New Executive Director of the GVEDC is From Pocahontas County

Ruthana Beezley, the new Executive Director of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC) introduced herself at the June 15th Pocahontas County Commission meeting. Beezley had only been the GVEDC Executive Director for 14 days The GVEDC, serves as the principal economic development agency for not only Pocahontas County, but also for Greenbrier and Monroe Counties. In the past, commissioners have expressed concerns that most of the GVEDC’s economic development efforts have been in the other two counties. Beezley seemed to understand those concerns and emphasized that she is a native of Pocahontas County, was educated in the Pocahontas County Schools and returned here to live in 2017.  She said she cannot speak to the problems the county may have had with the GVEDC over the last twenty-five years, but said she is making a commitment that her organization will make it a priority to assist her native county in an active and passionate way and will maintain close communication with the county. Additionally, Beezley has been active in local commission committees and boards such as the Pocahontas County Broadband Council and the county’s Historic Landmarks Commission.

Also at this commission meeting, Mike O’Brien asked for and received the commissioners’ permission to hire Kenneth Stitzinger, who has worked with FEMA in the past, as a part-time Office of Emergency Services Assistant effective on July 1st at $12.00 per hour for a maximum of four-hundred hours.

The commissioners approved and signed the Small Cities Community Block Grant (CBG) application for hazardous mitigation regarding the construction of the proposed new 911 Center near the hospital. This will be for a preliminary environmental review of the proposed project.

They opened the received bids for engineering services for 911 tower upgrades, but did not award the bid, but referred the bid proposals to the 911 Board for their recommendations.

Laura Young of the Family Resource Network (FRN) asked the commissioners to make-up for their losses that they incurred because of providing expanded services to county families during the pandemic. Young asked the commissioners use $200,000 of the 1.6 million Federal dollars the commission is scheduled to receive from the American Rescue Plan for this. The Commissioners said they haven’t yet received any of those COVID relief funds not do they yet know what those funds will be permitted to be used for.

The commissioners accepted and issued a resolution to accept, the Community Corrections Program grant award of $51,000. They also approved extending the Day Report Program’s contract with MindEase Solutions for the upcoming fiscal year.

They approved and signed the application for a Community Block Grant application for county asset mapping.

Carrie Parker addressed the commissioners about a conflict she is having with other property owners on her street regarding the street name assigned by the 911 Center. The commissioners took no action on this until they obtain more information’

The commissioners also:

  • Agreed to continue to provide live coverage of their meetings via Zoom Meeting’
  • For a second time tabled making a decision until they have more information, on a request that they had received to advertise for volunteers to serve on the Selective Service Board.
  • They appointed Morgan McComb to the Solid Waste Authority; Mike O’Brien to the 911 Advisory Board; Charles Sheets and Rita Griffith to the GVEDC Board; and appointed Wanda Wyatt and Melissa Price to the Criminal Justice Board.
  • They made the annual designation of county depositories as being Pendleton Community Bank; First Citizen’s Bank; Citizens Bank of WV; and City National Bank.
  • Lisa Cutlip, the District Manager of the Snowshoe Resort Community District (SRCD) updated the commissioners regarding getting more law enforcement presence at the resort area. She said the Sheriff has agreed to keep two Deputies in the Northern end of the county; to use the office the resort district provides for deputies; and to possibly get those deputies certified to do state fingerprinting so that prisoners can be driven directly to the regional jail without having to drive them to Marlinton for fingerprinting first.
  • They scheduled a special commission meeting for 9:00 am on June 28th to process year end invoices
  • They signed a resolution approving of the Farmland Protection Board’s proposed granting of a permanent Conservation Easement for Tolly Peuleche and Shawn Clotworthy at 259 Hidden River Farm Road, Monterville, WV.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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