Marlinton Town Council met Monday night, continuing with attendance options of in person, Zoom and teleconference for councilmembers and the public.
Mayor Sam Felton kicked off the meeting by announcing that he had received word from the governor’s office that the town was awarded a $44,000 grant for the Overlook Trail, planned for the area overlooking Rt. 39 and Fifth Avenue. A 20 percent match from other sources is required, which will bring the total to $55,000.
“I think there are sources outside our general fund that will help us come up with those funds,” Felton said.
Just 28 of 55 counties received grants.
Felton also reported that a dance recital had been held at the new Discovery Junction, and the town received several good comments about the facility.
S & D Diner owner Dennis Wilfong appeared before council seeking approval for a block party to be held in August on Second Avenue between the corner at Marlinton Presbyterian Church and the corner of Second Avenue and Ninth Street.
Recorder B. J. Gudmundsson spoke against the idea.
“I have something I would like to say,” she began. “I appreciate you coming here tonight. But I am also concerned that you came. The governor just mandated masks, and we have no idea what is going to happen. Activities in the county have been cancelled through October.”
Gudmundsson went on the say that she felt it would be a slap in the face to the county’s vulnerable population to consider approving such an event.
Felton advised that, since Second Avenue belongs to the state, Wilfong would need to seek approval from the West Virginia Department of Highways in order to close off a section of the avenue.
Council will hear the request again at its August meeting, pending approval from the state.
Gail Hyer, chair of the website committee, said all the links, but one, have been completed for the new site. The only link that needs to be uploaded is AccuFund, which will allow residents to pay utility bills and fines online. The site should be ready to go live in two weeks.
Council unanimously approved the first readings of the Amended Title IV Building Ordinance, Chapter 7, Dangerous or Unhealthy Structures and Amended Title IV Building Ordinance, Chapter 11, Vacant Structure Code.
The second reading will be heard at the August meeting, with the third reading and public hearing to be scheduled for the following month.
Moving forward with the proposed Sewer Improvement Project, council voted to retain the services of White Law Offices as its Bond Counsel; Spilman, Thomas and Battle as its Legal Counsel for PSC; and Dinsmore & Shohl as counsel for Local Services.
As the Water Improvement Project nears completion, Region IV advised that sufficient leftover funds – $220,600 – were available to purchase 529 radio-read meters for the town. These meters will allow employees to read them in a matter of hours, rather than days.
“We should see immediate savings,” Felton said.
It was also noted that the meters comply with requirements of the Quiet Zone.
Council devoted a large amount of the meeting to discussing the possibility of acquiring and operating the existing water system at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and Beard Heights.
It was determined that a consulting engineer is needed before any further steps are taken in the matter.
Two proposals for rent/ lease of the “H” building on Main Street have been received by the town.
A committee was established to outline the town’s responsibilities as “landlord” before approving any proposal.
Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, holidays excluded, at 7 p.m.