Marlinton Mayor Felton Needs Volunteers for Planning and Housing Boards
We recently chatted with Mayor Sam Felton of Marlinton to get an update on what’s happening in that town. The Mayor’s most pressing issue involved finding town residents to serve as volunteers on two boards. The Mayor explains.
“We have two Authorities or Boards that we are attempting to fill” said Felton. “One is the Planning Commission. The purpose of the Planning Commission for the Town is to keep us in compliance with Chapter 8 of the West Virginia Code. And it helps to formulate long term planning for development and land use and so forth in the City. It needs to be a five member board. At this point in time we have two members. The members are to fairly represent the different areas of interest and knowledge. It would not be limited to but would include business and industry, labor, government, other relative disciplines as they would apply to economic development and planning.”
The Mayor describes the other Authority they are trying to get reestablished.
“The other authority that we are trying to fill and that is the Housing Authority of the Town of Marlinton” Felton said. “And they deal primarily with urban renewal, raising or improving of abandoned or dilapidated buildings whichever the case may be. They’re similar in some aspects, but different in authority and purpose.”
He explained that under West Virginia Code the Housing Authority is authorized to deal with those type of buildings which endanger health, threaten life or negatively impact surrounding buildings.
Mayor Felton emphasized why it is important to have both of these authorities up and running and cooperating with each other.
“We need both Authorities or commissions working together to develop a Comprehensive Plan that would –can I say singing on the same page? –going forward with a charted path of what we really want to do with our Town” said Felton. “Particularly with any new building, we need to have a theme, if you will, of color and design. Hopefully that would add to Main Street and the surrounding area, and not take away from.”
So if you have a desire to improve your town and live in town, you can call Mayor Felton at 304-799-4315 to volunteer for either the Planning Commission or the Housing Authority. The Mayor talks about his long range vision for Marlinton.
“We’re talking about the distinction of the oldest English speaking settlement west of the Alleghenies” Felton says. “I think it’s to the Town’s advantage if we build upon that in the future. A lot of folks are interested in History, and a settlement that’s been here since 1749 is worth making people aware of. With the music corroder up and down 219, this east-west byways that hopefully will bring some folks through town, I can see us in the future drawing some traffic off of I-64 in the south and maybe coming on down 219, that traffic that comes out of Ontario and Upstate New York, rather than go west to I-79, they could continue their trip on down 219, add a couple of hours to a Florida trip, visit a historic city, and if we can build upon some of those things, another couple of hundred cars through town in a day’s time converts to more business for the local shops and vendors.”
Mayor Felton mentioned that he recently talked with the owner of the new Tutors Biscuit World building recently, and they hope to open that restaurant on Main Street at the end of March, which could be a boost to the town.
He also mentioned that they have been working with John Simons of the Senior Citizens in providing rides for town residents of all ages from downtown to the grocery and drug stores north on U.S. 219 on Tuesdays. So far the program has been underutilized but they have extended it for 30 days because people just don’t seem to know about it. He encourages town residents to call the Senior Citizens Group at 799-6337 to schedule a pick up at their homes for a free ride to those stores, and reminds them that they do not have to be senior citizens to get a ride. This is especially important in the Winter since it is dangerous walking along U.S. 219 during ice and snow conditions.
The Mayor also touched upon some regulatory problems at the Town’s sewer plant and the need to clean the junk and brush along the banks of the Greenbrier River to enhance the scenic view of the river.