Durbin Town Council Looking For Another Member
Durbin, WV – The Town of Durbin is seeking a good person to serve on town council. The town council discussed the issue during its regular meeting on February 14. Due to a shortage of candidates in the last town election, the town lacks one councilmember.
Council urges town residents, interested in serving, to submit their name to Mayor Donald Peck or any councilmember, before February 21. The council will conduct a special meeting on that date to select a councilperson. The appointee will serve the remainder of a two-year-term. The pay is $25.00 per month.
Councilmember Mike Vance said candidates for the position must have voted in the last town election, or have a reasonable excuse why they did not. One person, Paul Ransom, had submitted his name, as of Tuesday night.
Council considered hiring the mayor as director of the 2012 Durbin Days Heritage Festival, to be held July 13-17. Councilmember Mike Vance moved that the town hire Peck, for $700, along with two temporary workers, to support the festival. Councilmember Bob Gray seconded. Peck says he would do it for $500, with the two additional workers.
“I appreciate the $700, but with the two other employees helping me, I’ll do it for $500,” he said.
Vance says council can approve the additional pay, if it chooses.
“I appreciate that, Donald, but you do a good job at it and it’s our prerogative to stay with that,” he said.
Council voted 5-0 to hire Peck for $700 and hire two workers at $7.30 per hour, up to 30 hours each. Peck abstained from the vote. A town employee will also assist with the festival.
The mayor showed a letter to council from the West Virginia Department of Commerce Community Development Division, regarding the town’s application for $2.45 million in financial assistance to upgrade the town’s sanitary and storm water drainage systems. The letter, signed by Community Development Director Mary Jo Thompson, tells council that the State Clearinghouse has reviewed the funding request and that the state process is in concurrence with the project. However, the letter states that Clearinghouse approval does not constitute approval by the funding agency, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service.
During a public comment period, Jason Bauserman, board member with Almost Heaven Habitat For Humanity, informed council that the group is looking for a Durbin location to build a house. Bauserman says the program is low-cost, but not free.
“They really give you a loan,” he said. “It’s not a freebie. I think it’s a low-interest loan. I’m not sure that it’s a no-interest loan. They could get it up in five or six weeks with these crews coming in.”
The board member says Habitat would prefer an in-town location.
“They’re really kind of looking for a town because you already have the water and the sewage,” he said. “They’re wanting to get their presence here in the Pocahontas.”
Anyone interested in applying for a low-cost home should contact Jason Bauserman at 304-456-4915. Income restrictions apply. Bauserman also reminded council there is an Upper Pocahontas County Cooperative meeting on Thursday, February 16, 7 p.m. at the Durbin Library.
Council agreed to hold a special meeting on February 21, when it will consider: filling the vacant council seat; hiring a town judge or enforcement officer; and a town parking ordinance.