By Kyle Lovern
WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission (MCC) had a first reading of an ordinance requesting ATV access for a new trail head near Pie, W.Va. in Mingo County.
Hatfield-McCoy Trails representative George Poole approached the MCC about the new 4-wheel route that will connect several of the local roads.
“We are working on a connector that will link several trails,” Poole stated. The new trail work is in the Mate Creek and Shop Hollow areas.
“In about six weeks we will be on the Outdoor Channel,” Poole said. The MCC agreed that the ATV system brings tourists to the area and helps boost the economy.
The MCC also addressed concerns and answered questions on the new 911 mapping and address changes that will occur in the county. The Commission decided it would send out letters to better explain the mapping.
“At the end of the day, I think it will be better for the county,” Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith said. “I understand the frustration that many people have had.” (The Williamson Daily News will have a more in-depth story on the 911 mapping at a later date.)
Smith was at the meeting, along with fellow commissioners John Mark Hubbard and Diann Hannah.
In other matters, the MCC received requests for donations or financial assistance from various organizations.
Ann Lambright, President of the Williamson Wildwood Garden Club, asked for a donation for flower baskets that are placed around town. The MCC said due to recent budget cuts, the county could not make a donation toward the flowers. However, each of the three commissioners pledged to make personal donations.
Lambright said that the city of Williamson pays for 10 of the planters, while the mayor pays for two arrangements himself and that certain businesses also make donations.
Pam Warden of the Mingo County Library Board (MCLB) asked the MCC for its financial contribution to that group. Once again, due to budget restraints, the Commission was not able to give as much as it has in the past.
It was moved and voted on to give $10,000 to the MCLB. In the past the MCC had given $25,000. The state matches any funds the MCLB gets on the local level.
Albert Totten, who was representing the Delbarton Homecoming group, asked for a donation to offset expenses for that town’s annual celebration. The MCC pledged $1,000. Commissioner Hubbard said he feels the county should help support the municipalities with their annual festivals and homecomings.
The MCC voted to take new bids for a 911 equipment maintenance agreement. In the past Motorola has been the company that has provided the service.
The Commission accepted an insurance settlement on an electronic traffic sign that was damaged last year. This took longer than they wanted, but it has now been settled.
The MCC has conveyed the deed to the old B & L warehouse building located at Miller’s Creek to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA). The MCC had been letting Mohawk rent the building, using the MCRA as the entity that oversaw the agreement.
The Commission said that in the long run this will help the county by saving them insurance payments and maintenance on the building. They hope that the MCRA can utilize the structure to attract a new business and possibly some jobs.
The MCC also discussed options for office space for the Family Court Judge in the courthouse. Family Court Judge Sabrina Deskins told the Commission that the state currently pays $6 per square foot in rental to the county. If renovations are made, the payment could go up to as much as $10.
The MCC will also allow the office to have more room on their wing of the building, which will provide a conference room for lawyers and clients, along with more office space.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)