Jaynell Graham\r\nEditor\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council kicked off the new year by moving further into the world of technology.\r\n\r\nPrior to its regular meeting, a special session was held to hear a presentation on Esri \u2013 a geographic information system (GIS) which gathers and manages analytical data. According to\u00a0ersi.com, \u201cthis system helps users make smarter decisions.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncil approved an Esri\/Region 4 Partnership Program for 2019. Data collected during the year will be available in the future, even if the town does not renew the program for 2020. For now, council approved the purchase of four units at $250 each, and a one-year license at a cost of $400. \r\n\r\nRegion 4 Executive Director John Tuggle said a GPS Survey Grade unit would be needed to detect anything underground.\r\n\r\nThe town will use the GIS program to manage every department. The mayor, town maintenance crew chief, town police and the water plant manager will each have a unit.\r\n\r\nThe program has the capability to do such things as collect data about the location of water and sewer lines, monitor and maintain information about issues the police officer encounters, as well as receive complaints from residents and keep a record of the town\u2019s response. \r\n\r\nBrian Farkas, Executive Director of the West Virginia Conservation Agency presented that entity\u2019s plan going forward with regard to maintenance and flood control for the Marlin Run Dam. In the past, the town has paid $1,750 per year toward upkeep of the dam, but in the future, Farkas said the town will receive an itemized work plan so it will see where its money is being used. Council will review the agreement.\r\n\r\nIn the town\u2019s ongoing Water Improvement Project, council approved payment of $554,053.57 to Orders Construction, and $20, 305.94 to Dunn Engineering for technical work.\r\n\r\nCouncil also approved valve replacement at the water plant and a 60-day extension for the Cemetery Hill Tank installation.\r\nGetting a head start on summer activities, council approved an initial $5,000 for fireworks for the town\u2019s anticipated celebration. \r\n\r\nCouncil continues its work on RV variances to allow RVs to be allowed within the town limits in excess of the 30-day per quarter which is stated in the original ordinance.\r\n\r\nOnce again, approvals were tabled as changes and clarifications to the RV variance applications, which were brought up at the December meeting, had not been made.\r\n\r\nT-Mobile\u2019s proposal for a communication facility at the municipal building is on hold. The town asked to exchange services in lieu of payment for that facility, but recently learned that T-Mobile cannot do an exchange. The proposal will require further study as to whether the town can or cannot enter into an agreement.\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, except holidays, in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building.\r\n\r\nThe public is encouraged to attend.