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The Pocahontas Times
Marlinton, West Virginia
July 17, 2003     The Pocahontas Times
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July 17, 2003

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PAGE2 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to be 00otaljonta00 Titne00 810 Second Ave., Marlinton WV 24954 Telephone (304) 799-4973 Fax (304) 799-6466 w ww.pocahontastimes.com emaih editor@pocahontastimes.com advertising@lcahontastimes.com subscriptions @ pocahontastimes.com Published every Thursday except the last week of the year. Entered at the Post Office at Marlinton. West Virginia 24954 as periodicals ISSN 0738-8373 YEARLY SUBSCRIlrrlON CIIARGES lincluding tax) In County $14.84 In State $23.32 Out of State $25 00 WEEKIN ADVERTISING RATES Display-S4.75 column inch Classified-20 ord WILLIAM P MCNEEL. Editor PAMELA E PRITT, Managing Editor JANE PRICE SHARP, Editor Emerita TIIURSDAY, JULY 17, 2003 Open Governmental Pioneer Days Proceedings Act Meeting A good crowd and mostly The Pocahontas County good weather promoted a good Clerk's Office will host a meet- Pioneer Days. A short rain ing on the Open Governmental shower on Friday night and a Proceedings Act on Monday, little rain toward the end of die July 21, at 7 p.m. in the Court- parade dampened things a little house of the Pocahontas County but nothing drastic. Courthouse, Our speaker will be - - - Lewis Bl"ewer with the West CVB {o add Forest Serv- Virginia Ethics Commission. ice Seat The public is invited to attend. The Pocahontas County Patricia D. Dunbrack CVB has added a Forest Service Pocahontas County Clerk Notice There will bc a Marlinton/ Durbin Core Hazard Mitigation meeting on Friday, July' 25, at 7 p.m. in the Council Room at the Marlinlon Municipal Build- rag. Dramas, Fairs and Festivals Application Applications for grants from the Dramas, Fairs and Festivals Committee are due in the WVU Extension Office at the Court House by August I. The Com- mittee will meet on Monday, August 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Extension Office. If you have any questions or need one of the application forms, please call the office at 799-4852. seat to the Board of Directors. If you are a forest service em- ployee, are a registered voter in Pocahontas County and want to be considered for the new Board seat, send a letter stating your intention to: Pocahontas Coun- ty CVB, PO Box 275, Marlin- ton, WV. 24954 Help For Small- Businesses A Representative of Ihe West Virginia University Institute of Technology Small Business De- velopment Center will be at the WVU Extension Office located in the Pocahontas County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 22, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the purpose of assisting small business owners or those who may be interested in start- ing a small business. To make an appointment, contact the Ex- tension Office, 799-4852. 2003 Assessment July 1, 2003, is the beginning of a new year for assessments. This assessment will make the 2004 tax ticket. This is a uired by law,w must increase a go @. Real property owners will receive a property record sheet indicating the increase. This information should be reviewed, because it will be used to deter- mine your 2(X)4 tax bill. Real estate is valued by three methods, the cheapest being lhmdand. This land value is based on income that it produces. To have your land valued as a farm. someone must qualify it as a farm or part of a farm operation. This form is filled out by the Assessor or Deputy when your assessment is done. We must have a form signed and on file before we can qualify your real es- tate as a farm. These forms must be completed by September I, 2(X)3. We have been accepting the form later, but the State has demanded the form shortly after this date. We will make sure to contact those who qualified last year, but if you are a new applic- ant, please contact us by this date. If you purchased new land or rented new property, make sure it is added to your farm classifi- cation. Managed timberland is the next cheapest method of valu- ing real estate. You must apply once by July ! and submit a contract annually by September I on each year to the Division of Forestry. These forms are available through the State Tax De- partment, Division of Forestry and our office. The other method for valuing real estate is market value, which is the highest method to value property. This is the price real estate would sell for if offered for sale. Each property owner must decide how to qualify his land. If he does nothing, we have no choice but to value the reat estate at market value. Personal property assessment will be the same as last year. Vehicles will be assessed at 60% of NADA loan value. If your vehicle is not average, please indicate the problem when your as- sessment is done. Value is based on vehicle identification numbers. Big trucks with non-apportioned licenses are to be re- ported on your assessment form. Trucks with apportioned li- cense plates will still be reported to the Public Service Commis-" sion the same as last year:All other property will be assessed at 60 of market value. The State Tax Department recommends that we charge a $25 tee on all supplemental tax tickets. To avoid extra charges, please help us make sure you are assessed correctly by contacting us if a Deputy or Assessor does not con- tact you. If you will be 65 betbre July I, 2004, or are totally and per- manently disabled, you need to sign up for Homestead Exemp- tion. We must have a card on file betore we can grant the exemp- tion, which exempts $20,000 assessed value from your real es- tate taxes. The state exempts an additional $10,000 if your in- come