Marlinton Town Council heard from a concerned citizens at Monday night’s meeting regarding the current social climate in the town.
Trish McNaull, who said she is not a resident of the town, but does have a business nearby, is concerned with the way some residents are being disrespected due to their lifestyle. She asked council and Mayor Sam Felton to demonstrate a zero tolerance for disrespect of diversity in the town – whether it be residents or visitors.
“I’m not asking anybody to compromise your beliefs at all,” she said. “As adults, everyone needs to model respect for other people. No one is any more or any less than anyone else in our community and this is what we want to reflect to our guests.
“Mayor, I’d like to ask you to address our friends and neighbors in your newspaper column on this issue,” she continued. “Not to find fault with anyone. Not to point fingers, but to expect and insist that people who live in Marlinton and visit as tourists are accorded equal respect.”
McNaull concluded by saying a friendlier environment is an obtainable goal if the community works together to be kind to everyone.
“Not only will a kinder social environment make Marlinton a better place to live, but will also lessen the likelihood of a local person disrespecting visitors based on creed, color, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” she said. “We can’t widen narrow minds, but we can do our best to open closed hearts.”
Council applauded McNaull and thanked her for her statement.
• Amanda Smarr, Region 4 Project Assistant/GIS Coordinator gave an update to council on the Storm Water Project. She said SHPO – State Historic Preservation Office – has requested an archeological study on the area where Phase 1 of the project will take place. The organization was concerned that there may be a burial site there and requested a study before construction can continue.
Region 4 senior project specialist Cassie Lawson said the archeologists fees can be covered under the grant funding for the project.
Council approved to move forward with advertising for an archeologist to do a study on the project area.
• WVU Extension agent Luci Mosesso approached council with a request to change the town’s chicken ordinance to allow two 4-H members who live within town limits to raise chickens as part of their 4-H projects. She said the families of the 4-Hers have approached their neighbors and the neighbors said they would be okay with having chickens next door.
Councilmember Joe Smith said he remembered council making changes to the ordinance when he was mayor and said he didn’t think it would be an issue to make an adjustment to allow the students to raise chickens.
Council said it would pass the request on to the personnel committee to draw up changes to the ordinance and will return to the issue at the next meeting.
In other action, council:
• approved Region IV Resolution #11 – smoke testing project; Region IV Resolution #2 for payment of invoices, storm water project; Region IV accounting agreement, administrative agreement, bond counsel agree- ment and legal counsel agreement for both the water system improvements project and sewer system improvements project.
• approved the scope of work on the current sign ordinance. The sign ordinance committee will now continue to review and make the necessary changes to the ordinance before presenting it to council for approval.
• re-adopted the newest promulgated version of the West Virginia Building Code, effective August 1, as required by the state fire marshal. The second and third readings of the building code will take place on July 18 and July 25.
Marlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, excluding holidays, at 7 p.m. at the town office auditorium. The meeting is open to the public and may be attended virtually through a Zoom link.