Pocahontas Commission Gets Update On One Room University

Marlinton, WV – One of the projects that Pocahontas County coordinator Jay Miller is working on is a proposal to establish a center for higher education in the county. At the County Commission meeting Tuesday, Miller and his assistant on the project, Elaine Diller, presented the results of the surveys they’ve reviewed so far.

Elaine Diller says they’ve received 16 responses to the online survey. Of those, 13 indicated they’re very interested and would attend such a facility, while 3 indicated an interest and would consider it as an option. She says there’s also a strong interest in vocational classes. Jay Miller stresses that this is still very preliminary.

Miller says he hopes to emulate the Erma Byrd Center for Public Higher Learning in Beckley. He says the target date for the demonstration project is fall of 2011. The 10 question online survey about the proposal opened on April 21st and will stay up until May 21st. You can find it at www.surveymonkey.com/s/oneroomu.

In other business, the Commission approved two conservation easements applications submitted by the Pocahontas County Farmland Protection Board. They are for Doneen Nottingham for 120 acres in the Bartow/Frank area and for Lynn Randolph for 65 acres in Hillsboro. FPB Treasurer Dick Evans says after paying for these easements, as well as several others in the pipeline, the board will be left with about $100,000.00.

The Commission discussed renovations to the county courthouse after receiving estimates from the WYK Architectural firm. Commissioner Reta Griffith would like to take advantage of energy efficiency grants available through the Region Four Planning and Development Council to help pay for the renovations. After some discussion, the Commission decided to pursue grants to replace the courthouse roof, the boiler in the old jail, and to install energy efficient lighting. Griffith will present the final grant applications for approval at the next Commission meeting on May 18th. The applications are due to Region Four by May 25th.

The Commission also heard an update on the Water Resource Task Force from representatives Lynmarie Knight and Beth Little. Knight says the group recently held a think tank meeting to brainstorm on how the group might evolve into a more effective organization. She says two important ideas came out of that meeting, the need for the task force to clarify their purpose and to form a steering committee to provide organizational leadership in the group.

To this end, the task force is planning to hold at least two community outreach meetings in May, at the Green Bank library on May 12th and at the Linwood Library on May 27th. Both meetings start at 6pm. Knight says she and Little hope to present the new structure to the Commission at their June 1st meeting.

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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