Marlinton Depot, Linwood Library, PMH Get County Funds During Second Round Of Pocahontas County Commission Contribution Requests

Marlinton, WV – Citing the need to support tourism and economic sustainability, the Pocahontas County Commission agreed to contribute $25,000.00 to the Marlinton train depot rebuilding project during the Commission meeting Tuesday. It was one of a handful of requests granted in this second round of Commission discretionary fund considerations.

Marlinton Mayor Joe Smith says their goal is to replace the historic building destroyed in a March 2008 fire. Once completed, the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau will maintain the building as part of the Highway 39 Scenic Byway and as a visitor center.

Smith says only one contractor from Morgantown bid on the project, despite his efforts to recruit local contractors. Commissioner Martin Saffer urged Smith to consider rebidding the project in hopes of attracting a more localized contractor.

Other contributions approved by the Commission include $600.00 toward BJ Gudmundsson’s Rosie the Riveter film project, $10,000.00 to the Pocahontas County Free Libraries for use at the Linwood library at Snowshoe, and $25,000.00 for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital for renovations to improve patient flow.
In other business, the Commission once again took up the discussion of whether or not to sell scrap metal at the East Fork Industrial park in Frank. A Pocahontas resident is interested in the metal cabinets that used to house electrical equipment for the tannery. Commission President David Fleming says he’s still has qualms about selling the equipment and is not sure how to resolve his misgivings. And there may be a more pressing concern for the Commission.

“Are those buildings open?” asks Commissioner Martin Saffer. “No, but the doors have been pried open,” says Fleming. “They have- so you can gain entrance?” asks Saffer. “Easily,” says Fleming, “at one point you can see evidence where they were locked, it’s been years ago.”

“Martin, you said it very well, do we just not look at these structures and just pretend we don’t own them; they’re not ours. Or do we address them in some way and what does that mean?”

But the county does own that land and the buildings and that raises liability issues.

“I’m only concerned about liability and the fact that you can gain entrance into them and they’re not secure and they pose a hazard,” says Saffer. “At the very minimum there needs to be no trespassing signs up, but I’m saying even those could be insufficient.”

Saffer did not want to comment on possible liability to the county if someone were to enter the buildings and get hurt. Fleming says he will ask John Simmons to look over the area and report back to the Commission.

The Commission also took the following actions:

Accepted a statement from the county Board of Health recognizing that large scale Marcellus gas extraction represents a threat to public health in the county
Discussed but took no action on courthouse security
Approved a motion to write a letter in support of reauthorizing Safe and Secure Rural school funding
And awarded a contract for courthouse lighting to Plateau Electric for $126,000.00 per a recommendation from Allegheny Design Services.

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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