MTC takes action on deer hunt, fire fee and an auction

The Marlinton Town Council meeting began on a somber note Monday night as Recorder BJ Gudmundsson called the meeting to order and advised council and the public that Mayor Sam Felton’s mother, June Felton, had passed away early Sunday morning.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam and his family at this time,” Gudmundsson said. 
As is the custom at each meeting, council asked for public input, wherein Louise Barnisky reported that the Marlinton Woman’s Club had received a donation from Dominion in the amount of $1,000 which covered the cost of the flowers for the new planters on Main Street. 
The town has received several compliments about the appearance of Main Street, with the new planters on the corners and the hanging baskets on the lampposts.
Barnisky said she will buy tulip bulbs for fall to keep things looking nice.
Council expressed it appreciation to Barnisky and Cindy Sabota for their hard work.
Doug Bernier had questions about the pesticide spraying along Knapps Creek at Rt. 39.
Gudmundsson said Felton had looked into it, but was not present to give a report.
Councilmember Norris Long advised that the chemical being used became “inert when it came into contact with water,” so the water supply at the Marlinton water plant would not be adversely affected.
Old Clark Inn owner and Marlinton Building Maintenance Committee member Nelson Hernandez asked for and received clarification from council as to how the committee should proceed with establishing policies and procedures for addressing substandard housing within town limits.
Marlinton Fire Chief Herby Barlow advised council that they should take the NIMS (National Incident Management System) classes online to be certified at the 700 level for incident command. This training is available for individuals and takes just a couple of hours, Barlow said. Certified councils and county commissions, in addition to law enforcement and fire and rescue, can “speed up” FEMA’s response following a disaster.
An ongoing debate and discussion came to a near end as Long presented the Urban Deer Hunt Ordinance to council for its approval.
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held Wed-nesday, August 10, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the municipal building.
Long and councilmember Adam Irvine prepared a map outlining the areas in Marlinton common where the hunt will take place.
“The areas chosen are the major deer patterns of movement,” Long said. “These are some of the patterns, but not all.”
Areas marked in red designated areas where there was a negative response to the hunt. Those areas included Lakeview Estates, Mountain View Cemetery, the field below the cemetery and the area behind the Marlin Run watershed
Yellow highlights indicated areas where landowners approved of the hunt but will do their own hunting or will personally approve hunters. Those areas were not spelled out to the public.
Green marked the “positive response areas” where landowners at Smith Addition, Greenbrier Hill, Tho-mastown, Fourth Avenue, below Knapps Creek, above Stillwell Park, across from the water plant and the land known as “ the island” were amiable to the specifications laid out in the ordinance.
That ordinance reads, in part:
“PROPOSAL: The Town of Marlinton, in an attempt to control the deer population within certain areas of the city, proposes participating with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Special Urban Deer Archery program. The purpose is to reduce deer damage to gardens and orna- mentals in areas that have historically had problems from such animals.”
The hunt is proposed to begin September 3, 2016 and extend through December 31, 2016, Monday through Saturday. This is contingent on acceptance by the District Biologist. If it is deemed that the request for approval has come too late in the year, the deer hunt will be scheduled for next fall.
The hunt will be restricted to 50 participants, all of whom must have written permission from the landowner.
All deer – the first two being does – must be checked at a state-approved game checking station. Appalachian Sports has been designated in the ordinance as the preferred site.
Hunters may take a maximum of seven deer during the specified special hunt, and those deer will not count against their bag limit for the regular West Virginia arch-ery deer season.
The Urban Deer Hunt was approved by a vote of 5 to 1, with councilmember Don Morrison voting in opposition.
Complete information on the Urban Deer Hunt will be presented at the public meeting.
Information about that public meeting can be found on page 18 of this edition of The Pocahontas Times.
Another milestone was reached Monday night when council, by a unanimous vote, approved the third and final reading of the amended Fire Fee Ordinance which increases the nearly 40-year-old fire fee for town res- idents from $25 to $50 per year.
Upcoming in the near future will be an auction of the town’s surplus property. Council approved Ben Wilfong to be the auctioneer, with auction date and location to be determined.
Several items on the agenda were tabled. They will be taken up by the full council and the mayor and the next meeting.
Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building.

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