Pocahontas Commissioners Question Restrictions at Green Bank Industrial Park
The Pocahontas County Commission met on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at the courthouse in Marlinton. During the meeting John Fitzgerald asked the Commissioners to lift the deed restrictions on the County-owned land at the Green Bank Industrial Park. Fitzgerald wants to lease a portion of that land to grow crops on or to establish a tree farm.
When the Board of Education deeded the land to the county in June of 1990, they inserted a deed restriction that the property could only be used for Industry or Economic Development to benefit the County.
Fitzgerald states that these restrictions have made much of the land useless to anyone because businesses promoting economic development have shown little interest in the property. The only exception has been the 6 acre tract which has been leased to the Jacob Meck Construction Co.
Fitzgerald asked that if the Commission cannot change the restrictions then the Commissioners should ask the Board of Education to agree to any changes to the restrictions that the commission deems appropriate.
The commissioners unanimously decided that they need to research the reasons the restrictions were placed on the deed in the first place. If this research shows there were no good reasons for the restrictions, the commissioners would then need to seek legal advice at to how the restrictions could legally be removed.
In other actions, the Commissioners voted to close out the 2015 Board of Review and Equalization Hearings for the year and heard from Mike Holstine and Ben Wilfong of the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce with an invitation to sit on the board of the Chamber of Commerce.
“So you can hear the direction the chamber is thinking of going, can advise the Board as to whether you think the direction is correct or not and be part of the decision-making process that the Chamber is going through on a monthly basis,” said Holstine.
The Commissioners decided that legally all three Commissioners could not be on the Chamber Board, nor could any commissioner hold a voting or decision-making role on the board. They voted to have a commissioner attend the Chamber of Commerce Board meetings as an observer on an alternating basis to be determined and agreed upon by the Commissioners.
The Pocahontas County 911 Center asked for a budget revision to transfer $1000.00 from their telephone budget line item to their overtime budget line item. They made this request because out of the $10,000 budgeted for overtime at the 911 Center, they only have $1900 left for the remaining fiscal year. The Commissioners, however, stated that their policy has always precluded budget revisions to personnel budget line items such as overtime. They did not approve this budget revision request.
The Commissioners also reviewed a monthly update from Tammie Alderman of the Pocahontas County Day Report Center.
Fiscal Year 2015 -2016 budget work sessions were set for March 9, 11, and 13, all starting at 9:00 AM. All three days might not be needed. The meetings are open to the public. The budget can then be approved at the regularly scheduled Commission meeting on March 17. The 2015-2016 budget must be approved and forwarded to the State Audit Department by March 28, 2015.