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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
March 27, 2012     The Hinton News
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March 27, 2012

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COM MAR 20-2 xx8! Tn} PAREP.S 27 i4 -'nT STREET n Q c..'2,% i/ i- i The HINTON NEWS (Continuing the Hinton Daily News & The Weekend Leader) Home of "W. Va. Water Festival" Volume 109 No. 50 Hinton, West ,Virginia Tuesday March 27, 2012 50 Cents ! t A m City Might File Suit Against DOT to Keep Road,, 00,'Open Jimmy Gray points to a ro'ck that his mother once told him they will no longer maintain the county road that links him with identified the boundary for the City of Hinton. His home, in the fire and ambulance service in Hinton. county, is just 50 to 60 yards from the line. The state has said City Council Takes No Official Action at Council Meeting By Fred Long Hinton Mayor Joe Blankenship said yesterday be is" asking City Attorney Dick Gulmoe to research the possibility of filing a "Writ of Mandamus" against the state lJcpartnmnt of' Transportation to maintain a county road between Tug {'re and I Iinton. T;,' issue surfhced Thursday when Blankenshil} told the Council the district office in Lewisburg would no longer l)rovide any maintenance on the county road, known as the Incinerator Road, once it reaches the City Limits. When Blankenship finally reached the district SUl)ervisor, after malting several calls and receiving none, he was told they would not be "ta[dng on any additional roads. I told them I wasn't asking them to take on an additional road that I wanted them to maintain a road they have been maintaining for 75 years," Blankenshi l) told the Council, with all members present. Several years ago the state put a hard surthce on the road, but now they have threatened to put a sign up saying the state is no longer r6sponsible tbr any part of the road ithin the City limits. - It has been at least two years since the state worked on the road, resident Curtis Gray said. Gray lives inside the city line while his brother, Jimmy, lives several yards above him on the county side of the road. At some point, he said, the state put in two culverts under the road "but they stopped mdintaining the ditch lines. I've gone out with a shovel several times an(l cleaned out the ditch line so the water wouldn't wash out the road." Gray was concerned if the road was abandoned and closed an , ambuhmce would not be able to get to l-:is brother; and, ifa fire occurred the fire d(,partment would not be abh: to get to the house he and his broth(:r own joing!y. "You would have to drive all the way around" which would add at least 30-minutes or more to the drive to get to him, he ext)lained. Blankenship said the city could not afford to repair the road that has become hazardous in several sections; saying, "what has me worried is what our liability will be, especially if they put that sign up." To force the state to do something he suggested notifying them that the City would close the road on June 1 if the state didn't agree to continue maintaining the road. He said in the meantime people could contact the state to put pressure on them to continue maintaining the road. "I want the road open, but we don't have the money. I would hope the state would step up to the plate and continue doing what they have been doing since 1927." The idea didn't get any backing from the Council, and Councilman Tommy Oxley. suggested putting a counter across the road to determine just how much traffic the road is getting. But no motion came before the Council. "I hope you understand how much liability we are taking on;" he told them. A request for $20,000 from Main Street Hinton to continue work required to bring the third floor of the hospital up to standards for a nursing home facility was reduced to $10,000 after some discussion and a motion from Councilman Oxley. The City has already committed several thousand towards the project that will restore the nursing facility that was closed in 2010. Although over $200,000 has been invested in the project, Mary Lou Haley, representing Main Street, said they needed the additional funding to complete ADA requirements. Councilman Bob Basham believed before the city invested any more money in the facility a partnership between the City and Main Street should be created by placing the Mayor on Main Street's Board of Directors. Blankenship expressed some concern about how the money was being spent and some reservation about putting city money in a county building. Haley told him the city would be getting financial reports but she would have to check the By-Laws before saying if an opening for the Mayor was available. Oxley's motion to provide them with another $10,000 passed by unanimous vote. The City also agreed by unanimous vote to provide sanitary services, valued at about $1,200, tbr the scheduled boat races 'in June on Bluestone Lake. Council also agreed, by split vote, to grant a special permit so the high 'school could have chickens on the grounds for a school program. The issue came when someone in Bellepoint had a few chickens that were creating a nuisance in the neighborhood. It's illegal to have chickens in the City limits and they were ordered to dispose of them. The school got wind of this and removed the chickens from the school grounds and decided to seek a permit from the Council in order to keep the program. It was determined that the chickens would not be a nuisance on the school grounds and a permit was approved by a split vote with Basham voting no. Budget woes consumed much of the early part of the meeting. West Virginia American Water Company has notified the City that they will no longer be including sanitary services in their bills sometime later this year. No explanation wa given why, but this means