Pocahontas County Commission to Consider Adding Late Fees for Hotel/Motel Tax

Part one about the October 3rd Commission Meeting reported about the citizens who came to express their opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction. Today we will cover the other significant occurrences at that meeting.

Sheriff Jeff Barlow and Chief Tax Deputy Sheriff Tabatha Mann asked the Commissioners to add an enforcement policy to the hotel/Motel Tax Ordinance which would allow late fees to be charged to lodging businesses who do not pay their Hotel/Motel Tax on time. These late fees are already permitted by State law but must be included in the local County Ordinance before they can be implemented.  Commission Attorney Bob Martin agreed to work with the Sheriff’s Office to draft this proposed policy addition to the Ordinance and to present it to the Commission for approval before the new tax statements go out in the mail in December.

The Commissioners appointed the following three citizen members who were recommended by the Pocahontas County Fire Association to staggered terms on the new Pocahontas County Fire Board:

  1. Kendall Beverage from the Northern Magisterial District to a 3 year term
  2. George Murphy from the Central Magisterial District to a 2 year term, and
  3. Janet Kirchner from the Southern Magisterial District to a 1 year term

They opened the four sealed bids received to install a security camera system at the courthouse and at the Family Court and awarded the bid to Secure Tech LLC of Marlinton who not only offered the lowest priced bid, but was the only one of the bidders to meet all of the bid specifications.

The Commissioners granted the County Emergency Services Director Mike O’Brien’s request and transferred Joe Emmerth from a full time 911 dispatcher to the position of Part-Time 911 Dispatcher/Part time Emergency Services Deputy Director at a salary of $12.50 per hour, effective October 4th. They also approved O’Brien’s proposed Homeland Security Radio Upgrade. One hundred thousand dollars of this radio upgrade will be paid for by an approved Federal Grant, while the County will pay the remaining forty-six thousand dollars for the cost. O’Brien explained this will upgrade the portion of the emergency radio system built in 1993. Eventually a portion of the fiber optic cable will be installed by City Net who will eventually use part of the connectivity to upgrade the Internet service to Marlinton which would provide gigabytes of service to the Town.

Tom Lane, the County Assessor requested and received authorization from the Commissioners to  hire Adam C. Wright as a Full-Time Deputy Assessor at a monthly salary of $2,200.00 with benefits and effective October 5th.

Andrea O’Brien received the Commissioners’ permission to use the parking lots of the Former Shoe Factory Building for trick or treating on Halloween night from 5 to 7 pm.

The Commissioners appointed Jason Scotchie to fill the unexpired term of Greg Taylor on the Emergency Medical Services Authority. That term will expire on September 30th, 2020.

They also made appointments to the Local Emergency Planning Committee of Jaynell Graham and Randy Wilfong II to 2 year terms and the appointments of Mike O’Brien, Sam Felton and Kenny Lehman to 3 year terms.

The Commission went into a closed Executive Session with Mike O’Brien to consider a personnel matter yet emerged from that session without taking any action.

The meeting ended with the payment 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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