Town takes a new turn on directional signs
A year-long dispute between the Town of Marlinton and some local business owners regarding directional signs has come to an end.
Sign committee chairman Norris Long was recently appointed by the mayor to investigate the issue.
“There have been several alternatives discussed and presented,” said Long. “Option number one would be no signage because of clutter in the downtown area. Option number two will allow businesses or other organizations to place signs on town light posts which would identify the business by name. Option number three, proceed with DOH’s approval of placement of generic directional signs — dining, lodging and points of interest.”
Business owner and sign committee member Nelson Hernandez said he had spoken recently with the West Virginia Division of Highways and found out that the gray, traffic signal poles in town are owned by the highway department, not the town.
“The way he put it to me, it’s almost like leasing a car,” explained Hernandez. “You don’t really own the car, but you take care of the maintenance.”
Long said if the poles are in fact owned by the Division of Highways, then the town of Marlinton would have no say whatsoever.
“It is a separate agreement with DOH,” Long said. “We’re really not involved with it.”
“So really we don’t have to take any action,” concluded committee member Robin Mutscheller. “I don’t think we need to make any presentation to the council. It’s decided.”
Zorn expressed his frustration with the government “at all levels.”
“Joe and I met with these gentleman that have been in the business thirty years,” Zorn said. “They were experts. They said there was no way we could have arrow signs. Nelson took it on himself to investigate further, and they do have an organization that can do directional signs. Why doesn’t one department know what the other one is doing?”
“There is a level of frustration,” agreed Long. “There was pertinent information they did not bring forth to us. That’s a shame, but let’s get beyond that. The ball is in our court.”
Hernandez said the process could take a couple of months, but he hopes to have the sign up for his business before the upcoming tourist season.
“Right now, as far as I see, our signs are going up on those traffic poles,” said Hernandez.