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Pocahontas County Commission Faced with Vehicle Storage Fees of Around $19,000

This second story about the February 5th Pocahontas County Commission meeting describes the remaining events that occurred at that long and eventful meeting,

Following a lengthy discussion about paying F & F Service Center a fee of about $19,000 for storing a vehicle since November of 2015, the Commissioners eventually tabled this until the next meeting to invite Bill Fisher to come and negotiate this price with them. The vehicle had been used in a crime and held there for evidence at a cost of $15.00 per day and somehow slipped through the cracks. County Prosecutor Gene Simmons said his office could pay up to $10,000 towards this cost. Commissioner Helmick said that procedures such as requiring any officer who tows and puts a hold on releasing a vehicle should be required to make a written report to the Commission at the time of the tow, and the storing company should be required send monthly invoices. Simmons said that a while back the County had to pay another towing company about $28,000.00 for a similar situation where vehicles had been held and stored for years.

In what may help prevent these situations in the future, the Commissioners, in a separate action, approved the construction of a secure storage area at the Former Shoe Factory Building to store vehicles that are being held as evidence at a cost for this is $10,000. The discussion about the details of this construction were conducted out of public view in executive session because of the law enforcement sensitive nature of those details.

John Fitzgerald appeared before the Commissioners and asked them for financial assistance to provide materials for the PCHS Carpentry class to build dog houses which the Animal Control Officer could give to dog owners who leave their dogs tethered outside in cold weather without shelter.  Trish McNaull of the County Humane Society supported this request. Sue Helton, the Administrative Assistant to the Commission pointed out that the Animal Shelter has a large amount of money that has been donated to them which could possibly be used for this. Fitzgerald and McNaull will approach the Animal shelter to see if they would be willing to help with this.

At 10:00 a.m. the Commissioners opened then adjourned a Board of Review and Equalization Hearing as there was no one there for that meeting.

The Commissioners received contribution/funding requests from the following organizations:

  • The Humane Society of Pocahontas County who requested and received $4000.00 to be used to spay and neuter shelter animals among other things.
  • Cara Rose of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau requested $4614,42 for funding for the Bi-Centennial Commission, including web site development.

They approved the hiring of Brandon Kelley as a Full-Time Deputy Emergency Management Director/ 911 Dispatcher at an hourly rate equal to $30,000 per year plus benefits starting on February nineteenth. Kelley will spend half of his time as a Dispatcher and the other half as the Deputy Emergency Management Director.

The Commissioners approved County Clerk Melissa Bennett to hire Arin Lore as a Full-Time Deputy Clerk at $12.00 per hour plus benefits, to start on February eleventh.

After an Executive Session, the Commissioners for a discussion, they reconvened in open session and voted to pay $2993.00 to settle three claims against the Sheriff’s Department that insurance would not cover.

They appointed Todd Wright to fill the unexpired term of George Murphy on the Fire Board.

They adjourned the meeting following the approval 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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