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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
March 26, 2002     The Hinton News
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March 26, 2002

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i I HINTON NEWS n o me o f00the Wate/00F e s t iv a I Volume 99 No. 50 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday, March 26, 2002 50 Cents o Qo w eq | Counell Hires City Attorney By Fred Long I-&apos;A mixed, routine agenda' for the iCity Council last Tuesday was hghlighted by the employment of a City attorney and an applause for one councilman's efforts to revitalize "a ineglected area of the city. Hinton Mayor Cleo Mathews was iuhable to attend the meeting held March 19 because of a gall bladder attack suffered the previous day. Councilman Larry Meador, President of the Council, took her place that night reporting that she Was in good spirits in the Beckley :Appalachian Regional Hospital. I went up to see her,  he reported, saying he found her visiting with another patient across the hall from her room. "I feel guilty being here, m hb said she told him, ecause rm not sick: II I I I I I Mathews returned to Hinton the following day and, although She reports some feelings of discomfort, she is working everyday and extremely jovial in view of the circumstances. She has scheduled surgery for sgnetime next month to remove "her gall bladder. . II During the meeting Council hired Beckley and Huntington attorney Michael Froble at a salary of $1,000 amonth. "Good things take time. Sometime you have to take one step back to take two steps forward. I would hope we would not have any problem in that area and that we will have several nice new homes. It will help the community and give people some nice affordable homes, m Meador tanked Stone, saying on behalf of the citizens, "it takes a lot of effort to do something like this. It seems like you have gotten a lot accomplished in a short period of time." The audience responded with an unexpected applause. A unanimous vote approved entering into a Memorandum of Understanding for the employment of a community and economic development coordinator for Summers County. The agreement between West Virginia University Extension Service, 4-C Economic Development Authority, the County Commission and the City of Hintori calls for joint financial suppor t for the employment of someone that will devote full time towards economic growth in Summers County. Mathews began seeking the new position before taking office and during her first meeting in July exprsed the eedfd.s 1 time  person to coordinate growth lti ltidividuttl will be employee with WVU Extension Service. WVU, 4-C and Hinton will provide $15,000 each toward the position and the Commission will provide $9,900 in in-kind services for office space and utilities. All four parties must agree to the contract. Patricia Cales addressed the Council asking for assistance in locating a place for a lighthouse center where she, and other volunteers, could begin various programs designed to help people improve their quality of life. Stone suggested she contact a member of the Community Center which is relocating in the basement of the former Hotel McCreery, the former Teen Town area. Meador announced that the loan application, a one inch document, for the Technology Center has been completed and would be sent to Charleston that week. Councilman Bobby Wheeler offered a motion to remove a $100 a month pay supplement given to Sam Richmond" for inspecting buildings for building permits in the historic district. He said other members of the Landmark Commission inspect buildings without receiving the supplement. Jordan second the motion,, t, qne sai.the Mayor should be present for the discussion and Jordan withdrew his second. Wheeler witliIrew the motlon.. "This is the Mayor' aii recommation,  ]tmdor told the ............................. s ..... m .................................................. council, "and I, as acting mayor CommtsstonAddresses tonight, would like to pass along that recommendation.  Last month Councilman Pat Jordan offered a motion to hire Froble on an as-needed basis. He said he wanted to rectify that error by offering the motion to hire him full time. Councilman AI Stone seconded the, motion which passed by unanimous vote of the four Councilman. Following a report on unsafe buildings and clean-up efforts in the State Street area, Stone received a rousing applause for his efforts to coordinate revitalization of that section of Hinton. For the past several weeks Stone has been meeting with state and county officials in an effort to track down ownership of abandoned property in the area where many homes have been destroyed by fire, the ruins left standing in a miserable state of decay and drepair; while other property owhers in the area work hard to mmtain their homes and wish for an ttractive neighborhood. nat we are going to try to do is re]tabilitato that area,  Stone said. Sveral of the vacant burhed out  hqmes have been purchased by the sta'te and Stone said he has a mting set up with a state attorney to.discuss cleaning up the property having it conveyed over to non- profits for the construction of new housing. Although they may have some difficulty with some of the property owners, with an attorney on beard he can draft the proper paper work and we can move forward in that regard. Weql deal with problems as they come up.  :He said two non-profits have express interest in building new homes in the area once the property is conveyed to them. "CASE wants to build three homes in that area,  he said, and HRDE wants to do the same.  :Sandy Mann asked the city to address beautification of the area during a meeting of the Council last JAnuary and was among those attending the meeting. She said she has been coordinating clean-up efforts in the neighborhood and Uked if the Council would provide them with a dumpster for brush and debris. "We have been cutting brush for three days," she said. ".tone said they would put a dumpster in the area and possibly later obtain a chipper so they could chip up the wood and throw it right back on the ground, He also dscussed planting flowers in the area and landscaping the grounds as project moves ahead. "'I think it will look real nice if we get it all together," he told Mann. Community Concerns By Doug White Former Sheriff Joe Rushford addressed the Commission on a number of concerns, ranging from annexation requirements, the status of natural gas, service expansion by Allegheny Energy to the Brooks/ Barkedale area of the county, and financial needs of the county volunteer fire departments, during the meeting of the County Commission last week. Commission President Lonnie Mullins provided Rushford with information on annexation requirements, as outlined by the WV Code, regarding the legal procedures for a municipality to incorporated a section of the county. Much discussion followed regarding the tack of response to citizen's request for natural gas service into the Brooks/Barkedale area byAllegheny Energy Company. Commissioner Jerry Berry led a discussion in support of Rushford's concerns about the lack of funding for our dedicated volunteer fire service provider Essentially the Commission acknowledged the need to study some way to provide additional public support for capital funding of major equipment requirements by the fire departments. Berry pointed out that fire fighters should be concerned with providing the best fire protection possible to our citizens and that they should not have to devote all of their time to administration and fund raising efforts. Eventually, the question of a fire fee levy will have to be addressed by the citizens, if our fire protection services are to be supported at a minimal level, it was expressed. Commissioner Clyde Grimmett itroduced Jim Cochran, Superintendent of Camp Summers, the county's 4-H Camp, who discussed the need for electrical service renovation at the camp. Cochran advised that the work could be performed in-house at a significant cost savings. Additionally, the Commissioners discussed ideas on how to best fund the summer camp activities by passing a higher share of the operating cost to private user groups. The goal of the Commission is to have the camp as a self-supporting enterpri .so. All present recognized the valuable role" Camp Summers has played over the years in providing our youth with a positive and nurturing environment. Cochran was ask to effect handicapped accommodation work at the Health Department as a special public works' project. The Commission has a federally mandated plan to make handicapped accommodations at county owned facilities and this project is part of the overall plan. The Commission discussed the positive contributions that the Region I Workforce Investment Board has made on behalf of the county through the WORK4WV programs. It was noted that Summers County has received $813,424 since 1 July 2000 to help train and retrain our citizens for improved job skills and new employment opportunities. Summers has received a higher percent of funds available per- person than some of our neighboring counties and much thanks was expressed to our commissioners for their efforts. Commissioners expressed their appreciation for the hard work and leadership of William Loope, Director of the Workforce Board. In other matters, the Commission requested a cost feasibility study from Miller Exterminating to solve the"bat" problem at the courthouse. Discussed the Meadow Creek PSD's long-range funding and rate structure. It Was suggested that the PSC may need to do a formal rate study. Designated the Allegheny Power building as the new Bellepoint precinct for voting. Voters are reminded that the old Avis voting areas has been merged with the Bellepoint precinct. Appointed Jim Parker, Clayton Terry, Jerry Farley, Jerry Berry, and Lonnie Mullins to the Selection Committee for selection of a Professional Engineering firm for the Mt. View/Streeter Water Project. Approved the Poll Workers List as recommended by the County Clerk's office. Sheriff Garry Wheeler was thanked for his diligent review of the county jail bills from the Southern Regional Jail. Wheeler discovered that the county was charged over $5,000 for housing another counties inmate. Commissioner Jerry Berry stated "the Sheriff has truly helped the Commission by taking the time to go over every charge for housing inmates." li v :::i:!::::i:!:i:':::::i :::!:!.:!::!::::::::::!:i::!:!::i!!:!:ii.i::i:i:;i.iii:i:i!ii.i:i:i:i:ii:ii:::i::ii:i:i:!!:ii`i:i: !ii!:: ?!:ii ........... ,., :i:i:i:!:i:i:i:i.i<:i,ii:.i!