Pocahontas County Commission Approves New Director for Day Report Center

In addition to reaching an apparent consensus on how to save the Hotel/Motel Tax funding of the Pocahontas County Free Libraries as detailed in Part 1 of the story ab out the Commission’s September 5th meeting, the County Commissioners also appointed Danny Arbogast to fill the vacant Director’s position at the Pocahontas County Day Report Center. Arbogast will be starting at his new position on September 18th at an hourly salary based upon a $35,000 yearly salary plus benefits. Arbogast’s enthusiasm and appreciation of his new position came out as he addressed the Commissioners.

“I appreciate you selecting me” said Arbogast. “I work at Huttonsville Correctional Center right now as a Case Manager. I know Jimmy (Vandevender) has been doing a good job and we’ll work together to improve the drug and alcohol problem in the county. You’d be surprised at how much it really saves…- Day Report actually saves taxpayers money. It’s 27… almost 28 thousand dollars a year to house an inmate.”

In other actions, the Commissioners received the monthly Day Report update from Jimmy Vandevender. They started the month of August with sixteen participants, added two and terminated one. There were nine males and eight females in the program. Sixty-five drug tests were conducted on Day Report participants in August with three being positive. There were also sixty-three alcohol tests conducted and all were negative. Of the seventeen participants at the end of the month, three were on probation, one was on unsupervised probation, nine were on pre-trial bond and four were actually sentenced to Day Report.

Cara Rose, the Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, delivered her annual update to the Commissioners. Cara reported that the past year’s Hotel/Motel Tax receipts were the third highest since the 2006-2007 season, despite only having mediocre winter weather last year. She said that Snowshoe continues to be the most important contributor to the Hotel/Motel Tax.

Marcie Vaughan, the CEO of Seneca Health Services, addressed the Commissioners to correct a statement that she heard made at a previous Commission Meeting that if Day Report participants are ordered by the courts to receive counseling from Seneca, it was costing the County double money because of the Day Report Contract with Mind Ease Solutions to provide counseling. Vaughan pointed out that Seneca has a contract with the County also so they do not charge the County to provide counseling to Day Report Participants.

The Commissioners appointed Leslie Cain to a three year term on the Dramas, Fairs & Festivals Board.

Bob Martin, the Commission’s Attorney delivered his report to the Commission. He said he continues to work with 911 director Mike O’Brien to finalize leases on the radio transmitter sites throughout the County, and to work with O’Brien to change the 911 Dispatcher hiring rules to require that the new hires remain employed with the County 911 Center for a period of time or be forced to reimburse the County for the cost of their training. Martin said it costs about $12,000 to train and certify a new 911 Dispatcher. This is necessitated because there have been Dispatchers hired and trained by Pocahontas County, who, shortly after receiving their training and certifications at county expense, leave to go and work for another county.

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.

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