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Sharp Family Farm & Covered Bridge Threatened by Eminent Domain
Sharp's Farm Covered Bridge

April 12, 2006 - PLEASE JOIN US!
      On Tuesday, April 18th at 10:30 a.m. we are on the agenda to speak before the Pocahontas County Commission. The commission has refused Governor Manchin??ôs offer to move the sewer treatment plant to any suitable state land for a transfer fee of $1.00. One commissioner wrote a letter to the editor of the Pocahontas Times saying that she would not bow to political pressure as the cost for moving the (not yet built) plant would burden the future ratepayers with higher monthly bills.
      Concerned citizens, expert engineers, hydrologists, geologists, cavers and anglers have come together to make several proposals to the commission that would allow for a move at little or no added cost. You will be proud of this effort and we need your support. The fight to save the Big Spring Fork River and the heritage and livelihood of those who live by it has continued for over one year. Many have asked how they can help.
      THIS IS THE DAY! Please stand with us in a show of support in front of the county commission. They need to see that people do care enough to be present. This may be our last opportunity to save this river and the adjacent wondrous spring complex before the bulldozers come.
      Anyone wishing to see this area, which is God??ôs gift to the world, can meet in Slatyfork at Sharp??ôs Country Store after the meeting for a first-hand tour.

Thank you!

Pocahontas County Courthouse
900 10th Avenue
Marlinton, WV 24954
(304) 799-6063

If you are unable to attend, please call, write or e-mail the county commission with your words of support. If you have questions, please call 304 572 3547

From Charleston take I-64 toward Beckley. Take exit 169 (Lewisburg/Ronceverte) left onto US 219 As you come into the bottom of the mountain??¶there is a BP station on one side of the road. There is a bridge there (8th street). Go over that bridge and down 8th street through two stoplights and turn right onto 10th avenue.

From Elkins take route 250/219 south to Huttonsville. Turn right at Exxon. Proceed on route 219 south to Marlinton. Go to intersection of route 219 and 8th street (opposite side of street is BP Gas station) go left across bridge on 8th street. Proceed through two stoplights and turn right on 10th avenue.

For maps go to The West Virginia Angler Web Page:
Go to left hand menu, Click on NEW MESSAGE BOARD
Select (click on) Main Board
Choose Folder (click on) RALLY to Save The Big Spring Fork River!


From: Thomas Shipley
Date: March 26, 2006
Subject: Don't abuse eminent domain

Pocahontas County, WV - Pocahontas County residents are fighting a proposed sewage treatment facility that would require seizing one family's land via eminent domain, according to a report on West Virginia Public Radio's "Inside Appalachia."
      The facility would primarily serve Snowshoe Mountain, which needs a larger sewage treatment facility in order to grow. According to WVPR reporter Emily Corio, about 1,800 of the 2,000 customers of the plant would be at Snowshoe.
      The facility would be located near Snowshoe on nine acres of land which currently belong to the Sharp family, who run a bed-and-breakfast adjacent to the proposed site. The Sharps claim their business will suffer if the plant is built.
      Tom Shipley, who runs the bed-and-breakfast, says 60 percent of the land in Pocahontas County is owned by the state and federal governments, yet the county wants to seize private land for the project.
      The county offered the Sharps about $100,000, but the family won't sell. County officials will have to use eminent domain to seize the property. When Pocahontas County State Senator Walt Helmich heard about the controversy, he asked the governor to make state land nearby available. Gov. Manchin agreed, and a plot of land near the current site could be transferred to the developer for at $1 fee to the county commission.
      The county says the alternate site would increase the overall price tag of the project by $3 million dollars from its current $17 million.
      While we understand that $3 million dollars is a lot of money - approximately 18 percent of the project's current budget - we think the county should use the state's land instead of seizing private land. The land itself may not be worth the $3 million, but eminent domain should only be used in cases when no alternative is available and when the project is essential to a community's survival.
     In this case, other land is available and the plant is to foster growth, not sustain an existing community. We think the project is a worthy one, but it is absolutely not appropriate to seize private land to save money.

Voice your opinion today! Send e-mail to

Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted March 26, 2006, Update April 13, 2006