Marlinton Town Council Members Disagree On Whether Flood Wall Project Will Become A Reality For The Town
Marlinton, WV – Flood Control Project Coordinator Robin Mutscheller told the Town Council that the Project is moving forward. 100% of Local Matching Funds for Phase 1 & 2 are available. The Army Corps of Engineers has enough money to continue the project for the rest of the year. Additionally, she says, the Corps has 1.5 Million dollars to continue through next year.
All in all enough money is available to fund Real Estate Acquisition for both phases 2 and 3. Additional funding to complete the actual project will require further appropriations and those must be done on an annual basis. Mayor Dennis Driscoll is doubtful that the funding will be available for the project.
“I have a great deal of difficulty at this point” he says. “With what is going on in Washington with us progressing and getting more bills rung up for this project. They’re cutting multimillions of dollars out of the Federal Budget and I find it very difficult to believe that we’re going to get money for this project, when they’re cutting Education; they’re cutting as many things as they possibly can. And I don’t see it changing this year; I don’t see it changing next year or the year after.”
Mutscheller says that the process needs to continue to move forward.
“As with any funding there’s no guarantee” she says, “but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t move forward and request the funding in the grant cycles and be hopeful that the project will be funded.”
Mutscheller says that the next step is to conclude several agreements. She asked Council to approve moving forward with drafting those agreements. She will then present them to Council for approval. After more discussion, Council approved her request.
Deputy Sheriff Cole, standing in for Sheriff Jonese, presented the council with the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s department’s proposal for a Sheriff Department officer for the Town of Marlinton.
Cole says the departments proposal will provide Marlinton with coverage 7 days a week and cost less than the town now spends with the West Virginia State Police. He says the officer will have the back up of the PC Sheriffs Department and will receive assistance from the Sheriff’s Auxiliary and the new revamped Marlinton neighborhood Watch. Total cost for the first year would be $51,526, with coverage beginning June 1st.
Several Council members questioned the legality of the Sheriffs Department enforcing town ordinances. Previous discussions have indicated that they cannot. Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney Donna Price, said that she would research applicable state laws and offer her opinion to the Council.
Another point of contention is the Sheriff requiring a 2 year commitment. Council felt that in view of upcoming elections, they cannot by law burden the next administration with such a commitment. Again, Prosecutor Price will research the question and provide an opinion to Council.
In other business Council approved Change Order #5 to the Sewer Project. The action authorizes upgrading the electrical service at the Sewer Plant and in effect completes that project.
They also approved the following:
The town budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 that begins on July 1st
Appointment of John Snyder and Roger Trusler to fill vacancies on the Housing Authority
Paying poll workers for the upcoming election
Adoption of the Sanitation & Garbage Ordinance after the 2nd Reading
The dates and fees for the Spring Cleanup – the cleanup will be the 2nd week in April with fees ranging from 10-25 dollars
A recommendation that the Mayor send a letter to the Department of Highways requesting assistance in repairing the town’s roads
And revisiting the Town’s proposed Animal Ordinance
The next regular meeting of the Marlinton Town Council will be April 13th. There will be a special meeting on April 19th to lay the Levy.