Temporary Home Found for Bartow Green Boxes

At their May 4th meeting, the County Commissioners approved moving the Solid Waste Authority’s green boxes from their current location to the parking lot of the former Howe’s Tannery office building in Frank. The move is necessary since the lease to the current location of the boxes in Bartow expires on June 1st and the owner of that property has decided to not renew the lease. This move, however, is temporary since the lot at the tannery where the boxes are moving to was signed over to the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC) about 11 years ago. Although the GVEDC has not found a business to buy or lease that parking lot, if they do, the Green Boxes would have to be moved again to a permanent location. Mary Kay Clendenen of the Solid Waste Authority told the commissioners that they will continue the search for a permanent location for the green boxes near Bartow.

The commissioners were scheduled to approve the continued use of the West Virginia Counties Risk Pool as their insurance carrier for the upcoming year, however delayed this decision to an upcoming commission meeting so they can compare the Risk Pool’s prices and coverages with that of a private insurance company which has indicated it will also offer a proposal to the county.

Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton told the commissioners they are applying for a $50,000 Transportation Alternatives grant from the WV Department of Highways to replace dilapidated sidewalks in the town. Felton asked for and received the commission’s agreement to write a letter of support to the WV DOH on behalf of the town’s grant application. Felton said the town will have to put up a ten percent local match to get the grant.

Donna Ward of the Region IV Planning and Development Counsel held a public meeting regarding building a new Office of Emergency Management/911 Center and ambulance station for the hospital’s ambulance service on a lot near the hospital. The purpose of this is to get those facilities moved from their current locations in the flood zone in Marlinton. Ward said this building project would be one-hundred percent paid for if they are approved for the Federal/State Hazard Mitigation grant they are applying for. Commission President Walt Helmick noted that the hospital was already planning on building a house for their ambulances on the site and the commission saw this as an economic way to combine the 911 into a larger building at the same site.

Additionally, the following non-agenda topics were discussed without any action being taken.

  • The commissioners will have at least one of their members participate in a Regional Information Session put on by Senator Joe Manchin later this month. The purpose of this meeting is to explain just what the funds from the American Rescue Plan –better know as the latest COVID relief funds – can and cannot be spent on by the counties.
  • Helmick said the solid Waste Authority is very close to receiving a WV Department of the Environment permit to establish a demolition dump site on a 2-acre tract in the rear of the East fork Industrial Park. He said this will be used by the county as a location to bury demolished abandoned and unsightly buildings that have been torn down. Helmick said initially they will use the site to clean up the Industrial Park itself, then expand its use to the Durbin/Frank area and eventually to encompass the entire county. There are some restrictions on what can be buried there -no materials containing led paint for example. The site will not be open to public use at least initially.
  • Mayor Felton explained the sewer smoke testing currently going on in Marlinton. He said the purpose is to detect any areas where ground water is leaking into the sewer. Felton said people may see smoke rising from the ground. He also wanted to ensure the citizens that the smoke is harmless and has a slight citrus scent.
  • The WV Department of Agriculture  also sent a memorandum to the commission saying they are expanding their program to feed children this year to include more agencies and organizations able to participate. The program distributes low cost cases of food. Information about this can be found by calling Lora Hammack at the WVDOA -304-558-0573.
  • The commissioners said the high cost of utilities ($2000 per month) at the ARC –or Former Shoe Factory –Building in Marlinton, and perhaps the agencies using the building might need to be relocated to a more economical building. This will be discussed at a future meeting.

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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