I am beginning to wonder how Marlinton got along without Discovery Junction.
This multi-purpose facility has been busy since opening in May. The space has provided the right amount of opportunity for various small town events, while enabling a fair amount of social distancing. Likewise, the month of October began with the Bicentennial Kick-off on the Discovery Junction stage and the month closed with Halloween Trunk or Treat activities.
Since the First Friday Bicentennial kickoff, you may have noticed that the Bicentennial Fish for Marlinton was moved to it’s temporary location. Thank you, Darin Jackson at State Farm for providing that space at the corner of Second Avenue and Eighth Street. The permanent location is yet to be decided.

The Mon-Forest Towns Partnership (MFTP) programs and meetings are gaining momentum week by week. During October, the Grants Committee meeting was followed by a meeting of the Marketing Committee. The overlap of projects with-in the Town’s participation in the HubCap Program is the catalyst for bringing on board a VISTA worker in the spring of 2022.
Watch for posting in coming weeks and months, for the position of Recreation Economy Coordinator (REC). If you know someone who may fit into this position, this will be a great opportunity for the Town and the individual.

Last week, I touched upon the desire to complete the Overlook Trail Project and stated two reasons for helping with the overall plan. This week, I thought it was worth adding that the Certificate of Award is dated June 2020. The application had to have been a year before that. We had planned to start work by early 2021 and be completed in a few weeks.

Instead, during July 2021, after having been notified of the award, we were asked for more information regarding the project. A State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) request was made on a 100-year-old foundation on Greenbrier Hill, near the present water tank. Going back in the Town Council minutes, it appeared to be the foundation for the first water tank, prior to the present tank. Built between 1916 and 1918.

Also, the second request was for written permission from First Energy for the trail to pass under a power line and through a power line right-of-way going to the Mon Power station on Second Avenue. Written permission was provided through the Ohio office and by August, the request had been addressed.

Having provided answers to these additional questions, we still wait. Last week, a grant representative contacted grant writer Lauren Bennett, and said the Programmatic Categorical Exclusion (PCE) was completed on September 24, 2021. They are now working on the Agreement and will let us know when it’s on the way for the mayor’s signature. When we get authorization, we hope to begin construction in the spring.

In closing, a Monday afternoon notification of a Tuesday afternoon visit by Governor Jim Justice makes me even more hopeful of a greater announcement next week.