Commission meets its match in Durbin Library fundraisers
County commissioners issued a challenge to Durbin Library supporters last fall: Raise $20,000 and weﾒll match it.
Tuesday, commissioners made good on the promise as Judith Fuller, Durbin Library Building Committee chairperson, announced that her group had raised more than $11,200 from fundraising and donations and another $9,000 from the West Virginia Legislature.
ﾓWe have more coming in and we have other things in the works, as well,ﾔ she said.
With $40,000 in hand, Fuller said her committee hopes to be able to pour the concrete pad this summer and to begin the ﾓbarn raisingﾔ with help from the areaﾒs many local contractors.
In addition to all the other fundraising, Pocahontas County Free Libraries director Allen Johnson said Durbin Town Council has voted to put $1,000 aﾠ year in its budget for the library building fund.
Commissioners said the committee would have the check by the end of the week.
Snowshoe homeowner has beef with PSD
David Litsey, a Snowshoe-area homeowner who has researched an alternative plan for the Slaty Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant (see PSD article, Page 1), complained to the county commission that Pocahontas Public Service District members were unresponsive when he approached them with his plan.
Litsey said the plan will cost $6 million less than the plan proposed by Thrasher Engineering and will maintain treated sewage on the mountain to be discharged into the Shavers Fork of Cheat. Another plant to be built at Site 7 would service Rt. 66 from the Inn at Snowshoe to Linwood.
ﾓThe plan does everything everbody wants it to do,ﾔ Litsey said.
But his plan fell on deaf ears at the PSD, he said, as board members were reluctant to abandon a plan that has already been nearly a decade in the making.ﾠ
The property developer said the issue could be tied up in court ﾓforeverﾔ if the PSD goes with the Site 7 plan. He said the PSD could be charged with ﾓwillful misconduct,ﾔ but also for even more serious criminal actions.
ﾓDo we go after [them] for fraud?ﾔ he asked.
Litsey said one board member pressured another with the threat of losing grant money if the current plan for a $25 million plant at Site 7 is dumped.
County commission president Martin Saffer said PSD members should be open to new ideas not be ﾓriveted to a rail,ﾔ noting that saving $6 million should seem attractive. Saffer encouraged Litsey to ﾓstand fast.ﾔ
Commissioner David Fleming said he would urge the PSD board to ﾓremember the people its serving.ﾔ
Commission approves five courthouse improvements
Commissioners voted to prioritize courthouse improvements in lieu of the courthouse annex plan apparently scuttled because of declining tax revenues.
Saffer said the commission has already spent more than $75,000 and ﾓgiven some time and attentionﾔ to the courthouse study prepared by WYK Associates.
The commission president said his top priority is an elevator to replace the aging and rarely used chair lift put in place in the early 1990s.
Commissioner Reta Griffith said the existing courthouse annex roof, the air conditioning system and the boiler in the old jail are much more critical than an elevator.
ﾓWe need to do some maintenance around here,ﾔ Office of Emergency Management director Melvin Martin agreed. ﾓIﾒd love to have an elevator, but we have things around here that are dying.ﾔ
Commissioners agreed to have WYK draft a contract proposal to include a new HVAC system and how relocation of offices would be handled during its construction, an elevator, roof, boiler at the jail and the information technology closet and telephone system upgrade.
Teen Court will raise ticket costs
Traffic tickets and other violations charged after Tuesday will cost $5 more, as commissioners decided to fund Teen Court expenses with the proceeds.
Teenagers who find themselves on the wrong side of the law may choose to attend Teen Court where a jury of their peers will decide their fate which could include community service and restitution. The only adult in the court will be Thomas Peterson, of the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition.
A substantial percentage of Teen Court funding will come from the West Virginia Bar Association, while the fees collected in Pocahontas County will pay for some office expenses Peterson said.
In other business, commissioners:
ﾕlaid the levy for Pocahontas County at 13.51 cents per hundred, meaning tax revenues for the county will be more than $2 million.
ﾕread the minutes from Fridayﾒs special meeting which announced the auction of Pocahontas Memorial Home Health on May 18. Bidders must agree to stipulations including a $400,000 minimum bid, employee retention and a 48 hour advance notification of intention to bid.
ﾕapproved a survey for a 100x100 area at East Fork Industrial Park for use by Allegheny Disposal. The Green Bank company will use a tank at EFIP as a temporary holding facility for sewage.
ﾕappointed James Bullard to the Farmland Protection Board to fill the unexpired term of Joe Riley; appointed Jenny Friel to the Pocahontas County Board of Health.
ﾕagreed to purchase frames for certificates of commendation from the Civil Service Board for Pocahontas County deputies.
ﾕapproved the hiring of Brian Shinaberry as a deputy to replace Officer Swisher, who resigned.
ﾕagreed to be the funding agent for a Community Participation Grant of $15,000 for Sheriffﾒs Department equipment.
ﾕapproved capital outlay for a Code Red Emergency Alert System that would allow automatic mass dialing in cases of emergency. The Town of Marlinton may be a partner in the purchase.
ﾕproclaimed April 18-24 Crime Victimsﾒ Week.
The commission will meet again in regular session May 4.