-::::; i:i:::i:ii?ii::i:i:i:i.i:i:i:i:i:?!:i::i!: !:::! i:::i::+ i ::i:!:i:i:!:!.'::!: :::::i::i:iiii!ii::i:i :ii!iiiiiiiii!ii i:i: !ii:i iii:iiiii:,:'iii:: ::: < .::.<:::: ::: .-::::. :::: :::i :<.:%:. " " :,: . :: ::::.: ..... Avis Bridge Project Begins Work crews with Ahern Construction Company, last week, began clearing the right-of-way for the new Avis Bridge, secured for the city in 1995 by State Senator Leonard Anderson to replace the badly deteriorated S-shaped Avis Overhead Bridge. At least two homes and a former business building, along with trees and shrubbery, were removed between Pleasant Street and the railroad tracks last week to make way for the new bridge. The photo above shows a general view where the new bridge will cross the tracks. It will begin at the intersection where the present bridge connects with Main Street and run in a straight course through the brik pie shaped building (where the man in the photograph is standing between the two vehicles) and continue to about where the vehicles are parked. On this end an earthen fill will be constructed for a new highway that will make a slight descending turn, connecting with Pleasant Street at Second Street. The two homes shown in the photo below, located on the corner of Pleasant Street and Second Street, will bedismantled Wednesday, Bryan Randolph, Project Engineer, said yesterday. The following day men will begin dismantling the buildings on Main St. between the tracks and the intersection. This will be followed by pounding 400 pilings into place along the course of construction. Actual construction of the super structure is expected to begin in about two months. It wil[ be a five-span fabricated steel girder structure using 667,204 pounds Of structural steel. It is believed it will take about 18 to 24 months to complete construction. DOH Sets May 7th. Hearing for New River Parkway An approved Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) on proposed design, construction and management of the New River Parkway between 1-64 and Hinton will be the subject of a Division of Highways public hearing Tuesday, May 7th., in the cafeteria of Summers County High School on Bobcat drive off WV20 outside Hinton. Scheduled in a workshop format from 4 to 7 p.m., the hearing will allow participants to ask questions and to have formally recorded their opinions on the proposed project, including resource protection strategies and land acquisition options along Preferred Alternative .. 2A/2D. Highways personnel will be on hand to present information and receive public input. Copies of the approved SDEIS will be available for review at the offices of the Division of Highways in Charleston, the District Nine Engineer in Lewisburg, the District Ten Engineer in Princeton, the county clerks of Raleigh and Summers counties, the Region One Planning and Development Council in Princeton, the post offices in Beckley and Hinton, the Mayor of Hinton and the Summers County Public Library in Hinton. They may also be obtained by writing to Jim Sothen, P. E. Director, Engineering Division, Division of Highways, Capitol Complex Building 5, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0430. Written comments should be sent to Sothen at the above address on or before June 7, 2002. c@u This and That By Fred Long Mayor Cleo Mathews received a pleasant surprise yesterday morning during a visit in Charleston with the School Building Authority .whei'e she served as president for a number of years, until hometown duties became more pressing and Mayor o" Hinton her next calling. While there, visiting with members and staff, they presented her with an an attractive plaque commemorating her service on the Authority. It says: "School Building Authority, State of West Virginia. Presented to Cleo Mathews in appreciation for her dedicated service and devoted efforts to provide quality educational facilities for the students of West Virginia. December 1993 - June 2001." Brandon Lilly, nephew of Sue and Jimmy Wills and Jan Plumley of Hinton; and Kat and Steve Godwin Jane Lilly and Michael and Pare Lilly of Nimitz, has been accepted for a mission trip in June to New Zealand with Teen Mania Ministries. Brandon, 16, will be in- ' New Zealand for two months and will be involved in dramas and skits to be performed for schools, in parks and other public places. The trip costs $4,500 and Brandon is working part time at Radio Shack to help earn the money. Any donations can be sent to him at P 0 Box 86, Birch River, WV 26610.