Pocahontas Commissioners Approve Walking Path at the Hospital

Ashley Pritt, representing Pocahontas Memorial Hospital presented a request at the Pocahontas County Commission’s July 19th meeting for permission to build a walking path on county owned land in front of the hospital. Ashley deferred to Susan Arbogast to explain how the idea came about. Susan, who is a school teacher, noticed while on a trip to California, that some of the schools had paved walking paths around them which were used by the kids to walk or ride bicycles. When she returned, she thought a path around Marlinton Elementary School would be a good idea and help promote fitness for the entire community. She worked with Lisa Dennison of the school system and they were able to obtain a $3000.00 grant to build a walking path to promote fitness. But she was unable to find a suitable place for the path at either Marlinton Elementary School or Marlinton Middle School, and was ready to give up on the idea. Susan explains what changed her mind.

“So I was going to give the money back –we can’t use it – then I saw the hospital grounds –that’s where it needs to be!” said Susan. “We went to the hospital and explained where we got the money and that we wanted to give them the money so that they could put a walking path in front where the trees are. Have a place where kids can walk from the school and use it, and also the hospital and the town. The hospital agreed so we’re coming to ask permission to do it.”

Susan has a long term plan for the path too.

“My long term goal is” Susan said, “is when we’ve done this walking path is to pave it so we can have wheel chair accessibility.”

Ashley added that some hospital patients could also use the path for needed exercise. Of course, the Commissioners voted to allow the path to be built on the county owned land at the hospital.

In other actions at their meeting, the Commissioners approved establishing 3 positions as Fiduciary Commissioners. These Commissioners, who make final decisions in estate disputes, are required by WV law and must be attorneys. Mike Doss and Bob Martin were appointed, with the third position left vacant at this time.

They approved the Sheriff’s Department‘s purchase of a 2016 Jeep from Greenbrier Motors for $28,500.00. This will be used as a law enforcement vehicle.

They agreed to look for a sprinkler service company to test and repair the sprinkler system at the former shoe factory and to activate that system as soon as it is repaired, as required by their insurance company. They also discussed paying the Town of Marlinton for the sprinkler connection to the town water system, although they may dispute the back payments since they have never activated the sprinkler system.

The Commissioners agreed to advance wages to Elaine Diller from the One Room University for July and August, which will be repaid by the New River Community and Technical College in September. This was because of a delay by the college in paying Diller their half of her salary until then.

They approved the only sealed bid to renovate the 911 Center with conditions. The bid was for $16,883.80 by the Jacob Meck Construction Company, but they wanted the proposed contract to explicitly state that the cost of all materials would be included in the price, and they wanted a smaller upfront down payment then proposed in the contract.

Glen Galloway of the Day Report center delivered the Center’s monthly update to the Commission.

The Commissioners appointed Linda Simmons and Ann Finley to 3 year terms on the County Parks and Recreation Board.

They also agreed to request an advisory opinion from the WV Ethics Commission to ensure their new Agenda Policy is in compliance with state ethics laws.

The Commissioners signed over the deed to the Cass Park to the County Parks and Recreation, who will maintain it.

Commission Attorney Bob Martin discussed issues with the WV Unemployment Commission regarding contractual employees, most of which he believes he has worked out. Martin also advised the Commissioners that he will again be conducting in-service training for the sheriff’s Department. The meeting ended with a closed session about a personnel matter on which no formal action would be taken during this meeting.

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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