Pocahontas Commission pays Landmarks Commission bill

Marlinton, W.Va. – During the early 1900s, Hillsboro was the home of a vibrant black community, many of whom attended the Pleasant Green Church and Pleasant Green School on Seebert Road. Prominent community members are interred in the church cemetery, including a former Droop Mountain park superintendant and a nanny to a future West Virginia governor.

The Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission has worked successfully to have the church and school listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting, landmarks commission member J. Moffet McNeel gave the commission good news and asked for financial help.

“First of last week, I got notice that these two had been okayed for the National Register of Historic Places and the next day, I got a bill for $15,000,” he said. “They’ve slashed that in half. So now, they’re actually asking us for $7,500.”

McNeel asked the commission to pay half of the $7,500 bill from historic preservation consultant Michael Gioulis.

Commissioner Martin Saffer recommends paying the whole bill.

“I think we ought to pay the whole $7,500, myself” he said. “I think the Landmarks Commission is doing some very important work. What it does – it helps establish icons for the county. When you start thinking of historic places and registering those places, they become county focal points for the citizens of the county and for visitors and tourists. You look at the Opera House; you look at the Courthouse and the other places that have this seal f approval, that these are important buildings; these are important places. I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of Mr. McNeel and the work he’s doing.”

The commission voted 3-0 to pay the entire $7,500 for the Landmarks Commission.

Commissoner Jamie Walker raised an issue with a 2004 Chevrolet Blazer being used on a daily basis by a Sheriff’s Department volunteer.

“This vehicle is being driven by a non-county employee, I think, to my best knowledge,” he said. “And the license on it does not match the vehicle – and that come from the State Police.

“The plate comes back on a 2005 Durango, the license that’s running on it.

“They said it would be towed the next time it was cited.”

911 Director Shawn Dunbrack said the Sheriff’s Department provided the vehicle to a volunteer to assist with emergency radio network repairs, following the June 29 storm. The director said he thought the loan was very short-term and says the volunteer has not done good work.

“He has not done a very good job, in his claim on being able to work on radios,” he said. “In fact, he damaged some 911 radio equipment, that has required me to spend a little bit of money to get it repaired.”

Dunbrack said he wanted the vehicle returned. Commission clerk Sue Helton verified that the vehicle is titled under the 911 department. Saffer says the director should order the vehicle returned.

“If our director says, ‘no’ – next case; next item on the agenda,” he said. “Let’s move forward. Have him return it. Unplug it. Tell him thank you – that’s it.”

Dunbrack and the commission agreed to sell the vehicle at public auction after it is returned.

In other business, the commission:
— Appointed Travis Copenhaver to the Medical services Authority Board.
— Appointed Jason Bauserman to the Historic Landmarks Commission.
— Approved the purchase of a 2012 Chevrolet Colorado for the Sheriff’s Department at a cost of $27,522.
— Approved and expenditure not to exceed $6,432 for a part-time animal shelter worker.
— Approved a letter of support for Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telephone for a grant to expand fiber-to-home broadand internet to Stony Bottom and Sitlington.
— Approved a copier contract for the Prosecutor’s Office.
— Appproved a heating oil contract with Woodford Oil.
— Approved a letter to the Circuit Court with exceptions to a recent administrative order.
— Approved a letter to DEP regarding soda ash disposal at East Fork Industrial Park.

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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