Commissioners Award Bid to Demolish Former BOE Office

At the May 21st Pocahontas County Commission meeting, Cassandra Lawson of Region 4 opened the four sealed bids received for the demolishing of the former Board of Education office building in Marlinton.  She reviewed each submission to ensure that all the required documents were included with each of the bids, which they were.

Lawson read out the bid amount offered by each of the bidders, which were (in the order in which she read them:)

  1. D. Hanna Excavating contractors, in the amount of $210,936.00
  2. Whitten Construction in the amount of $250,100.00
  3. Reclaim Construction, in the amount of $148,900.00
  4. Lynch Construction in the amount of $216,000,00

Each of these bids included asbestos removal and site abatement, with the work to be completed within 90 days, and be mostly complete before the students in the neighboring Marlinton Elementary School return to class from summer break.

The commissioners voted to award the bid to Reclaim Construction since they were the low bidder. This bid appears to be a bargain, since the Community Block Grant the county received to fund this demolition was for $245,000. Lawson said it might be permissible to use the money saved to add other improvements to the site.

The commissioners were briefed by their attorney regarding a very long and complex motion placed before them for approval. This motion, it was explained, is required by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development to be approved by the commission as part of the 5.7 million dollars loan the USDA is offering for funding the expansion and improvements to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (PMH.) The commission is guaranteeing this loan, which is in the form of a lease revenue bond which the USDA is purchasing.

Jay Miller, the Democratic nominee running in November for a spot on the county commission, asked the attorney a number of questions about the loan and the bond. He learned that this is a private bond which is held by the USDA in the form of a loan to PMH at a 2.125% interest rate over 35 years, and that it is not offered for purchase by the public. It was also explained that the lease of the hospital facility, which is owned by the commission, will, as part of this motion, be extended until June 30, 2069. The attorney explained that this must be done because the USDA requires the lease to extend beyond the 35-year term of the loan. The motion is basically an agreement between the County Building Commission, the County Commission, PMH, and the USDA. The commissioners passed the motion.

Commissioner John Rebinski announced that bids are being advertised for construction of the new 911 Center on a site located behind the Hospital. He said there will be a pre-bid conference held on the site at 11:00 am on June 6th, and all bidders must attend that. Rebinski said the bids must be received by July 9th.

Additionally at the meeting the commissioners:

  • Authorized Region 4 to draw $8,158.00 from the ARC Power Grant which funds the Broadband Project. This draw will be used to pay invoices.
  • Approved an agreement between Records Management and the Preservation Board regarding the Circuit Clerk’s $10,000.00 Records Preservation Grant for fiscal year 2024-2025.
  • Authorized Jodi Zickefoose, the Director of the County Day Report, to enter into a contract with MindEase Solutions in the amount of $27,500.00.
  • Provided a Letter of Support for the BOE’s School Violence Prevention grant application.
  • They also certified the Delinquent Real Estate and Personal Property Tax lists for the tax year of 2023.

The commissioners then approved invoices and adjourned.

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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