Pocahontas County Commission Allow Parks & Recreation Employees into County PEIA Insurance

During a short Pocahontas County Commission Meeting on August 21st, the Commissioners voted to allow the full-time employees of the County Parks and Recreation to be added to the Commission’s Public Employee’s Insurance Policy. During the discussion before the vote, it was pointed out that those employees would receive better insurance at a better rate under the Commission’s policy. Each employee will still pay their own premium for their own insurance.

In other actions, the Commissioners signed the application and resolution for the County Clerk Office’s grant application for the Help America Vote Act. The Commissioners voted at a prior meeting to allow the grant application and to authorize putting up a 50% match of $134,000. This grant will pay for new voting machines. County Clerk Melissa Bennett explained that there is insufficient time before the November elections to acquire the new voting machines, but they should be available for elections after that one.

The Commissioners also authorized the annual renewal of the of the Special Risk Accident insurance policy for the community emergency Response Team volunteers. The annual premium for this policy is $235.00.

They also reappointed Janet Kershner-Vanover and Randy Wilfong to serve 3 year terms on the County Fire Board.

A discussion was held among the Commissioners about authorizing county employees to obtain County Employee Identification Cards.  The West Virginia Association of Counties has arranged with the West Virginia DMV for county employees, on a volunteer basis, to obtain these photo ID cards at the local DMV office. It will cost each employee $5.00, but many businesses and lodging establishments offer discounts to government employees who have official identification. One concern brought out during the discussion was the need for employees to turn in the official ID card when they leave county employment, and how to enforce that. Although all of the Commissioners were positive about the idea of ID cards, they decided to take no action on this until they can determine if the cards will have expiration dates on them and how other counties are dealing with the cards when employees leave government service.

The Commissioners voted to change the date for their first November meeting from Tuesday, November 6th to Monday, November 5th because of the Election Day Holiday.

During his report, Commission, Counsel Bob Martin pointed out that, in response to questions about whether the Hotel Occupancy Tax has to be collected from RV campers staying at local campgrounds.  Martin said he initially believed the tax would apply to RV units staying less than 30 days, but when he read the definition of “hotel” in the Hotel Occupancy Tax, he found that the term excludes “any tent, trailer and RV.” His opinion now is that campgrounds do not have to collect and remit the tax.

Brian Aluise from Senator Manchin’s office made an appearance at the meeting. He confirmed that both Senators Manchin and Capito wrote letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory agency, or FERC urging them to expedite the pipeline construction, since delays now only prolong disruption to the communities affected.

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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