Wow! You Don’t Need to be a Lawyer!

Pocahontas County has had only one Fiduciary Commissioner to resolve disputed estates since Josh Hardy resigned. This left Attorney Laura Finch as the only one. The County Commissioners have been seeking another Attorney to join Finch as a Fiduciary Commissioner since at least two Fiduciary Commissioners are needed in the event one of them has to recuse their self from handling an estate because of a personal or business relationship. None of the other attorneys in the County have volunteered for the position.

Bob Martin, the County Commission’s Counsel researched the state laws regarding Fiduciary Commissioners and came up with a solution. He discovered that non-attorneys can serve as Fiduciary Commissioners provided that they complete a state training class, and In fact, several other counties in the state use non-attorneys as Fiduciary Commissioners. Martin also found that even though the Fiduciary Commissioners’ fees are paid out of estate funds, the County Commission needs to set up a fee schedule for handling an estate. Thus, at the October 15th County Commission meeting, the Commissioners voted that Fiduciary Commissioners who are attorneys will be paid the $300.00 state-standard fee plus $150.00 per hour, while non-attorney Fiduciary Commissioners who complete the required state training will be paid the $300.00 plus $75.00 per hour, In addition, the County will pay the non-attorney Fiduciary Commissioners’ mileage to attend their required training.

Also, at the October `5th Commission meeting, Cara Rose, on behalf of the Pocahontas County Bicentennial Commission thanked the County Commissioners for their $10,000 contribution as a Bicentennial Celebration and Bicentennial Trout Sculpture sponsors. The Bicentennial Trout refers to local artists painting large sculptures of eight trout, each representing one of the eight rivers that originate in Pocahontas County. These will be placed in seven County communities who sponsor them with the eighth to be placed at the Courthouse on behalf of the County Commission’s contribution.  The Commissioners had agreed to have their trout sculpture represent the Elk River.

Additionally, at the meeting, the Commissioners approved the following:

  • They opened and awarded the only sealed bid received for a contract to provide #2 heating oil to the courthouse and jail from November 1st 2019, through October 31st That bid was from Woodford Oil and was for the rack Marathon Oil price plus a 12 cent per gallon delivery charge. That rack price, which is subject to change during the span of the contract, plus the delivery charge, which will not change, would be $2.16 per gallon if delivered now.
  • They rejected the bid received from Seven Rivers in Lewisburg to remove the log cabin from the county-owned lot near the 911 Center and remediation of the property. That bid of $19,500 was considered to be way too costly by the Commissioners. They will advertise a re-bid on this.
  • They approved a resolution supporting the ‘County Clerks Office’s application for a $15,727 Records Management grant and a resolution supporting the Circuit Court’s application for a Records Preservation Grant in the amount of $10,000, which will be used to preserve old court records from when Huntersville was the county seat.
  • They appointed Helen Clark, Damon Brock, Jason Scotchie, and Seth Morgan to three-year terms on the Emergency Medical Services Authority
  • They approved hiring Lindsay Browning as a Part-Time 911 Dispatcher at $12.00 per hour effective October 19th.
  • They approved a $75,000 Budget Revision which was related to the Broadband Study Grant funds.

The Commissioners tabled until next meeting any action regarding an agreement with Atlas Geographic, Inc to provide mapping services to the 911 Center, and also tabled to the next meeting the joining a settlement class regarding the Opioid Litigation.

They discussed in Executive Session the possible discipline of a 911 Employee but took no action on this when they returned to normal open session.

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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