on Line 1 of the West Virginia State Income Tax Form is below 150% of the poverty level on July I. The poverty level is $8,860 for one person and $11,940 for two people per house- bold. You will have to file with the State Tax Department for this refund with your income tax tbr 2003, and it will benefit only those who qualify Ior the homestead exemption now and whose assessed value is over $20,. If you meet these qualifi- cations, you will receive a refund or, if you owe West Virginia income tax, you will receive a credit. The maximum additional exemption on a $30,000 assessment will be between $68.14 and $93.14 depending on whether you live in a corporation or dis- trict. State law requires that a tax be collected on all dogs in the county which are at least 6 months old on July I of the assess- ment year, The tax is still $3 per dog in the district and $6 within corporations. If you should have any questions, please stop by the office or discuss it with the Assessor or Deputy Assessor when they do your assessment. If you prefer to have your assessment done in the office, please feel free to stop by. It is getting more difficult to find people at home and we would like to make your assess- ment as convenient and easy for you as possible. We appreciate your support and cooperation in getting the job done. Dolan Irvine, Assessor I Marlinton makes good first impres " by Pamela Pritt Managing Editor Imagine a Marlinton with downtown buildings full of businesses, with a strcetscapc plan that makes those buildings more appealing and a marketing plan that will draw visitors as a destination and invite drivc- throughs to stop, shop and dole out dollars to the stores in the area. As a prelude to what might be the ultimate goals of Marlin- ton, Alison Chisholm Hanham brought "'First Impressions: A Program for Community Im- provement" to town last Tues- day. Hanham said the visitors' overall impression of the town was very positive, including friendly people, a busy down- town area and a diversifted use. "One of the greatest assets of Marlinton is that it exemplifies a "mixed land Use' community which is so prized by "'smart growth' advocates and planners," one visitor wrote, "'In Marlinton, this appears to have come about largely as a conse- quence of circumstance rather than planning. Residents should take an interest in protecting and sustaining-the eclectic mix for the future. "'There are few communities where one can park downtown, easily walk to businesses, neighborhoods, churches, li- brary, municipal services, schools, post office, parks and green spaces and other places. "Marlinton is one of these and should be proud." Visitors also liked the resi- dential areas in town and noted the lack of dilapidated and aban- doned housing. "Residential areas were quiet, and well maintained. There was no evidence of rundown housing and limited evidence of "'junk" piled in yards and driveways. The town seems to maintain residential areas well.'* another visitor concluded. Also high on the visitors' list of positive first impres- sions, the condition and location of schools, particularly Marlin- ton Elementary School. "'Marlinton has the great benefit of having an elementary school that is located about a block from the downtown. Scbools help to define a com- munity and the structure, dating from the 1970s, is attractive and fits well with the community," one visitor said. Ahhough the county seems to be underserved in the health care area--the state average is 19.74 doctors per 10.0(X)popu- lation; Pocahontas County has 6.57 physicians for its little more than 9,000 people--the visitors liked the look and loca- tion of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital in its "'scenic, restful location outside of town." Calling Marlinton a "'jewel in the mountains," visitors liked the town's flags and old,fash- ioned street lamps and flower planters. Further, they thought Hillsboro Council receives sug- gestions for community im- provements by Joanna Radford Contributing Write r The Hillsboro Town Council met on July 8. Present were Mayor Richard Workman, Recorder Mary Johnson, Treas- urer Joanna Radford, and Coun- cilmembers Jim Johnson. Dick Burns, John Hill, Sam McNeel. and Dave Fowler. Also present were Beth Little and, lbr part of the meeting, Eric Domboski. 'Minutes from last month's reg01ar antt wo siai 'ieetings .... were read and approved. Because two bank statements had not yet arrived, review of the full June financial report was postponed until next meeting. Mayor Workman read corre- spondence he had received from Region IV regarding dues and an annual dinner, the Division of Forestry regarding a tree-plant- ing grant, and the Billsoft com- pany regarding a request for an ordinance. Outgoing mayor Eric Dom- boski presented Mayor Work- man and council with paperwork concerning work in-progress. He presented the inspection report from the Bureau of Public Health and also a letter from that organization that states drinking water contaminant lev- els. He presented this month's Discharge Monitoring Report for the mayor to sign. He handed over the assessment from the Department of Envi- ronmental Protection and a fol- low-up letter from engineer Ray Tilley. Domboski pointed out anapparent misunderstanding in the letter that the mayor needs to clarify with the appropriate parties. He gave the mayor the contract to mow town property this season. The collection of town ordinances was turned over, as were the steps to pass an ordinance. He presented the 200112002 audit reports that just arrived and state that there are instances of non-compliance and weaknesses that need to be ddrssed. Beth Little asked for coun- cil's feedback on several ideas. Her first proposal was to create an