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MTC plans to put houses in order

Marlinton Town Council adhered to one of its ordinances and scheduled its meeting for 7:30 Monday night. Council meetings, for many years, have begun at 7 p.m., but in a search of the records and minutes, Mayor Sam Felton uncovered the meeting time discrepancy. Council will make it right next month by amending the ordinance to reflect the seven o’clock hour.
A later start time meant a later end time, as discussions and actions continued until 10 p.m.
Several motions and adoptions were approved that will have an impact on the appearance and safety of the town, but for the general public, setting the day and time for Trick or Treat might be of the most importance at this time.
Trick or Treat will be Monday, October 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Town of Marlinton.
When you think Halloween, you think scary houses and things that go “bump” in the night.
Council took some steps at this meeting to attempt to rid the town of unsightly vacant buildings as well as unsuitable rental properties.
Rather than produce what might be an unacceptable alternative, council voted to adopt the West Virginia State Building Code in its entirety to fulfill a requirement from the State Fire Marshal’s office.
In addition, it adopted the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), another requirement of the fire marshal’s office.
Town attorney Laura Finch clarified the purposes of these documents.
‘The building code relates to new construction,” Finch said. “The maintenance code [IPMC] deals with how property ought to be maintained.”
Council had its first reading of the Rental Housing Registration Ordinance, which will require rental property owners to register their property or properties with the town, and those properties will be inspected – between renters or in response to complaints – to ensure that conditions are safe and acceptable.
Fees will be accessed.
Council amended the ordinance at the first reading, increasing the registration fee from $10 to $20 per property.
As with any new ordinance, three readings are required as well as a 30-day public comment period. At the appropriate time, information with regard to the public comment period will run for two weeks as a legal advertisement in The Pocahontas Times.
“This ordinance is in response to council’s request for volunteers to work on a proposed ordinance for rental property, which led to other actions we have dealt with tonight,” Recorder B.J. Gudmundsson said, referring to the adoption of the building code and IMPC.
Urban Deer Hunt
Felton reported that the town had received three complaints with regard to deer killed, but after looking into the specifics it was found that the deer had not been killed as part of the town’s authorized hunt. One was killed a week prior to the hunt, one was killed by gunshot, the third deer had been drug across the grass at Stillwell Park, but had not been killed there.
Sixteen permits have been issued to hunters, and to-date only five deer have been taken.
Councilmember Mark Strauss advised council of a complaint pertaining to the Water Plant Area being included in the Urban Hunt Property List.
His motion to remove that area from the list died for lack of a second.
Mountain View Cemetery
By a vote of 3 to 2, with Felton breaking the tie, council voted to allow upright stones in the subdivision of the new section of the cemetery. Deeds for those plots included a restriction, only allowing flat stones. The restriction was for the benefit of the town’s maintenance crew, and, as such, can be discontinued by the town.
In other business:
• Finch advised council that the process for reversing the annexation of the Beard Heights property now owned by Lisa Howard should be completed in the next month.
• The Beautification Committee has arranged for the flower pots on Main Street to come down in the next couple of weeks. Those pots will be filled with greenery and ornaments for the winter and Christmas seasons.
• Council authorized payment to Dunn Engineering in the amount of $40,173.16 for preliminary design work on the Water System Upgrade project. In addition, the town was reimbursed $1,824.55 for its outlay of funds prior to the establishment of the upgrade fund.
Council will meet Monday, November 7, at 7 p.m. in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building.
Jaynell Graham may be contacted at jsgraham@ pocahontastimes.com

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