Pocahontas County’s July 16th Commission Meeting Theme – “No action on This”

At the July 16th Pocahontas Commission Meeting, more discussed agenda Items than not were concluded by the Commissioners either taking no action or by tabling them for action at a future meeting.

The Commissioners discussed payment options for having Shinaberry’s Graphics, LLC providing 911 road signs and materials. The Commissioners decided they needed more documentation from the company such as a suggested payment schedule, copy of a business license, a performance bond, and a completion time. As a result, they took no action on this at this meeting.

They were scheduled to consider the request from the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce to use the Former Shoe Factory Building for a haunted house event around Halloween. However, they tabled any action on this since no one from the Chamber was present, and the Commissioners had concerns about whether there would be room in the building this year because of additional storage of items in the building.

Likewise, they took no action on the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Family Court regarding their court facilities for this fiscal year.

The Commissioners tabled taking action on the appointment of Board Members to the Board of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (or GVEDC.) because of confusion about who they were supposed to appoint. These appointments will be addressed at the next meeting after receiving clarifications.

At Commissioner Helmick’s request, they tabled taking any action on the appointment of Freda Jackson to a six-year term on the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees until the next Commission meeting. Helmick provided no specific reason for this.

The Commission did take action on the following agenda items:

  • They passed a budget revision and resolution for the General Fund’s unencumbered balance for July, 2019. The purpose of this revision was to ensure that the funds on hand at the end of last fiscal year match the amount of funds available at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
  • The Commissioners appointed Linda Simmons to a three-year term on the Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation Board, the term to expire on June 30, 2022
  • They appointed Jenny Friel as the Southern District Representative to a five-year term on the County Board of Health, the term expiring on June 30, 2024.
  • After a discussion, the Commissioners approved advertising the holding of a public auction on the Courthouse steps to have the log building, which sits on the Commission’s property located behind the 911 Center, removed and the land cleaned and remediated to the satisfaction of the Commission within three months of the sale. Mike O’Brien, the 911 Director had told the Commission that people have expressed interest in purchasing the historic logs in that building for reuse.

Additionally, the Commissioners held a discussion with Mary Beth Barr of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (PMH), representatives from the Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department, representatives from the Pocahontas Center, and Mike O’Brien, the Director of the County 911 Center, about the 911 Center’s decision to stop dispatching 911 calls to PMH when the Pocahontas Center is requesting ambulance transport of their elderly patients to PMH. O’Brien said the EMS Response rules require they dispatch any ambulance call received at the 911 Center to the nearest appropriate first responder, and that PMH is not designated as a first responder. He also said that since the Pocahontas Center is located in Marlinton VFD’s response area, that is where the calls must go.

Mary Beth Barr said that decision would cost the hospital a $150.00 per year loss in revenue;

Bob Martin offered a compromise where the Pocahontas Center can directly call PMH for a non-emergency patient transport, but where an emergency response is needed, they must call 911 which will dispatch the Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department.  The Commissioners asked the involved parties to work this out among themselves.

The Commissioners ended the meeting after approving 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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