Durbin 911 Addresses Turned Over To US Post

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Commission approved extending the contract of county 911 Mapping and Addressing coordinator Matt Taylor during their regular meeting Tuesday. Pocahontas County 911 Director Bill McLaughlin gave the Commissioners an update on the progress of the project. He says they were finally able to submit Durbin addresses to the US Post office, after a bit of research.

“They kept saying the reason they wouldn’t take the Durbin zip, is because we have unconfirmed addresses” says McLaughlin. “The addresses that they had aren’t even addresses – there’s nobody there. So, we got back in touch with them, and I think I’ve got that problem resolved, so they did accept the Durbin zip.”

He says Taylor is now working on the Bartow post office addresses. 911 addresses must be coordinated with the Post Office before street numbers can be issued to residents. McLaughlin says the project is on track, reminding the Commissioners that the county started this process about 5 to 6 years after the rest of the state. He also told them that it’s likely that the county will eventually need a full time 911 mapping coordinator.

“I believe you’re going to have to because I get a download from the phone company weekly” says McLaughlin. “There’s anywhere from 30 to 80 telephone numbers that come in weekly. Each one of those will have to have something done with them. Once mapping and addressing is finished, you still got to confirm those.”

Commission President Martin Saffer expressed his concern about the expense of another county employee, but agreed to table that part of the discussion for another time.

In other business, the Commissioners considered a request from County Coordinator Jay Miller for a Vista Volunteer. Miller would like the Commission to hire a Vista to serve as a Grants manager assisting local non-profits in maximizing their grant opportunities. He says a grant manager would assist and coordinate in the following ways:

Determine funding and/or staffing needed in various groups and identify grant opportunities
Identify grants that the Commission could act as the fiscal agent, sponsor or both
Provide technical assistance to those writing the grants
Coordinate review processes and any post award administrative support that may be needed.

But Commissioner Reta Griffith says many of these functions will soon be available through the county library. She doesn’t like that the grant manager wouldn’t write grants, only offer assistance and coordination. She says that’s already available through the Commissions’ executive assistant, Sue Helton. Griffith says in her experience, the best grants come from those in the group or organization.

“I find that the most successful grants are those that come from people who are highly motivated to be a part of those” says Griffith. “And the best applications also come from the people who have the most involvement in it.”

Griffith is also concerned that the learning curve for such a position is greater than the one year Vista time frame would allow.

Commissioner David Fleming was not at the meeting Tuesday, having called in sick. Commission President Saffer, noting Flemings absence, suggested tabling the discussion of the grants manager until the next Commission meeting.

Miller also presented the results of a preliminary survey of 11th grade students at the high school about his proposal for offering university classes in the county. Of the 71 surveys tabulated, the majority of students indicated they are considering attending college, and at least half would be interested in classes offered in the county. He says the next survey will be for recent graduates of PCHS.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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