Katie Workman is Chairperson of the Town of Marlinton Planning Commission. She submitted a report to Marlinton Town Council at its regular meeting Monday evening. Much of the report covered topics that have been priorities since the Comprehensive Plan was adopted in August 2019. The following items took on new importance at the January 18, 2021 meeting and were discussed again at the Planning Commission’s April 8 meeting.
Filling the seats on the Building Maintenance Board was identified as a priority and recommendations have been made to the Personnel Committee. Those recommendations were accepted by Town Council at Monday’s meeting.
The filling of these positions will be key in furthering the work of the Code Enforcement Officer. The other topic of discussion related to Code Enforcement and Floodplain Management was the need for more public education on these matters. Some ideas were discussed regarding a public education campaign to help residents understand the permitting process and the need to adhere to sound floodplain management.
The Planning Commission would like to present to Council, in the near future, the possibility of a campaign that would involve PSAs on the radio, newspaper articles, YouTube videos, a public art mural competition, etc. Katie suggested that if anyone on Council would like to help or advise on this idea, it would be greatly appreciated.
Also, the “Marlinton Listens” Mon Forest Towns/ HubCAP Team has been meeting regularly and is trying to identify possibilities for the Technical Assistance grant that is available through the program. Some ideas that have been discussed are to use the funds to potentially assist in moving forward some stalled projects if feasible, i.e., the overlook trail project, the wet- lands project, and the pump track at Stillwell Park.
Katie said the committee also discussed whether there were any needs regarding a vacant property registry as abandoned and dilapidated properties were identified as a high priority through our community survey work. That is happening.
Another possibility was to have a “Bike Town” assessment done, that could help Marlinton increase its draw as a destination for cyclists by identifying areas of improvement. This could help attract and better serve cyclists when they visit the town.
Lastly, the Town has an opportunity to apply for a VISTA through the HubCAP program and some of the funding could come from the TA grant. Katie states in her report that the committee in interested in having Council input on this matter. It would be a three year “project” assignment. Some potential areas where a VISTA could be useful have been identified as: Liaison for the Town that could focus on tracking projects and seeking funding for action items in the Comprehensive Plan, particularly those overlapping with Mon Forest Towns initiatives; perhaps helping to coordinate events at Discovery Junction.
At this point, all options could be discussed to see where a VISTA could really help leverage and build capacity for the Town. There is a financial commitment needed from the Town on this, but there is
flexibility and with the money from the TA grant it could potentially be paid for the first year. Council can arrange for the WV HUB to present more information.
In closing, several members of our “Marlinton Listens” Mon/Forest Towns HubCAP team along with Town Council member Gail Hyer and other community/business members have been participating in the planning efforts for the First Friday events happening in town this summer. The first event kicked
off last Friday. The event was very well attended, and the town was lively with folks shopping, dining and strolling the streets. As this is a new event any suggestions, concerns, comments would be welcomed as well as any additional volunteers willing to help with planning efforts. Please feel free to email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything she can relay to the planning committee for these events.
A special “Thank You” to employees and staff of Denmar Correctional Center for donations that provided cold drinks and lawn chairs at Discovery Junction’s first “First-Friday.