Short list at Tuesday’s commission meeting

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

It was fairly quiet at Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting as the commission addressed a short agenda.

911/Office of Emergency Services Director Mike O’Brien appeared before the commission concerning its sponsorship of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security’s 2015 Emergency Management Performance Grant [EMPG] application.

The EMPG program provides resources to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in preparing for hazards, as well as providing federal funding to emergency management agencies to assist with obtaining resources necessary to support FEMA’s National Preparedness Goal [NPG].

The funding is awarded based on Pocahontas County’s EMS period of performance for 2015. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security’s website lists a number of tasks and trainings that each agency must meet and undergo in its emergency preparedness system in order to qualify.

At the beginning of O’Brien’s time as OEM Director, the EMS met most – but not all – of the requirements. Since last June, O’Brien and his staff have continued to tackle the list of requirements, and O’Brien feels confident that now is the time to apply.

If O’Brien’s application is accepted, the grant’s funding will reimburse half of the money used for his salary in the six months he served as director in 2015.

The commission authorized Commission President William Beard to sign the grant application for the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security for a total of $8,830.65

Together with Commission attorney Bob Martin, O’Brien presented the commission with three easement agreements concerning the Pocahontas County 911 Center’s Office Generator and the 911 Radio Tower.

Survey lines have the 911 Center and Marlinton resident Daniel McGee’s properties in close proximity to one another, and the size of the generator requires a little more room than what the 911 Center’s property can offer. McGee has kindly agreed to allow half of the generator to sit on his property, and according to Martin, an easement agreement was drafted between McGee and the commission for two purposes.

“The first is so that we’re okay with regard to where it’s located that our insurance coverage will cover it if there’s a problem,” Martin explained, “and the second is so that they [911 Center] can gain access to the generator to work on it.”

Two easement agreements were presented to the commission with regard to the 911 Radio Tower.

The first was between the commission and the Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department. According to Martin, the Marlinton VFD is willing to turn over the rights for easement they received from a previous deed of easement to the commission in exchange for the use of the radio tower.

The second agreement concerned Southern States and its use of the transmission tower. In exchange for being allowed to use the tower, Southern States has agreed to provide the county with the propane needed for the tower’s building.

The commission approved the following:

  • to allow O’Brien to present the easement agreement to Daniel McGee for approval.
  • to grant O’Brien permission to present the agreement to the Marlinton VFD and get their signatures.
  • to allow Commission President William Beard to enter into an agreement with Southern States for propane in exchange for use of the tower.

Other Business

Pocahontas County Day Report Center Director Glenn Galloway presented the new program’s first monthly update. In April 2016, the program had 11 participants – five males and six females. Three of the participants were new. Two participants completed the program, while two were terminated and two placed on home confinement. Alcohol and drug screenings were conducted, and the alcohol screens saw three negatives and one positive. The drug screens resulted in six negatives and two positives.

As its final act of the evening, the commission approved a budget revision in the amount of $1,000 to be reimbursed to Pocahontas County Law Enforcement.

The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

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