access trail from the town to the Greenbrier River Trail. The creation of the trail would be funded through a grant that would require some assistance from the town such as by dona- tion of land or labor. Council member Johnson asked about the cost of insurance. Council was also concerned with the cost of maintenance of the trail, Little will look into these issues and also the possibility of placing signs on the Green- brier River Trail stating the mileage to Hilisboro over exist- ing roads. Her second proposal was to obtain a grant to reduce speeding through town. The basis of this idea is to reduce vehicles' speed by creating a visual impediment at the ends of town, such as with shrubberies and a small decorative island in the road. Council was receptive to this idea. and Little said she would pursue information on such grants. Little brought up the idea of having a drop box in town for town water and sewer service payments. Councilmember Burns stated that such a box should be in a convenient Ioca- tirri such'as the heart of town. Treasurer Radford voiced con- cern about securing a box from theft and vandalism. Council agreed a dropbox would be an asset to the town but couldn't immediately think of a suitable location and design. Councilmember Burns stated that a spare sewer grinder pump he has been storing for the town is leaking oil. This needs to be dealt with. Treasurer Radford asked the mayor to begin the process to authorize himself to sign town checks. Marlinton was "lucky" to have escaped the development of "'Wal-Mart and other big box re- tailers." The new sidewalks were also impressive to the visiting team, making walking easier and showing that the town has a continued interest in growth and development. The visitors also found as- sets they felt were not being used to their potential, such as the mini park by the river. Mar- linton's history, and the opera house, as well as walking access to McClintic Library. "'Marlinton has a riverside park...that might benefit from a trail paralleling the river to create a river walk," one visitor said. "Marlinton is rich with his- tory which is readily accessible by the visitor. A walking tour might be devised to call atten- tion to some of the resources. Some of these resources are" al- ready well-developed, such as the Greenbrier River Trail and the Train Depot. Some have to be given more publicity," another wrote. "Marlinton might consider developing a special brochure dedicated to the town so that it could be included in promotion- al and tour materials," another suggested. And one visitor, not know- ing what the opera house is be- cause of its lack of signaee. suggested that it might make a good community theater. Another thought sidewalks past Mitchell's Chevrolet would en- tice more visitors from down- town to walk to the library. Signage was a recurrent theme throughout the visitors' suggestions, including direc- tional signs that pointed to schools, the court house, the hospital and other attractions, particularly the museum, the Greenbrier River Trail and the convention and visitors bureau. It wasn't all a rosy picture the visitors painted. They thought some buildings needed paint and general maintenance. "'Unfortunately, there are more than a few empty store- fronts inthe downtown district and there is not a great deal of variety in shopping," a visitor expressed. And although the visitors liked the downtown parking, they thought the parking meters were offensive and detracted from the town's friendly at- mosphere. "'On-street parking was available tor a lee. I would sug- gest that tile town get rid of the meters and offer two-hour free parking. This would help busi- nesses and attract people to the downtown area," a visitor wrote. Taking off on some of those ALISON cusses the findings "'First Impressio gram concerning Marlinton. suggestions about Business Association and others made the suggestions: Opera house sign qucc a rustic and/or more businesses paint a brary promote the trail linton a color theme the town that corn entrance signs leverage the by way lion for businesses t0 store fronts develop a full plan .renlovc update the plan First hnpressionS sorcd by the Commission and the Business Association.., Copies of the sl, available at McClintiC  5Bagi00tratr 0 Emily Poore, Fork, was Deputy Sheriff T. ?" and charged with less than 15 grams fleeing in a vehicle, ing. She v, as released bond. On the 10th. be|ore Magistrate cner and entered pleaS test to the fleeing offenses and was with $140 in court drug offense she waS probation lor six sessed $120 in court Anita F. Grimes. ton, was arrested C. Torten on the II charge of domestic was released on $5001 Shawn D. Jones, of Pennsylvania, and Mulville. of Fredrick, were arrested SaturdaY es of DUI and permt respectively, by Continued to EARLY IN THE afternoon on Wednesday of last week a severe blast of half of the roofing off of the gym at the Hillsboro School. The roofing was blown from the south side of the gym, across the north side of and street before landing in the yard. There was also some water dama building. The falling roofing also damaged electrical service in the (qX 3 Citizens TRUST Services Appointments Available in Pocahontas County 304/636-40g5 Leesa Harris Senior YP/Trust Offk:er Haw[ fro [ the haml lean rela is heade I, in the and Cogni eV Ph then Andrea hac nior c a possibh and 1560, also was her stz Schok Other sele White First La month. insulted. nted, that e- Bush d a has reaso rigorous sc lib-long sml k In addit: act scientif spent th putting scratc that, she days st hut been learne " maladies I suc and g how hrai are studi a an now" as she getting to t bran r alley And to as the Cell te u[ out ot like t mc activi prod rambling 5-g 5 - Mid