Pocahontas County Commissioners Award Bid for Howes Tannery Project

In Part 1 of this story about the December 19th Pocahontas County Commission meeting, we told you about the county being about to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Opioid Litigation Settlement; Herbie Barlow’s two proposals: His first proposal was to create a paid ambulance and fire service for the Southern and Central parts of Pocahontas county, and his second one was to raise the pay of Deputy Sheriff’s by $10,000 a year to keep those positions competitive with other law enforcement agencies, since we have been losing deputies to other agencies, and have been unable to replace them.

In this second part, we will inform you of the other things approved at this meeting.

The Commissioners opened and considered the three bids received for an environmental engineering firm to do the engineering and consult on the asbestos removal from the three buildings at the old Howes Tannery property, as well as on the EPA’s Voluntary Groundwater Remediation Project there. The Brownfield Clean-Up Grant will pay for these, but it will require that all three buildings on the property be demolished, including the old Howes Office Building. The three bidders were: Thrasher Engineering, Ascent Consulting & Engineering, and Greenbrier Environmental Group out of Lewisburg. They selected the Greenbrier Environmental Group’s bid.

At this meeting the commissioners also:

  • Awarded their 2024 gasoline contract to the only bidder, Woodford Oil, at rack-price plus 12 cents per gallon, which today would cost the county about $2.12 per gallon
  • They scheduled their 2024 Board of Review and Equalization hearing dates for February 1, 6, 12, and the 16th, all at 10 am; and the final one on February 20th, at 5:45 pm during their regular meeting.
  • They wrote a letter of support for the Pocahontas County Museum to receive a grant, and a letter of support for receiving federal funding or the EMS/911 Center building project.
  • They authorized the purchase of a furnace belt which hopefully will fix the heating issues in the ARC Building’s restrooms.
  • They considered and acted on the following requests by Mike O’Brien, the Director of Emergency Management and 911:
    • They re-awarded the bid to purchase communications trailer for the 911 Center
    • They approved the grant award for the Thomastown Tower construction.
    • They approved a grant award for the purchase of emergency call boxes capable of calling 911. These will be placed in areas without cell service.
    • They approved a grant award to purchase mobile message boards to be placed along county roads to inform the public about road conditions and emergencies, and can also be used to announce special events such as Pioneer Days.
    • And they approved the hiring of Kevin Stitzinger to be the full-time Deputy EMS/911 Director, starting on January 1st at $40,000 per year plus benefits.

The commissioners ended the meeting by signing off on 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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