Pocahontas Solid Waste Authority Responds to Complaints

At the April 2nd Pocahontas County Commission meeting, Ed Riley of the County Solid Waste Authority addressed concerns about the Solid Waste Authority that had been expressed to the Commission at their March 19th meeting by both Gary Sharp and Doug Bernier.

Sharp’s complaint had been that despite having paid his annual Solid Waste Assessment Fee, allowing him use of both the green boxes and the landfill, he had recently still been charged a “tipping fee” at the landfill. Sharp said he was told that the Authority had recently adopted the policy requiring everybody to have their Assessment Fee payment receipt with them.

At that same meeting, Doug Bernier had told the Commissioners engineering firm annually surveys the landfill to determine its remaining useful life.  He said In December of 2017 the engineering firm estimated that the landfill had 11.4 years of useful life remaining, but in December of 2018, the same engineering firm estimated remaining life of the landfill is only eight years. Thus, in only one year, the estimated useful life of the landfill was reduced by over three years. He is worried that in December of 2019, the engineering firm might estimate that. because of increased usage, additional years have been subtracted from the remaining useful life of the landfill.   Bernier said he does not see the Solid Waste Authority beginning the long process of looking for a replacement site for a new landfill.

At this meeting, Ed Riley of the Solid Waste Authority said they implemented the policy requiring people to have their Solid Waste Assessment Fee receipt with them when using the landfill was because people were showing up verbally claiming they had paid the Solid Waste Assessment and were allowed to dump. He said in many of those cases the fee had never actually been paid. He said that the Authority needs that fee money to keep operating on a self sufficient financial basis. He said it costs $794,000 a year to operate. He also said that proper notice of the new policy had been published in the media. Even so, Riley said they are considering revisions to the policy which would give people who show up without a receipt five days to produce the receipt. He added that they have reimbursed Gary Sharp the tipping fee he had paid.  He just wants people to understand they must have their receipts with them when coming to the landfill. This policy does not apply to people using the green boxes.

Regarding Doug Bernier’s concerns, Riley assured the Commissioners he has been searching for a site for a replacement landfill for two years, and that process is ongoing.

Other actions taken by the Commissioners at this meeting included the following.:

  • Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding -abbreviated as MIU – with the West Virginia University’s GIS Technical Center for an E-911 Grant.
  • Approval of a one year contract for the Sheriff’s Department to lease body cameras for the Deputies. This contract, which will cost $10,543.00, includes the cameras as well as off-site secure storage of the videos.
  • The Commissioners also considered approval for the Sheriff’s Department to require all new Deputies to sign a contract agreeing to repay the Sheriff’s Department for their training and other expenses if their employment is terminated within one year of being hired. No action was taken on this at the meeting because the Commissioners asked the Sheriff to re-word that contract to only apply if the new Deputy voluntarily resigns within the first year of employment.
  • Approval of a MIU for the Day Report Center with the Community Corrections Criminal Justice Board for their Grant Application and approval of that grant application for 2019 -2020.
  • They appointed Joshua Hardy as a Fiduciary Commissioner for the County.
  • They approved a lease renewal with the WV Department of Transportation for the Solid Waste Transfer Station at Green Bank.
  • They appointed Candice Butler to the Parks and Recreation Board for the remainder of a three year term expiring on June 30, 2021.

West Virginia House of Delegates Member William Hartman had been on the agenda for this meeting to discuss Frontier Communications in Pocahontas County, however he cancelled.

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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