Pocahontas Commissioners to Help Fund Cass Community Park

There was a short agenda at the Pocahontas County Commission‘s May 16th meeting. They received a request from Lauren Bennett of the County Parks and Recreation Board for funds for the Cass Community Park. The Commission recently deeded ownership of that Park over to Parks and Recreation who want to make improvements. Lauren requested $1,750 for trash cans, an entry sign, benches and a horseshoe pit and wanted an additional $6,500 to $8,500 for new playground equipment.

Since the Commission’s budget for 2016-2017 has already been finalized, the Commissioners could not meet all of these needs, but did give Parks and Recreation $5000 from its contribution fund. $1,750 of that was to pay for the trash cans, an entry sign, benches and horseshoe pit. The remainder of the $5000 could be spent for new playground equipment.

The Commission also heard from Amanda Smarr from the Region 4 Planning and Development Council. Smarr asked that the Commission agree to an amendment to the present FEMA Hazardous Mitigation Plan so that FEMA could replace structures that are over 50% destroyed by floods. Under the present plan, if a structure sustains damage of 50% or more, it has to be demolished and its site turned into “green space”. FEMA recently changed its  procedures whereby such a structure can be rebuilt provided it is done at least 2 feet above the flood plain and that it is not in a “flood way” – which basically means an area along a stream or river channel which could reasonably be expected to flood.

The Commissioners voted to sign a letter for the Region 4 Planning and Development Council which would amend the present mitigation plan to incorporate this FEMA change.

The Commission also receives the July monthly update from the Director of the Day Report Center, Glen Galloway. In his update, Galloway said the Center provided services to 14 participants in July, 9 males and 5 females. Two of these were on home confinement, 6 were unemployed, 2 found employment. There were 6 drug screenings and 6 alcohol screenings of Day Report participants, and all were in compliance with negative test results. Participants completed 260 hours of community Service and there was a savings of $20,940.50 to the County in what otherwise would have been jail costs. He added that training programs continued during July.

The Commissioners appointed Attorney Laura Finch as a Pocahontas County Fiduciary Commissioner . this position became available since Attorney Mike Doss turned down his recent appointment.

Commission Counsel Bob Martin reported that he is close to a finalized agreement with Snowshoe Mountain Resort for the Pocahontas County Sheriff to provide full time law enforcement services there.

Martin also said he heard from the Tax Office that there were people charging for overnight lodging in the County but not reporting or paying the Hotel/Motel Tax. He researched this and found that there were no penalties, late fees, interest charges or penalties set up by the Commission to enforce this requirement. The Commission will put this on a future meeting agenda so that the tax requirements will be regulated with penalties for failure to comply.

Sue Helton reported that the County collected 1.2 million dollars in Hotel/Motel Tax this past fiscal year

There was a discussion about whether the County needed to pay the Town of Marlinton invoices for charges of several years where the town has provided a connection of their water system to the sprinkler system in the Former Shoe Factory Building. When the County acquired the building, it did not even know until recently that there was a sprinkler system there and never turned the connection on. Recently the insurance carrier is requiring that the system be operating, but a sprinkler service company must be hired to determine if the system is safe and operable or needs repair before it can be turned on. No specific actions were taken regarding this.

The meeting ended with the signing of invoices.

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.

Current Weather