Save the Sharp Farm of Pocahontas County
History and heritage in Slatyfork, West Virginia.
Author Message
Oct 26, 2006
1:43 pm
Fairley Workman's L2E of The Pocahontas Times
In response to a challenge from the editor of The Pocahontas Times, Fairley Workman's Oct. 26 letter raises serious questions and concerns which need addressed.

What are your thoughts on his points?
Oct 28, 2006
11:35 am
Re: Fairley Workman's L2E of The Pocahontas Times
I thought Fairley's letter was right on point as have been all his writings. There are many critical issues that have not been brought to light about this project to date due to a lack of forum. Working people are not too inclined to attend meetings scheduled at 7:00 p.m. in the evening on a mountainside in Durbin in a cramped dirty room of the Durbin water plant, no matter how they feel about the issue. The Times has been the only public outlet to try to discuss this atrocity and now it seems they are playing a game of 'gotcha' with it! When did the PT lower their standards to game playing with something as significant as a sewage plant for Snowshoe being placed on (stolen) private property by eminent domain, rather than placing it on free, available safe public land only a quarter mile away, taking it off scenic route 219 and away from the nose and eyes of travelers, thus saving our beautiful wild spring and impending disaster from placing it on karst/limestone. I am bewildered and personally disgusted with the PT treatment of such a critical subject. It makes one wonder if Snowshoe's purchase of all those self-effacing ads in the Times is buying more than the words we are reading. Cal Price must surely be turning in his grave at this unbelievable turn of events.
Oct 28, 2006
4:23 pm
Re: Fairley Workman's L2E of The Pocahontas Times
I don't think this is new news. When I originally heard about the sewage plant several years ago, from a Snowshoe source I think - that was the plan. In fact the term used was that Snowshoe would "donate" thier exisiting facilities and thier customer base to the regional system. It made sense to me at the time - because I figured it was Snowshoe's homeowners who were paying 90% of the "public" cost anyway. It still seems to me that the notion of private vs. public is not really an issue here - because again, SS homeowners will be paying most of the tab. One could even argue that a regional system, that will help the larger area in the long run, would be built on SS homeowners backs (and of course the Sharp's).

With that said, the Sharp Farm location is another issue. Clearly, a better location should be found. I don't understand why Snowshoe does not see the public relations problem/opportunity here. Some good will from the 500 pound gorilla would go a long way in winning the "hearts and minds" of the community. By pushing ahead on this track - they kill any support from the community forever - not to mention the history of the Sharp Farm.
Nov 4, 2006
10:41 pm
Re: Fairley Workman's L2E of The Pocahontas Times
I think Mr Fairley has 'found' some of the money trail. I believe the one of the big reasons Snowshoe owners want the regional treatment plant is to salvage their investors monies. I bet if truth were known they have already done their investigations on the cleanup costs and have come up with their plan to have those dumb hillbillies to not only take it back but to buy it back. There is still 'unfound money' out there causing this problem.
Nov 12, 2006
7:43 pm
Re: Fairley Workman's L2E of The Pocahontas Times
I've been personally involved with this one. I was an assistant to the WVDEP karst expert who gave them his professional opinion on why this was a bad location and the agency who asked for his opinion then totally disregarded it because the permitting decision had already really been made. A problem is that WVDEP is an agency with an internal conflict in that they are charged with protecting ground and surface water quality, however they're also the agency that permits the plant design and doles out the federal money to pay for it! So guess where the developers go first. The reason they want the farm is because county and or state politician/business interests want to build condos and other real estate developments in the area right around Snowshoe and they want to have close access to public sewage of course. If you want to see this in action already, go look at the Davis/Canaan Valley area.

Anyway, after visiting the Sharp Farm and Big Spring Fork, I believe this is one of the truly special places in West Virginia and should be kept as it is. The caving community has a great interest in preserving the cave system there, the Civil War history is great, there are really cool fossils there in the stream bed near the store, the spring pools are amazing, and the valley itself is the kind of place that West Virginia tourism wants to sell - clean air, clean water, in a beautiful place. We don't really need it replaced by more condo developments around a mediocre ski resort. I want to bring my children to visit the Sharp Farm and Big Spring Fork, not a sewage treatment plant that was put in the wrong place!

Don't give up the fight!. Rick