Engineer Updates Pocahontas Commission On Plans To Finish East Fork Remediation Cleanup

Marlinton, WV – The East Fork Industrial Park in northern Pocahontas County may at last be in the final phase of a remediation cleanup that has spanned over a dozen years. At the December 7th meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission, the Commissioners approved hiring Bill Swecker of Swecker engineering to oversee the last phase of the cleanup, the capping of the sludge pond. Swecker says the next step is to contact the contractor previously approved to do the work, RBS, Inc.

“Our last step that we need to perform now is to send RBS, Inc. a notice to proceed,” says Swecker. “And immediately send him a shut down’ order because he can’t work this time of year. The other thing is he has probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.00 worth of materials that he has to order; if he decides to order them you all would be subject to billing for them.”

Swecker says that if the contractor does purchase the materials now, the contractors risk insurance would protect the Commissions’ investment. Swecker says RBS may purchase some materials now to avoid higher costs later. He says they also need to get national pollutant discharge elimination system or npdes construction permit to protect the water on a nearby property. Work on the project is expected to begin sometime next spring.

In other business, the Commissioners approved funding for some county projects. They agreed to provide up to a $3000.00 match for a recreational trails grant. Gil Willis who’s been involved with the grant program for several years, says the matching amount for this cycle is $6000.00. He says he’s willing to put up half of the cost; he asked the Commission to commit to the other half in order to secure the grant, with the caveat that he will seek funding from other groups as well.

The Commission agreed to pay $995.00 for a Foundation Center subscription for the Pocahontas County Free Libraries. A PCFL contribution request for $20,000.00 will be tabled until the Commission meeting in February. BJ Gudmundsson gave the Commissioners an update on the Pocahontas County Historical Preservation groups continuing efforts to digitize county history, making it more readily available via their website as well as others.

They also made a verbal commitment of $5000.00 to the reconstituted Pocahontas County Search and Rescue to purchase communications equipment. Final approval of the contribution will be on the agenda for the next meeting.

James Swiger of WYK Associates says they hope to have the courthouse elevator project complete by the end of the year. He says they’ve run into a few problems including standing water since the elevator shaft extends below the water table. But new piping and a sump pump have addressed that problem, and they will keep a close eye on it especially during next years’ spring rains.

The Commissioners also took the following actions:

Agreed to write letters of support for US Senate bill 1692 to reauthorize Safe and Secure Rural school funding and to the state in support of a new, taller communications tower at Snowshoe that the county 911 will also be able to use

Adopted a resolution for a $10,000.00 Community Participation grant for the Huntersville Historical Traditions

And appointed Freda Jackson to the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

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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