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 kworkmanmarlinton@gmail.com 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.