Pocahontas Commission Commits To Forty-Six Thousand Dollars In Contributions

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition, the Family Refuge Center and CASA, organizations that combat drug, alcohol and domestic abuse in the county, all received an early Christmas gift this year, thanks to the Pocahontas County Commission. All three presented desperate requests for funding during the August 2nd Commission meeting. Commission President David Fleming explains why they were able to grant the full contribution requests.

“We originally had $75,000.00 budgeted for this year for contributions to organizations” he says. “And then we had a fairly good carryover and we took some of that money and we put that into this contribution line item; we put another $100,000.00 dollars in, so we took it from $75,000 to $175,000.00.”

Prior to Tuesdays’ meeting, the Commission had already committed $35,000.00 of the original $75,000.00, with the remainder to be doled out during the rest of the fiscal year. But with the influx of the carryover money, they were able to fund the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition for $25,000.00, and the Family Refuge Center and CASA for $10,000.00 each. They also gave $1000.00 to the Mountain Resource and Conservation Development Council.

Commissioner Martin Saffer is concerned about accountability of those who receive services from these and other organizations who address similar issues.

“I’m going to say this, and I know it’s not the most popular thing to say; I think that part of this problem is that the [West Virginia] Dept of Health and Human Resources has got to drug test people before they get assistance” says Saffer. “This notion that people can get financial assistance, rent assistance, food stamps, you name it; and not be held accountable for their own behaviors as far as taking drugs has got to stop.”

Commissioner Fleming says he understands Saffer’s concerns, but also feels that the organizations provide services vital to the community. He made a motion to approve all four contribution requests. Commissioner Jamie Walker seconded the motion with the caveat that he’d like to see the amount requested from the county decrease in the future. In the end, the contributions were unanimously approved by the Commission. The next opportunity for Commission consideration for a contribution request will be at their first meeting in November.

In other business, the Commission had a long discussion with James Swiger of WYK Associates, the architectural firm overseeing various projects in the county courthouse. The Commissioners have been getting complaints about excessive heat in the courtroom, jury and witness rooms on the second floor of the courthouse. Swiger says the new 5 ton air conditioning unit installed on the roof of the courthouse by Harris Brothers is a non-freon unit, unlike the unit it replaced. He says he will research the problem and the need for air conditioning in the Magistrate office in the basement of the courthouse and report back to the Commission.

The Commission also heard from Elaine Diller with the One Room University project. She says they’ve got three study carrels set up, seven of the new laptops are onsite, and they anticipate having close to 20 students for the initial test of the off campus site in downtown Marlinton. They will have an open house for the ORU on Thursday August 4th from 4 to 7pm. The ORU is located on the second floor of City National Bank in Marlinton.

A discussion about complaints made against Milestone Cable Company was tabled until the next meeting when a representative of the company is expected to be on hand.

The Commission also approved the purchase of three aerial pictures of the three county municipalities of Marlinton, Durbin, and Hillsboro produced by photographer Greg Cromer.

And they approved placing an ad in the newspaper to sell unused storage tanks currently located at the east fork industrial park in Frank.

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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