This week, I wanted to start by thanking the staff at the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the local businesses, who participated in the Valentine’s Day Appreciation program. The CVB put together a special recognition of county DOH workers, Mon Power crews, and workers in Healthcare and Hospitality, by providing free sweet treats and coffee on Valentine’s Day. What a generous gesture by all involved. The Town appreciates you, too.

For your information, the Mon-Forest Town Partnership is using what is known as a Just Transitions Fund (JTF) grant to help formalize the Partnership’s structure. The plan is to develop a sustainable operating framework through which it can advance regional economic activities and carry out capacity building activities in the Partnership’s strategic plan.

Currently, the WVU MPA class and MBA class are working to support Goal #7 of the Strategic Plan, developing an organizational structure for sustainability. Committee members provided students with a scope of work that included comparison and consideration of c4 vs. c3 non-profit structure. From this beginning, students will further provide an organizational structure, including staffing recommendations. Guidelines to create and sustain a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with drafts of bylaws and other organizational policies.

A Woodlands Business Development grant will allow for an extension of business coaching and technical assistance, in addition to other services. A WVU Benedum grant will be used to develop signage, proceeding with DOH guidelines. While trail planning for Marlinton continues, a second grant includes funding for the grant’s coordinator and visitor and resident research which is currently being initiated in partnership with the marketing committee.

The USDA Rural Business Development Marketing plan grant enabled the hiring of the 84 Agency, that has been selected to develop the marketing plan for the MFTP. Also, HubCAP towns are working on technical assistance projects.

If anyone wonders where all this is going, please refer to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Community Concern #4, on page 3-26, where it says: “Showcase and build upon the numerous cultural and recreational attractions.”
Now, all we have to do is finish…