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MTC discusses above and below ground issues

Jaynell Graham

During public input at Marlinton Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Nelson Hernandez asked who was responsible for implementing the improvements set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, specifically how to deal with dilapidated buildings.

Mayor Sam Felton reported that the town had sent letters to property owners and that stickers were ready to be placed on abandoned vehicles within the town, as well.

The town has renewed contact with the state’s Slum and Blight Program, which will offer support in cleaning up these properties. Felton also said that multiple lots have been purchased by one owner which will help move the process along. 

The town has worked on the dilapidated properties issue for several years, but has faced roadblocks in that some properties are tied up in unsettled estates, resulting in numerous heirs having an interest therein.

The town now has a full-time police officer. Ian Galloway was sworn in Monday morning to take on that position. Galloway is from the county and served, for three years, as a deputy for the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department.

Wayne Hypes, president of Dunn Engineering, reported to council about the three-prong plan his company has for beginning the Sewer Improvement Project.

First up will be to study and report on the issues facing the town. 

Second will be a Smoke Test of the 18 1/2 miles of sewer lines that serve the town. 

At this point the town is selling 66,000 gallons of water a day, but it is pumping and treating an average of 244,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The Smoke Test will identify how clean water is finding its way into the sewer system.

The third step is Technical Assistance with the Town’s efforts in complying and replying to DEP violations.

Steve White with Grow Appalachia Gardens was given council’s approval to ascertain interest in a community garden which would be located on Third Avenue across from Lucy’s Grocery and Moore.

Councilmember Joe Smith voted against the motion due to his concerns that there could be old foundations on that property which would be upturned when plowing occurs. Smith preferred a site at the ARC building, which was the location of a community garden several years ago. Smith also told council that interest in that particular garden waned as the summer went on.

In other business, council

• approved payment of invoices in the amount of $270,175.10 associated with the Water Improvement Project.

• approved a year-long contract with Cucumber and Company to design, host and maintain the town’s new website.

• appointed Joe Smith to plan a Fourth of July event.

• approved the purchase of security cameras for four locations of town property at a cost of $3,450.

• Signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Monongahela National Forest as a Mon Forest Town.

• Approved signage for Marlinton as a Mon Forest Town.

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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