Commissioners Write Letter of Support for Road Dedication to Dr. Roland P. Sharp

At their July 5th meeting, the Pocahontas County Commissioners wrote a letter supporting the dedication of a portion of Frost Road from Dunmore to Minnehaha Springs to Dr. Rolland P. Sharp. Sharp was a physician who was born in Frost in 1907 and practiced medicine for seventy-five years, forty of which were in a rural practice in Pocahontas County. Dr. Sharp also founded the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1974. He died in 2013 at the age of 105.

The commissioners also discussed the possibility of purchasing a drug K-9 dog as a tool for law enforcement to address the growing drug problem in the county. They put off further discussion of this until a future meeting when representatives of the sheriff’s Department and State Police can present their expertise on this.

Agnes Doyle, who had spoken up during the June 28th special commission meeting about how the drug problems negatively affect her quality of life, expressed disappointment that the commissioners were not actively addressing the drug issues here, then she left the meeting. Commission President Walt Helmick had attempted to explain that the commission is an administrative body, not a law enforcement body, but he also expressed sympathy and understanding about what she has been going through. After Doyle left the room, Helmick pledged that the commission would, as a priority, maintain helping law enforcement solve these terrible drug problems with financial resources.

A representative of the Pocahontas County Saddle Club provided an update on the activities at the rodeo arena located on the grounds of the county’s ARC Building. They asked for the commissioners to consider extending their use of the grounds for multiple years, instead of doing it annually, since the Saddle Club wants to put electrical and building improvements at its own expense, into the arena. The commissioners pledged to ask the County Prosecutor if they can legally enter into a multi-year agreement with the club since they do not charge the club any money to use the arena. Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton added that these rodeos add to the quality of life in the town, and are an economic boost.

They made commission board appointments for the following three county agencies:

  • They reappointed Sue Ann Heatherly to a five-year term on the Pocahontas County Libraries and Visitor Information Centers Board.
  • They appointed Edwina Garber to a six-year term on the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board.
  • They appointed Linda Simmons and Nancy Martin to three-year terms each on the Parks and Recreation Board.

The commissioners utilized the new WV Code Section 44-2-19a to administratively close 25 estates in the county which have not showed any progress towards being settled.

They approved a budget revision and resolution of the Coal Severance unencumbered balance. This was necessary because although the county’s 2021 -2022 budget had predicted a revenue of $371,438.00 and they actually received more – $374,986.00.

Tim Keaton, the newly appointed CFM Mitigation Planner for the WV Emergency Management Division, asked the commissioners to approve the flood map revisions for the Swago Creek Flood-way. Keaton explained that all the flood plain maps for Pocahontas County are being revised, and will be much more accurate because they are now using LIDAR scans to create them, which are accurate to within one foot. The old maps used Topo Maps. He said the flood-way and flood plain on the draft revised Swago Creek Flood-way map are actually smaller then in the older maps. The commissioners approved this.

Keaton also explained that local jurisdictions must ensure that any new constructions in a flood plain which add fill to elevate them above flood levels, must prove by submitting an engineer’s study, that doing this will cause zero adverse effects on surrounding properties. Keaton said that all local ordinances must require this be done, and if a jurisdiction fails to enforce their ordinance, it will be required to fix the problem at its own expense, and all property owners in that jurisdiction who have flood insurance might have their flood insurance rates increased.

The commissioners ended the meeting after approving 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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