Commissioners Approve Hiring Joni Nichols to be New Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

At the June 27th regular Pocahontas County Commission meeting, County Prosecutor Terri Helmick asked the commissioners to authorize the hiring of Joni Nichols to be her full-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. That position has been vacant since Ryan Jackson passed away as a result of a traffic accident on April 10th. Nichols is currently a Law Clerk for Judge Richardson in Greenbrier County. The commissioners approved this request.

The commissioners authorized County Clerk Melissa Bennett to hire Carrie Dean as a full-time Deputy Clerk, at $13.00 per hour with full-time benefits.

It was also announced at this meeting that the U.S. Department of the Interior has awarded Pocahontas County $980,052 under their Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which reimburses the county for property taxes not collected on the Mon Forest and other federal land in the county. This is the most PILT money received by any WV County.

The commissioners also made the following Board appointments:

  • Ira Turner to a 5-year term on the County Building Commission.
  • Herb Barlow to a 4-year term on the County Civil Service Commission.
  • Josh Hardy to a 3-year term on the County Libraries & Visitor Information Board.
  • Donald McNeel to a 5-year term on the County Board of Health.
  • Jesse Groseclose to fill an unexpired term on the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board,
  • Sam Gibson and Roger Trussler to 3-year terms on the Parks and Recreation Board.
  • And Melissa Price to a 3-year term on the County Criminal Justice Board.

On behalf of the Day Report Program, they approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the Adult Drug Court, and approved a contract with MindEase Solutions to provide classes at Day Report.

Additionally, the commissioners:

  • Renewed their annual support contract with Global Science Technologies to maintain the courthouse’s computer systems, at a monthly cost of $1,830.00.
  • They designated all the local banks as county depositories for the upcoming fiscal year. This is done annually per West Virginia law.
  • They agreed to send a letter to the county Public Service District asking them for a status update on the East Fork Tannery Sewer Hook-up Project, and asking them if additional funds were needed for that.
  • They agreed to advertise in the Charleston newspapers for bids to do the core-drilling at the site of the future 911 Center behind PMH. The bidding will be open from July 3rd and must be received by July 14th, with the bid to be awarded at the regular commission meeting on July 18th.
  • They appointed Commissioner John Rebinski to be the county’s representative at the Region 6 Opioid meeting in Riley County on July 5th. This meeting will help decide how Opioid Litigation award money will be distributed in West Virginia.
  • By a two-to-one vote, they appointed Robert P. Martin to be the Pocahontas County Fiduciary Commissioner, a position left vacant when Laura Finch became Public Defender. Commissioner Rebinski was the only “no” vote on this.

The commissioners approved invoices then adjourned the meeting.

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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