Marlinton responds to Board of Risk request
The Marlinton town council held a special meeting on February 5 to respond to a "final request" letter from the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management. The meeting was held in the Convention and Visitors Bureau because of fuel odors emanating from the Municipal Building.
Town Recorder Robin Mutscheller scheduled the meeting after finding the letter on a desk while working in the Municipal Building during the January 25 flood.
The letter, titled "Final Request," was addressed to Mayor Dennis Driscoll and stated,
"Recently, we sent you copies of Aon Global Risk Consulting loss control surveys on properties that you own and we insure. The surveys contained recommendations that need your attention.
"Previously, we sent you an initial letter requesting a response with a plan of action for correcting the deficiencies found within sixty (60) days. To this date we have not received your plan of action.
"The recommendations on the surveys represent areas of concern to the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management. I'm sure you share our concern and the desire to eliminate all potential unsafe conditions at your facilities, as far as reasonably possible. Therefore, please submit your corrective plan of action within the next thirty (30) business days.
"Failure to address these recommendations could result in a surcharge being applied to your annual insurance premiums."
On April 14, 2009, Board of Risk representatives inspected the town hall, auditorium and fire station for potential safety hazards. The survey report, sent to Driscoll on October 9, 2009, listed four recommendations, two deemed "critical" and two "important."
The two critical recommendations included research and abatement of the water problem in the building's basement to prevent mold growth and an electrical safety review of the basement.
The important recommendations included securing and protection of the building's fuel oil tank and keeping of maintenance and inspection records on the building's fire detection equipment.
After discovering the letter, Mutscheller immediately contacted a manager with the Board of Risk to inform him that the council would conduct a special meeting to take action on the matter. Mutscheller informed the manager that neither she nor the council had been informed of the survey report.
The special meeting was attended by Mutscheller and councilmembers Louise Barnisky, Norris Long, Loretta Malcomb and Dave Zorn. Due to the mayor's absence, Mutscheller chaired the meeting and Malcomb served as recorder.
The council unanimously voted to close the basement to the general public until a safety study is completed.
Long volunteered to chair a committee to oversee the response to the recommendations and selected Mutscheller and Zorn as fellow committee members.
Due to a concern of lack of a quorum, the council voted to change the next regular meeting date to Monday, February 15, at 7 p.m. at council chambers in the municipal building.