Save the Sharp Farm of Pocahontas County
History and heritage in Slatyfork, West Virginia.

Letter To Editor from Fairley Workman

Thursday August 23, 2007
The Pocahontas Times

Dear Editor:

This is in regard to your newspaper article last week regarding the "PSD stalls on alternate site explorations" and the Inter-Mountain newspaper article "Pocahontas PSD Battle Over Funding for Sewage Plant." Both articles covered the same meeting.

In reading both articles I noticed that some important information was present in one paper, absent in the other and vice versa.

Since I am writing to The Pocahontas Times, I would like to quote several points of information which appeared in the Inter-Mountain, but not in this paper. My intent here is simply to exercise my perspective on the subject matter.

PAPER QUOTE: "I'm having a lot of concerns about the whole project," Pocahontas County PSD Chairman Bill Rexrode told board members Scott Millican and Mark Smith in reference to the proposed Slatyfork regional sewage treatment plant. "We need more information."

MY RESPONSE: Obviously, this indicates that the PSD chairman (president) is not necessarily in favor of the project. Also, we should remember that the previous PSD president resigned and later wrote a letter to this paper in which he stated his disagreement over the project.

PAPER QUOTE: Board members discussed applying for a Local Economic Development grant in the amount of $25,000 and conversation turned heated at times as Millican, who is also a developer, campaigned persistently to get the board to approve the application.

MY CONCERN: If it is not, it should be a conflict of interest to have a developer on the PSD who could well benefit from a regional sewage treatment plant. In other words, he would not have to spend his money to install septic or cluster systems. It also provides additional insight into current and future land values.

PAPER QUOTE: To some meeting attendants, Millican's (PSD Secretary) tactics gave the impression that he was trying to persuade Rexrode and Smith by using guilt tactics when he said several times during the meeting, If the project was stopped, a million dollars of liability will fall on Pocahontas County.

"Pocahontas County may not have a liability", a Sharp Farm advocate Tom Shipley countered. "Thrasher Engineering and PSD attorney agreed at the beginning to be paid when funding for the project had been obtained."

Millican had no response to Shipley's comment.

MY CONCERN: I strongly believe the people of Pocahontas County need to know if they have any liability in this matter. Also, if the engineering company and attorney agreed to or created these terms, they should stick by the agreement.

PAPER QUOTE: As the discussion continued, Millican managed to rile the audience again when he said, "It doesn't matter where the money comes from, it could come from Hades," referring to the $100,000 from the unnamed source and stressed that it was free money.

MY CONCERN: I think it is irresponsible for a public official to make such a statement at a public meeting and I applaud the other PSD members for not agreeing to the "deal."

In conclusion, please do not construe this as a criticism of the Times because it is not. It is simply a matter of stating what I feel is important to the outcome of the sewage treatment plant.

Fairley Workman
Slaty Fork