911 Mapping And Addressing In Pocahontas County Slowly Grinds On

Marlinton, WV – Matt Taylor, 911 Mapping and Addressing Coordinator for Pocahontas County says in the last 4 and a half years he’s mapped 415 roads in the county looking for unnamed roads, and has about 50 more to go. During the Pocahontas County Commission meeting last week, Taylor told them that although they’ve only completed about a third of the mapping project for the county in that time, he expects the rest of the project to move faster. Aside from expressing his frustration at the slow pace of the project, Commission Martin Saffer wants to know what happens if someone absolutely has to have physical address documentation. Taylor says they can accommodate such a request thanks to the state.

“We’ve had a meeting with the department of Homeland Security just last week and they’ve given us permission that if people come to us needing to get a driver’s license, utilities, anything that needs a physical address, they’ve given us permission to go out and address that site,” says Taylor.

Pocahontas 911 Emergency Director Shawn Dunbrack says one big holdup on the project has been coordination with the US Post Office. But he says they are trying to get around that problem at the state level.

“Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato is working with the [West Virginia] legislature right now to try and drop the postal service out of 911 mapping and addressing,” says Dunbrack. “Until then we have to play by their rules. There used to be 120 people working with the postal division doing the address conversion from your rural route to your new 911 address. That office has been dropped down to one person for West Virginia.”

Commissioner Jamie Walker told Taylor that he would like to accompany him on his next trip to the field to gather gps information.

In other business, Elissa Taylor spoke to the Commission about the Community Corrections program. She says of the 32 Pocahontas offenders currently in the regional jail, 4 are from the community corrections program, having violated the agreement that kept them out of jail.

“Part of the problem is that the four that’s in jail right now that I can speak for are just on bond,” she says. “That means that they are not getting any kind of treatment ; and they’re violating their bonds by being drunk or high when they take their [drug] test. That’s not going to change until people get treatment.”

Taylor gives an update on other offenders in the program.

“I only have five actual day report offenders right now; our numbers are very low as you can see, each month they are going down,” she says. “And in turn that causes our community service hours to be lower and employment hours to be lower because we can only count for those five people. Basically they’re just not utilizing the program in this county.”

The Commission and the Magistrates say there is a question about how much supervision can be ordered for someone on bond. They also question whether the bond process places an undue burden on offenders without offering treatment that could steer them away from the illegal behavior.

The Commissioners also took the following actions during their meeting:

Agreed to advertise for an engineer to oversee the final stage of the East Fork Industrial cleanup
Approved Alicia Tallman as the Assistant Supervisor for the One Room University
Approved $3000.00 in matching funds for the Pearl S. Buck museum to hire Michael Toler as a Americorps worker
Agreed to advance $75,000.00 to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital for their portion of the Hotel/Motel tax
And accepted a heating bid for the courthouse, jail and Durbin magistrate office from Woodford Oil, the only bidder.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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