Pocahontas County Watershed Group Moving Forward With Protection Plan For The Elk River
Marlinton, WV – The Elk Headwaters Watershed Association is continuing their work to protect the headwaters of the Elk River and its surrounding areas in Pocahontas County. During a joint session with the Pocahontas County Commission and the county Public Service District board, they gave an update on their progress.
In 2008, working with environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies, the group produced a state of the watershed report. In 2009, after a series of stakeholder meetings, a common vision statement for the watershed was completed. Evan Hanson, President of Downstream Strategies, says the next step is to create a watershed protection plan.
He says they are in the process of collecting additional data such as ground water sources, karst geology considerations and current septic systems throughout the headwaters area. Hansen says they intend to produce a document that will act as a guide for environmentally sound development in the county.
In other business, the Commission by a vote of two to one approved extending the 911 Mapping and Addressing contract of Matt Taylor for another year. Commissioner Martin Saffer voted against the motion, saying he’d prefer to see the contract put out for bid rather than automatically renewing it.
The Commissioners declined to take any action on three contribution requests – $1000.00 for the Mountain Resource Conservation and Development group, $2000.00 for the Northern Pocahontas County Food Pantry and a $33,000.00 match for High Rocks Academy’s Americorps Vista program. Commission President David Fleming says they are still working on the county budget and have yet to determine the amount of money available for discretionary spending next year. He promises to revisit these and other requests once the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget is complete.
Donnelle Oxley asked the Commission to consider providing reimbursement to Pocahontas County Humane Society members who transport animals from the County shelter to no kill facilities. As with the other contribution requests the Commissioners declined to take any action at this time.
The Commission did approve the use of the Pocahontas Sheriff’s satellite office at Frank as the polling place for Precinct Two for the upcoming special election in May. Some repairs to the building are needed; the Commission approved an expenditure up to $2500.00.
The Commission also wrote a letter of support on behalf of Allegheny Mountain Radio and the need to keep the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded. The letter will be sent to West Virginia Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, and Congressman Nick Rahall.