Part 2, Pocahontas County Commission’s April 21st Meeting

Earlier this week we reported the Public Reaction at the April 21st Pocahontas County Commission Meeting to Sean Dunbrack’s resignation as Director of the 911 Center.

Following the public comments on Shawn Dunbrack’s resignation, the Commission returned to their normal agenda.

As part of the “Hear Callers” agenda, Geoff Hamill reported to the Commissioners about the status of the repairs to the Museum.

“I’ve got some good news about the Museum Project –you guys contributed $10,000 for that project” said Geoff. “We open the bids on May 1st for that, and the work will be done in May, probably will be done by the end of May I would guess. Definitely the museum will be reopened by Pioneer Days.”

Geoff also had some good news about the cost of the project.

“Some other good news” said Geoff. “Since they passed the Prevailing Wage Modification at the State Government, that’s going to reduce our costs probably well below the amount of money that we got right now. So, I estimate it will be somewhere around 50 to 60 thousand dollars which will leave us maybe 10 thousand dollars or so left over to do some other repairs in there so everything is looking pretty positive at this point in time.”

In other actions, the Commissioners passed the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Tax Levy for Pocahontas County at $14.20.

The Commissioners then took up the issue of selecting a temporary 911 Director until the position can be announced and filled. Commissioner Jamie Walker moved, and the Commissioners voted to approve that Bill McLaughlin be hired for that temporary position at $15.00/hr. Bill McLaughlin has told the Commission that he only wants to stay in that position until the middle of May, so the Commissioners say they are going to promptly advertise and fill that permanent position.

Tammie Alderman, Director of the Pocahontas County Day Report Center made her monthly report to the Commission. The Center was down to 21 participants in March (11 females and 10 males). Sixteen of these are unemployed. Six participants completed the program and 1 was terminated from the program because of a lack of cooperation. There were 5 positive drug tests in March and 86 negative drug tests. Because of the number of unemployed participants, there were 1025.25 hours of Community Service performed in March, which saved the County $28, 950.25.

The Commissioners took a hard look at the 2014 Fiscal Statement from the One Room University. When they added up the reported income of the University of $105,072 then subtracted the reported expenses including salaries of $78,286, they found that there is $26,786 in unexplained money left over. The Commissioners voted to send a letter to the University asking for an explanation of this.

Commission Attorney Bob Martin briefed the Commissioners on his recent appearance before the Board of Education on behalf of two issues the Commissioners had asked him to address.

The first issue was the Commission’s desire to turn over ownership of the Generator located at the Marlinton Middle School to the School Board because of insurance issues. Martin reported the Board was receptive to this but needed to put it on their agenda and vote on it at their next meeting.

The second issue Martin presented to the Board was about having the Board remove the deed restrictions it had placed on some of the County Owned land at the Green Bank Industrial Park before giving the land to the County Commission. The Board of Education’s only concern with this was that those restrictions may have been already on the deed when the Board of Education first acquired it. They asked Martin to research that. Martin did so and found that the “Economic Development Use” restrictions were not on the deed when the Board first acquired the land. This too will be put on the agenda for the next Board of Education Meeting to be voted on.

Finally, the Commissioners also approved some invoices and budget revisions then closed out their meeting with a closed Executive Session dealing with personnel actions.

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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