Commissioners Decide on Property in Old Tannery Office Building

At their May 7th meeting, the Pocahontas County Commissioners discussed what to do with some property that remains in the former Howes Leather office building in Frank, since that building is set to be demolished. The items were:

  1. The room full of books which were left behind in an upstairs room by the county libraries;
  2. Exercise equipment allegedly left in the building years ago when the Sheriff’s Department stopped using part of the building;
  3. The historic door to the safe that was used by Howe Tannery;
  4. Some old “time-clocks.”

Commissioner Rebinski said the Green Bank Elementary/Middle school has indicated they are willing to take the books, so the commissioners will give them to the Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission who will donate them to the schools. The Pocahontas County Libraries and Visitor Centers has already said they are not interested in taking the books.

Commission President Walt Helmick said the exercise equipment is in good condition, and is probably worth at least a thousand dollars. The Sheriff’s Department has disclaimed ownership of the equipment, and is not interested in taking it. Helmick suggested that the equipment be donated to another police department, however, the equipment is located in an upstairs room which has a partially collapsed ceiling. The poor condition of the stairway will make it too dangerous to use to bring the heavy exercise equipment out. Helmick suggested the best way might be to wait until the demolition of the building begins and try and use some of the demolition company’s equipment to remove it.

Helmick also said the historic door used on the old Howes safe should be preserved, and perhaps given to Historic Landmarks for future inclusion in a Tannery Museum. He said the safe itself is cemented in place and it would be too difficult to remove. Likewise, he said the antique time clocks once used by Howes employees to check in and out of work should be offered to Historic Landmarks for the future museum.

Commissioner Rebinski said he wanted to ensure that the public understands that the books and exercise equipment are basically unclaimed property, not county property which would need to be sold at auction.

The commissioners approved a motion to try and dispose of the above property as set forth above.

At the request of Mountain Heart and North Central Community Action, the commissioners approved a proclamation declaring May as Community Action Month. The proclamation speaks of 60 years of community action which has created opportunities for millions of Americans to thrive and to promote an equitable society.

County Prosecutor Terri Helmick requested that the commissioners approve her office hiring Sabrina Cutlip as an Office Assistant/Legal Secretary, effective May 8th, which they did approve.

They approved Resolution #2 of the Brownsfield EPA Clean-up Project at the Frank Tannery site to pay invoices for the project, Regarding the same project, the commissioners also approved a Memorandum of Agreement, which Amy Truesdale of the Greenbrier Economic Development Corporation explained will allow them to adopt the already-approved Quality Assurance Plan for the project, rather than come up with their own plan.

They approved for County Emergency Management to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad regarding specialty rescue services. Mike O’Brien explained that the Blacksburg Rescue Squad is the closest squad that has the specialized equipment and training for certain types of rescues. He said most other surrounding counties have similar agreements with Blacksburg Rescue.

Additionally, the commissioners:

  • They approved the will for the Arnold Wilber Stewart Jr. Estate, thus sending it to Probate.
  • Appointed Cheryl Cassell and Tammy Shoemaker to the Dramas, Fairs and Festivals board.
  • They approved WVCORP’s 2024-2025 proposal to provide the county with insurance. WVCORP is an insurance provider to state agencies and counties.


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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