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MTC agenda items improve and protect

Jaynell Graham
Marlinton Town Council addressed a short, but important agenda at its Monday night meeting with a quorum of three council members present to hear and act on the issues presented.

The meeting was opened to Public Input where concerns were expressed with regard to tractor trailers parking at the First Avenue Mini-Park. That area hosts several activities and provides river access for fisherman as well as for Marlinton Fire Department to fill its trucks in the event of a fire.

Mayor Sam Felton said eliminating unauthorized parking is in process.

Another area of concern is along Fourth Avenue which borders the Greenbrier River Trail. This is often the first view of the town for people riding the trail. A clean-up of appliances and debris was recommended so as to enhance that “first impression.”

The council was asked to pursue action with regard to vacant houses, as well. 

Recorder and Planning Commission member BJ Gudmundsson reported that the committee had been meeting and is working hard to write a Comprehensive Plan for the town.

An Open House is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Wellness Center to solicit input from residents, business owners, and everyone who has a stake in the future of the town. Comment forms will be available at the Open House as well as at the town office for those who would like to share their vision for the future of the town.

One area that will improve the town is its Water System Improvement Project. Wayne Hypes, president of Dunn Engineers, Inc, presented the long awaited final design plans to council Monday night.

This project will upgrade the water plant, install a new 200,000 water tank in the vicinity of Mountain View Cemetery, do away with the hard-to-access Greenbrier Hill tank and will allow water to be drawn from out of town tanks in the event of a fire within the town limits.

“We will save $90,000 on road access to the Greenbrier Hill tank right off the top,” Felton said.

A conference call is scheduled for Friday to establish a game plan for the project going forward.

Missy Keatley, with Kinetic Connections, appeared before council with regard to a proposed “Paint the Town Blue” project in honor of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

Keatley asked that businesses in town decorate their windows in blue to show their support in addressing and ending child abuse.

A Children’s Memorial Flag Day program is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, at noon at the Pocahontas County Courthouse, where pinwheels in blue and silver will be displayed in remembrance of children who have suffered abuse.

Keatley said there are a lot of child welfare cases in the county, although we don’t like to think that it happens here.

“People don’t know how to report child abuse, so we want to get the word out that ‘here’s what you can do.’

“Reporting and intervention is not tearing families apart,” she said. “Sometime families just need a little extra help.”

“Paint the Town Blue” is supported by the Family Resource Network, Family Refuge Center, CASA, DHHR and Kinetic Connections.

Keatley is also working on plans for a “Blue Parade,” for the afternoon of April 27, which would follow the same route as the Halloween parade through town.

The town council expressed its unanimous support for the project.

Issues have arisen concerning permits for signage in town, which in some instances has created safety issues by blocking a driver’s view as they try to enter the highway.

Council asked Gudmundsson to talk with the Planning Commission to see if that committee would take on permit requests.

“We need to sit down with the Planning Commission to see what needs to go into or come out of the permit ordinance,” council member Don Morrison said.

Gudmundsson will give a report on the matter at the May meeting.

In other business, council

• Voted to hire Robert Martin as Town Attorney at $36,000 per year

• Approved Joey Clendenen, of Secure Tech, LLC, to go over the town’s fire alarm system to offer an estimate for maintenance.

Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month in council chambers on the second floor of the Marlinton Municipal Building.

Jaynell Graham may be contacted at

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