Pocahontas Commissioners to Consider Guidelines to Reopen Lodging Businesses

The Pocahontas County Commission met on Tuesday, May 5th in a short regular session at 8:30 am. This meeting was closed to the public, but broadcast live on the commission’s Facebook page.

During the public input, Sam Collins of Snowshoe and Dave Christopher – the President of the Home Owners Association – talked about issues involving the “re-opening” of the Silver Creek Lodge, which is the largest condominium building in the county. They told the commissioners that they need guidelines regarding any special actions they need to take to meet re-opening safety requirements. and where they could obtain anti-viral cleaning sprays, masks and gloves for lodging staff to use to disinfect rooms and other spaces They also wondered if video lottery stations need to be placed further apart when those are allowed to reopen, They said the County Health Department referred them to the County Commission for answers.

The Commissioners said they have no guidelines right now, but perhaps should consider some. Commissioner Helmick said that any guidelines they might set up for reopening lodging establishments in the county should be consistent with both the local and state health departments rules and also with the governor’s office. Commissioner Groseclose said that Cara Rose of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been sending out links to state guidelines for lodging establishments that she and her tourism taskforce have found on line.

The commissioners decided that a special meeting should be held on Friday to discuss these issues. They said they would like to include the following at that meeting, either in person or telephonically:  Cara Ros    e; representatives from the  Marlinton Motor Inn, and from Snowshoe/Silver Creek lodging and condos; Mike O’Brien from Emergency Management; representatives from the County Health Department, and representatives from the State Health Department and from the Governor’s Office.

In other matters, Martin Saffer has contacted the commission over his concerns that an alternative plan must be considered to keep internet service in the county just in case Frontier’s bankruptcy should cause them to shut off their internet service to the county.

The commissioners voted to pay SecuriTech LLC two-thousand forty-two dollars and thirty cents ($2042.30) to provide the annual fire alarm inspection for the courthouse/jail building and two-hundred and eighty-four dollars and eighty-two cents ($284.82) for the fire alarm inspection at the 911 Center. This item had been held over from the last commission meeting because the commissioners at that meeting had misunderstood that those inspections were for security camera systems, when they were actually for required annual fire alarm inspections.

They also voted to rescind a motion passed at the last meeting to deposit the check received from the state in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.} which was for the county’s West Virginia COVID-19 Pandemic County Block Grant, into the general fund account. They have since learned the money is required to be deposited into a special “Fund 206” account and they voted to do that.

They decided, upon the recommendation of the County Health Department to continue the limited access to the courthouse at least until their June 2nd meeting. They will still have to allow safe early voting at the courthouse starting on May 27th. They also said that the WV Supreme Court will resume court hearings on May 15th, but those will be telephonically heard.

In a final action before closing the meeting by approving invoices, they moved the county’s Election Day Holiday from the former election day of May 12th to the new election day of June 9th.                   

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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