Letters to the Editor
While I have enjoyed reading your paper, I have decided not to renew my subscription.
The reason I was reading your paper was because I was thinking of retiring in Pocahontas County, but the property prices there are just insane, obviously the people there have not heard about the real estate bubble busting.
I guess the people there have not heard of the business concept of the more you buy the less it cost. For example, if I buy a couple acres it might cost $10,000, but if I buy 100 acres it is no longer $2,000 or $3,000 an acre, it is now $500 an acre. If I buy a thousand or 1,700 acres it would be $200 or $300 an acre.
For what people are asking for property there I could move to sunny California or Florida or even the Bahamas and live comfortably. I can buy 10 times the acreage here and other places for the same price. So there is no need for me to continue with your paper. I have enjoyed reading about the quaint little towns and events etc, but likely will not move there.
Ronald D. Beller
This letter is prompted by the recent decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to change the proposed Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) from the concept of decentralized units to a large centralized WWTP.
The Slatyfork Farm Owners Association (SFOA) believes the vast majority of the citizens of our county are not aware of the fact that our association is opposed to being forced to hook-up to the WWTP. The main objectives of this letter are to inform the citizens of Pocahontas County that we are opposed to mandatory hook-up to the WWTP, go on record with your newspaper, and reaffirm our objections to the PSC.
As a matter of introduction, Slatyfork Farm is located just off Route 219, approximately one mile south of Route 66. We are a private community of approximately 58 houses.
SFOA has made known our opposition to forced hook-up, by sending letters to the proper authorities and participating in PSD meetings dealing with the WWTP. Our concerns regarding this matter include the following:
1. All of our existing homes have functioning septic systems which were approved by the county Health Department and installed by a licensed contractor in compliance with existing regulations. We have experienced no signs of failure on any systems since their operations began.
2. The majority of homes are vacation/second homes which, by nature, have a lighter use of sanitary systems than primary units.
3. Our lots and homes are connected by a road system of nearly 8 miles, many of which are single lane roads. This could well result in the inability to access our property during the installation of underground WWTP pipe lines. In addition, all of our electrical, water, and telephone lines are underground, which further complicates the situation and could be disastrous if any lines are severed during the sewage pipe line installation.
4. Slatyfork Farm is underlain with karst limestone, which contains caves and fissures. Any pipeline leak could result in effluent contamination of drinking water in the immediate and surrounding areas.
5. The topography of our area runs from a mountain valley at – 3,000 feet to mountains above 4,000 feet. This rise and drop in elevations would require extensive engineering design, surveys, excavation, pipe/lift station installation and extensive upkeep in the future.
Our association held a formal meeting to discuss this issue, and the vote in opposition was unanimous. A letter was sent to the PSC advising of this, with copies to various agencies.
Nonetheless, the SFOA board was dismayed to learn that our opposition to the mandatory hook-up was essentially disregarded in the PSC decision in August of this year. It appears that Slatyfork Farm continues to be considered a customer of the WWTP and, as such, figures into the WWTP monthly cost of service. This is misleading to the public and we wish our position to be known.
In conclusion, we are not opposed to the WWTP which is needed for long term development and environmental health of the area; we are simply opposed to mandatory hook-up per the foregoing reasons.
W. Michael Frazier
President, Slatyfork Farm