Chamber of Commerce & Humane Society Selflessly Withdraw their Funding Requests

Two non-profit organizations here in Pocahontas County recently demonstrated the attitudes that set the Allegheny Highlands of the two Virginias apart from every other place.

The May 2nd Pocahontas County Commission meeting included the last opportunity of the fiscal year for non-profit organizations to request funding or contributions from the Commissioners.  Four such organizations made their pitch to the Commissioners – The Humane Society of Pocahontas County; Youth Health Services; the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce; and the Family Resource Network.

The problem was that their combined requests totaled $14,100.00, while the Commission only had $4,326.00 remaining in their contribution budget to give away. The Commissioners considered dividing the remaining funds four ways, however two of the organizations –the Humane Society and the Chamber of Commerce, having heard the needs of the other two organizations, selflessly stepped up and withdrew their requests in deference to the greater needs of the other two organizations.

The Family Resources Network needed the funds to purchase food to help needy families, and the Youth Health Services needed the funds to provide drug rehabilitation therapy for County youth.  These withdrawals of requests allowed the Commission to present $2,163.00 each to the Family Resources Network and to Youth Health Services

The Commissioners also heard from Bob Sheets, historian and owner of the Fort Warwick Revolutionary War site which is located along side Deer Creek in Green Bank. Bob said that Pocahontas school kids will be offered the opportunity to do some hands-on supervised archeology at the Fort on May 23-26. Bob invited the Commissioners and the public to attend an open house celebrating the  243rd anniversary of the fort on Saturday, May 27th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. There will be tours of the site, artifacts on display and a ceremony honoring those who were at the fort during and before the revolutionary war at the fort’s cemetery at 11 a.m., with descendents of two of the Fort’s militia captains in attendance.

The Commissioners held a short public hearing/meeting on the Small cities Block Grant Application which would help finance the wastewater extension service to Frank and Bartow. Following that meeting, Amanda Smarr from Region 4 said the wastewater extension was prompted by a Dept. of Environmental Protection’s old lawsuit settlement. Dave Dragen from the County Public Service District –PSD) said the waste plant at Durbin can certainly handle the increased load as it is operating at only 20% of capacity. David Gandee of the PSD also spoke out in favor of the project. The grant will pay roughly half the cost of the project. There will be 2 more public hearings at Commission Meetings required before the grant application can be signed.

The Commissioners agreed to forward to the Board of Education for their approval proposed agreements to allow both the County Archery Team and the PCHS Baseball team to use the Former Shoe Factory for practices next year.

Frank DeBerry from Snowshoe Resort presented the completed new RAD petition to the Commissioners, asking  at this time only that the Commissioners to certify the completeness of the petition.  He said that this time, the RAD petition is supported by 29 of the 31 Homeowners Associations near Snowshoe Resort. The Commission now has 60 days to ensure the petition meets all ten of the items required to be in it by State Law. This only begins the process, with votes and public meetings to follow.

There was a first reading of the proposed Amended County dog Ordinance. The only change is that the ordinance, if passed, would be enforced in the entire County, including also in the three municipalities, at their requests. There will be additional readings at the next 2 Commission meetings, with passage after the third reading.

They agreed to terminate the lease agreement with the Human Resource Development Foundation, Inc. to use office space in the Former Shoe Factory. This was done because some of the employees of that organization broke into other offices in the building without authorization.

During his Counsel’s Report, Attorney Bob Martin reported that he discovered some issues with the organizational documents of the County Fire Association which present conflicts with state law. Martin will be working with the Association to correct these.

The issue of the County’s towing rotation system was also discussed. Sheriff Barlow expressed his concerns about having to follow the towing rotation where time is of the essence, such as a preson trapped in a vehicle. The Commissioners said that they would support the use of discretion by the Sheriff’s Department where life, injury or serious property damage would be threatened if use of the normal rotation would cause too much delay, but that it needs to be followed in all other cases dispite delays in towing response.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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