By Walter Hojka
Is it Smith Creek Road, Johnson Run Road, or Old Firetower Road? The Pendleton County Commission has determined that it will take up the issue of the road name in an upcoming session.
Gene McConnell, president of the county commission, said during the commission’s May 17 meeting, “This issue is not going to go away, and I would like to put it to rest.”
The road in question is located about a half-mile west of Friends Run Church on U.S. 33 and extends less than a mile to where Johnson Hollow Road and Smith Creek Road intersect.
The confusion stems in part from the fact that the road signs have been changed at least twice in recent years; at times the signs on U.S. 33 have read Johnson Hollow Road and at other times Smith Creek Road. Further confusing matters, Google Maps designates the road as Old Firetower Road. The commission has legal authority over the road name and will decide the matter. The actual road name matters as it affects 911 addresses, mapping, and signage.
The commissioners were visited by Rhett Dusenbury, district representative for Rep. Alex Mooney (R-2). Dusenbury offered assistance to the commissioners.
In response, the commissioners discussed the need for grants to build out more water delivery projects, wastewater projects, create jobs through industry, and construction of the courthouse annex.
Two proclamations were approved. The first is to allow the County to put the election of a county commissioner on the November ballot, filling the seat vacated by Carole Hartman. The second proclamation declares May Community Action Month. The organization Community Action is being recognized for making essential contributions to individuals and families both in the nation and in Pendleton County.
Security at the Pendleton Community Building was discussed. The commission approved installing additional security measures to safeguard county assets kept at the site.
Elise White, county clerk, reported that polling for the recent primary went smoothly, but expressed a need for more poll workers, noting that a poll worker had to be assigned to an alternate district to ensure proper coverage of polling. White said, “We had four working at each precinct. We need more, and we need young people to get involved.”
The commission received a request for increased rent payments for the prosecuting attorney’s office. The increase reflects actual utility costs. The commission will review the matter pending receipt of copies of the utility payments from the building owner.
Bids for cleaning county buildings were opened and are under review. The commission is now in the process of procuring references.
Core samples for the site of the new courthouse addition have been completed. The annex is proposed to be located south of the current courthouse.
The county is looking into new e-mail addresses for all staff. While wv.gov addresses were initially being considered, poor response from the state and higher costs have swayed the commission to consider applying for a .gov address directly.