Planning Commission’s History, Duties Are Explained

Marshall County Planning Commission recording secretary Marilyn Thalman was honored last weekend at the MCPC’s annual dinner meeting at the Prima Marina in Moundsville.

Thalman has been the planning commission’s recording secretary for 48 1/2 years. She was appointed to the position on Jan. 13, 1971.

At the time, the paid planning commission position came into being, Marilyn was employed as a secretary with the Marshall County Soil Conservation Service. D.A. Hutchinson was in charge of the MCSCS and also was the long-time county planning commission secretary. The planning commission minutes of December 1970 read that Hutchinson had resigned, and a discussion was held concerning a paid secretary and that the matter would be recommended to the county court. This person would be required to attend commission meetings, taking minutes and being responsible for correspondence.

It was stated Hutchinson’s secretary (then Marilyn Mahlke) would be interested in the position). Member Andy Cheon stated that the city of Moundsville Planning Commission secretary was paid $25 a meeting.

At the Jan. 13, 1971 meeting, Herbert Carmichael made the motion to hire to Mahlke, seconded by Andy Steele, with all members in attendance in favor. Those other members were Cheon, Don Barr, Paul Garvin, Jack Myers, Bill Remke, James Weaver and Roscoe Fair,

Her salary was set at $20 per month.

Back to this past Sunday’s meeting: It just so happened that Gary Rider was seated across from me and during our conversation he asked, “What does the Planning Commission do?”

I had recently come across the minutes of two planning commission meetings, one in 1974 and the other in 1976, which I planning to show at the meeting. However, after Gary’s question, I glad I didn’t as maybe sometime in the future he might want to write about the planning commission in an upcoming book and there had to be a history of the planning agency somewhere.

Since Howard Coffield is a member of the planning commission and also an employee of the county, I thought he would be the person who could provide planning commission history. Sure enough, he knew where some of the history of the planning commission was filed, that being in the county clerk’s office. He located three other books, two of which contained meeting minutes and the other dealt with communications between members.

One of my questions was when the planning commission was organized. Well we now know it! It was June 1964.

In fact we know all the details:

“Whereas, the Urban and Rural Planning and Zoning Act of 1959 provides for the establishment ad operation of a County Planning Commission; and

“Whereas, it appears to be advantageous to the welfare of Marshall County, West Virginia, that a comprehensive and continuous planning program be undertaken; and

“Whereas, the County Court of Marshall County needs a County Planning Commission to assist in guiding and accomplishing a coordinated and harmonious development of the county which will, in accordance with existing and future needs, best promote public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, and the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development, therefore,

“Do it be Resolved, that the County Court of Marshall County hereby establishes the Marshall County Planning Commission, to be governed by the following provisions.”

Among these were membership, organization, rules, staff and finances.

“Once the Planning Commission has organized and selected its officers, adopted its rules of procedure, then said Planning Commission shall have all powers, duties and responsibility set forth in the West Virginia Urban and Planning and Zoning Act amendment.”

Section five of the organization document lists the initial members of the planning commission. They were:

Oran Baker, D..A. Hutchison, R. Dale Stultz, Roscoe Fair, Herbert A. Carmichael, Dale McMahon, Ralph Mikasen, Don A. Barr, Ralph E. Riggs, Andrew T. Cheon, William Remke Jr., and Paul Pelley.

As I noted previously, I had the minutes from those two meetings, so here are some of the Feb. 11, 1976 minutes:

Members of the commission who were present were chairman Dale Stultz, Herb Carmichael, Raphael Deegan, Ralph DiRemigio, Paul Gockstetter, Ivan McCombs, Ralph Mikasen, Andy Steele, Elizabeth Swinler and myself.

Chairman Stultz had asked commission members present to give their preference as to which committee they wished to be appointed to. The chairmen then appointed the following members to serve on the Commission committees:

Water, Sewage and Health Committees –Cheon, Deegan, Steele and Swinler.

Roads and Highways –Carmichael, Emmitt Francis, Margaret Koontz, and Ivan McCombs.

Housing and Development — Stultz, Gockstetter and Howard Mason.

Recreation — DeRimigio and Cochran.

Back then I would say our busiest committees would have been housing, water, sewage, all of which tie in. The commission is responsible for developers following the codes.

