mountain View Cemetery which would provide a visual of the various numbered sections in the cemetery.

Martin has enlisted the help of several individuals for the project. Pocahontas County High School carpentry teacher Duane Gibson and his class will build a kiosk to hold the plexiglass protected map. Jamie Kellison will provide mapping coordinates. The Pocahontas County Genealogy Group published a list of graves and their locations at Mountain View, and councilmember Gail Hyer provided a copy of that volume to assist with the project.

Council approved the installation of the map.

Clinton Gabbert, resource assistant with the USFS, gave an update on the Mon Forest Towns Partnerships and its recent accomplishments, which included receipt of a grant from the Benedum Foundation to West Virginia University to design a website. The site will have asset maps for each town highlighting recreational opportunities and amenities. There is also a plan for a mountain bike trail on public lands which will connect to the Greenbrier River Trail and to Marlinton.

Planning Commission Chair Katie Workman gave an update on the work of the commission. She provided a hard copy of the group’s organization and planned implementation of goals. Workman and council agreed that a hard copy, rather than digital, was the best means of communication between the commission, council and the public.

Amanda Workman-Scott and Stacy Raffo, of the WV Community Development Hub, were at Monday night’s meeting, as well. That organization had included Marlinton in its grant proposal to help identify and develop projects in six Mon Forest Towns, and advised that they had received $15,000 for technical assistance to help implement them.

The Hub proposed that it assign a Community Coach for Marlinton, and that a steering committee and sub-committee be formed to identify projects.

Katie Workman provided a copy of the town’s Comprehensive Plan to the Hub, which includes projects and plans that align with the work proposed by that group.

The Comprehensive Plan was three years in the making, and encompasses various plans and projects for the town.

Since much of the work has already been done by the Planning Commission, Katie Workman said the commission will work with the Hub, “without reinventing the wheel.”

In other business, council

• approved a $500 cap on donations per organization per year.

• approved payment in the amount of $25,723.02 for Engineering and Administrative costs for the Water Improvement Project.

• approved for the Mayor to sign a  Substantial Completion agreement on the Water Improvement Project, noting several small items need to be finished, but sufficient monies are being withheld to ensure that they are done.

• took no action on fireworks for the Fourth of July, as the Saturday date increased the cost to $10,000, an amount council could not justify spending.

• discussed the need for marking and striping parking spaces on Second Avenue and other locations in town. Since the streets belong to the state, these items have been added to the town’s list of work to be done by the Department of Highways.

• approved a “Citizen Concern Form.” Concerns filed on this form will be addressed in some manner within 72 hours.

• Discussed emailed complaints from residents to the mayor and council members and how they should be answered. Going forward, all complaints and concerns will need to be submitted on a “Citizen Concern Form.”

Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, holidays excluded, at 7 p.m. in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building.

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