the City will have to hire another person to do the billing, Blankenship said. That person would also perform other dueies, such as clerk for the police in filing reports with the state to help clear out the back log. No action was taken and the comments were basically for intbrmation purposes, but while this means an increase in expenditures, l'evmue will also see a dramatic decrease. "We will not be getting nearly the revenue next [fiscall year that we have been getting from the work on the Bluestone Dam," Blankenship said. "We won't be getting in a year what we were getting in a month." This resulted in a long discussion about whether to move the Police Department to the corner of 3rd Ave. and Temple St., or leave them at City Hall. The police need a new vehicle, Blankenship said and at least $25,000 should be budgeted for another employee. He believed if the city police stayed at City Hall it would take about $55,000 a year. If they moved to 3rd Ave. it would be around $74,000 a year more. It's up to the Council, he told them, what they want to do. He said a lease / purchase agreement for the 3rd Ave. property may not be agreeable with the owner. The property will be about $150,000. Basham said if they didn't move the police to 3rd Ave. he would resign. "We will never get the drunks off that corner," he said, "unless we move to that corner." Chief Derek Snavely said every city in the United States has it's 3rd Ave. that it's a social issue that every city has to contend with. "But it's not in. the heart of downtown," Councihnan Pat Jordan countered. "I've said all along-- Hinton has two things-- a retirement community and tourism. Gentlemen. we have no choice in what we need to do." Council agreed to budget the move to 3rd Ave. Prescribed Fire Planned For Bluestone Nat,onal Scenic River The National Park Service will conduct a prescribed b.urn on the Bluestone National Scenic River this spring. The area to be burned is approximately 20 acres between Bluestone State Park and the Iormer site of the town of Lilly. These areas, predominately fiekls of grasses and sedges, provide excellent habitat for wildlife. In accordance with an agreement between the National Park Service and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, these areas have been previously maintained by mowing. The burn will be executed in th,'ee phases. The first area burned will be a 3 acre section closer to the former Lilly townsite. The second and largest section, 16 acres, will be ignited next. The last ignition will be a one acre field, closer to the BluestQne State Park end of the river No ignition will take place until the previous burn is completed. This is hoped to be accomplished in One dab'. Tim fuels consist mostly of panic grass, deertongue, and foxtail grasses, and maintain l)re-established tieltls in accordaace with their game management l)lan. The goal of this action is to keel) the tields in an early successional vegetative or "'fiehl- like" stage, utilizing fire, versus mechanical mowing, to relnovt current growth. The objectives arr. to reduce fuels in target areas by 9OUt, keel) herbaceous vegetation height less than 2 tk:et, and to prevent woody shrubs such as greenbrier, l)oison ivy and multi- flora rose, fl'oln encroaching on existing field perimeters. Weather conditions, l)ersonnel availability and other factors will be considered before the Fire Management Officer can determine the best time for the burn. The park is hoping to conduct this burn one day during the week of March 26 - 30. The public will be notified through "trail closed" and "l)rcscribed burn in progress" signs will be placed at both ends of the river trail. Park employees will also be on hand to secure the area. The prescribed burn will be conducted by the National Park there is also 16aTlittfft"presefit. - ..... Service, with approval from the This prescribed burn was West Virginia Department of requested by the West Virginia Forestry, and the west Virginia Division of Natural Resources to Division of Natural Resources. Manchin Votes Again to End $24 Billion in Oil Subsidies Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the tbllowing statement after voting tonight to move fmavard with a bill to nd $24 billion in subsidies for big oil companies and instead invest in mine safety, renewable energy sources and cleaner coa! production. "If you believe that oil companies will reduce their l)rices because taxpayers are giving them billions of dollars in subsidies, then I have some beachfront property to sell you in Farlnington, West Virginia," Senator Manchin said. "There's no question: we have to get gas prices to a level where our families can afford them - but I simply do not believe that the solution is subsidizing major oil companies with billions of taxpayer dollars when gas prices are already sky- high. "I do believe that families need to get relief, and the most conalnonsense way to reduce gas prices is to take immediate and long- term steps to end our dependence on foreign oil. That means that we have to crack down on speculators in the short term, use more of our domestic energy in the medium term and come together around a national energy plan in the long term." L ........ .::..![i!!!]iSiiiiiiiii:}iiiii:i: :: ii: f![i]iSiiii?"' >.:. [::i::]i:::::::::::::::::::::::::i!::::] ;:!i:)ii:N!':ii]:f:::i ,.:m ": !:} E  ! ii::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::: ...... ! ?.i..!: i ========================== ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ===================================================================. - ,,:V:" x:'::::: ::: : : ::" :': ":@' i;!!U:f!'. : :1:: :'::i:::!2 "::.*." Ashley Brown shown with Hinton Area Foundation President, Regina Gwinn, top photo, and Beth Ryan sh,'n with member Mary Lou Haley were the recipients of the 2011 CHRP Gwinn Family Scholarship. I !' )