Commissioner Rebinski Proposes “Property Owner Friendly” Demolition Ordinance

At the March 19th Pocahontas County Commission Meeting, Commissioner John Rebinski proposed a new county demolition ordinance which is designed to help deal with the unsightly run-down buildings found throughout the county. Rebinski said he used the Monongalia County’s demolition ordinance as a guideline. He said that the biggest difference is that he eliminated all the negative enforcement references in that county’s ordinance when he did his proposed ordinance draft. Rebinski explained he did that because he wants the Pocahontas County Demolition ordinance to be friendly and helpful to owners of run-down buildings, rather than to be threatening and punitive to that landowner. He said his proposed ordinance would foster cooperation from the landowner by helping them financially by having the county apply for grants to help pay for the demolition. He said there would be several conditions imposed for the county’s help. The site where the demolished building was should be maintained as open space, and if the property owner later sells that property for a profit, the county would need to be reimbursed for any county expenses.

Commission President Walt Helmick agreed there needs to be an ordinance dealing with such blighted properties in the county, however he wants to study the issue more closely before agreeing on a proposed ordinance. He said he wants this placed on their next meeting’s agenda to be further discussed.

Also, during this meeting, two of the commissioners agreed to have a formal sales agreement drawn up for the county’s purchase of a fully equipped ambulance from the Cass Volunteer Fire Department. That ambulance will be used by the county’s new ambulance service. In that motion, they also included the formal transfer of the vehicle’s title into the county’s name. Rebinski, who recused himself from voting on this because of his ties to the Cass VFD, explained that the commission had already approved this purchase for three payments of $25,000, and one of those payments has already been made. The commissioners included in the motion to still make the two remaining payments to Cass VFD even though the title is being transferred to them before all the payments have been made.

The commissioners also heard from the Day Report Director, Jodi Zickefoose, and agreed to issue a resolution in support of the Day Report’s 2025 Community Corrections Grant application. Zickefoose explained that if approved, the $51,000 grant award will be added to their annual operations budget, reducing it from $284,099 to $233,099.

During the mail items portion of the meeting, it was learned that the restoration project of the old County Clerk’s Office in Huntersville is about half complete, and they are still looking for a period accurate desk for it.

It was noted that FEMA has sent updated flood plain maps to the courthouse for each precinct in the county.

The commissioners have received two resumes for the position of County Flood Plain Manager, however instead of scheduling interviews of the applicants, they decided for each commissioner to review the resumes and then the three commissioners will vote on which candidate to hire.


Additionally, the commissioners handled the following:

  • They approved the 2024-2025 County Budget
  • They voted to have SecuriTech conduct the annual fire alarm system inspection at the courthouse and jail for $2,200.00 which is the same price as last year.
  • They approved the recommended election officials for the May 14th Primary Election, and decided that the May 1st through May 11th early voting will be done in the commission’s office. Because of this, they agreed to hold their May 7th commission meeting elsewhere in the courthouse, possibly in the courtroom if it is not being used. County Clerk Missy Bennett clarified that West Virginia only allows absentee balloting for justified reasons such as military assignments, hospitalizations or travel which prevent in-person voting.
  • Finally, they approved three budget revisions.

The commissioners adjourned the meeting after approval of invoices.

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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