Also in the 1970s were minutes pertaining to construction of Grand Vue Park, and the West Virginia Penitentiary, the latter dealing with the the proposed closing of that institution.

While subdivision regulations were added to the duties of the planning on June 7, 1986, in recent years the county Solid Waste Authority has taken over some of the planning commission duties.


The Marshall County Strings Program will present its annual Spring Concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday the John Marshall High School Center for Performing Arts.

The performance will showcase music about space.

Elementary concert selections will include “Here Comes the Sun,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Middle schools students will share three selections including widely-recognized themes from Star Wars. High school selections will include the finale to Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony No. 41” as well as “Supermassive Black Hole” by the band Muse.

The concert will culminate with a mass orchestra of more than 280 students in grades four through 12 performing “Count on Me,” by Super Star and pop icon Mars.

Members of the Moundsville Lions Club are encouraged to attend as representatives of the MCSP will be presenting a monetary donation to the Lions Club, as at a concert held by the Strings Program in February a free will offering was taken with these proceeds to go to the Lions who will use the money to purchase eye examinations and glasses for individuals who qualify for this Lions Club undertaking.

The MCSP will be under the direction of Shelby Genberg, Justin Jones and Alex Talkowski.


Another year of the Grand Adventure Leadership Camps will be taking place in June, July and August at Grand Vue Park.

Certified teachers will lead campers through action-packed weeks with new educational themes that will keep the participants moving, learning and gaining key leadership skills.

The camps are for children 5-12; the younger ages must have completed kindergarten.

The camps will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The camps will be over an eight-week period, with each week having a different title.

They are: June 10-14, Kind Kids; June 17-23, History Mysteries; June 24-28, Build It, Create it Move It.

July 2-5, Stars and Stripes; July 8-12, Art Rocks; July 15-19, Kid Business; July 22-26, It Takes a Village; and July 29-Aug. 2 — Mad Scientist.

Before camp care programs will be available from 7:30-9:30 a.m., while after-camp care programs from 3:30-5:30 p.m. will be available.


The annual used book sale at the Moundsville-Marshall Public Library, 700 Fifth., will conclude on Monday and Tuesday.

The hours on Monday will be from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., while on Tuesday the hours will be 10 a.m. until noon.

The event is being sponsored by the Moundsville Woman’s Club, with proceeds going to the library.

For more information, call the library at 304-845-6911.


The sites for this Saturday’s dumpsters to be held in conjunction with the annual Marshall County Spring Clean-Up will be at the Dallas Volunteer Fire Department and the St. Joseph’s Firehouse. The hours being 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

There will be no provisions at either locations to accept tires, white goods, scrap metal, car parts, fuel, hazardous chemicals/material or household trash.


Also Saturday, the Spring Electrical Recycle/White Goods collection will be taking place from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the north parking lot at John Marshall High School.

Items which will be accepted will be car and light truck tires (17-inch and smaller), white goods, electronics, computers, air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers.


These above locations are being sponsored by the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority and the Marshall County Commission. Anyone desiring additional information is to phone the MCSWA at 304-780-9866 or via fax at 304-843-1074.


For those wishing to dispose of televisions, they will not be accepted at the dumpsters or E-Recycle location. Instead, they are to be put out with weekly sanitation pickups.


The Marshall County Health Department Clinics & Programs for the month of May are:

Immunization Clinic from 9-11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m. on May 13 and 20 for regular childhood and back-to-school immunizations including childhood seasonal flu vaccinations.Appointments in May are encouraged, but not necessary. Call 304-845-7840. (June and July will be by appointments only).

Food Handlers Training at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on May 23.

This class is for those working with food preparation. Register prior to the day of the class. Call 304-845-7840 for additional information.

STD & HIV Testing Clinic. The clinic is free and confidential testing is available on a regular basis.Call the office and ask for a nurse.

Family Planning information will take place on May 16. It will consist of serveral gynecolgy exams. Appointments required.


Don’t forget the annual Spring Concert by the Opus Music Club will be taking place at 2 p.m. today at the First Christian Church, Moundsville.

While there will be no admission charge, those wishing to make a donation can do so on their way out. The money will go toward the OMC’s scholarship program, which in turn will help college students who are majoring in music.


The Moundsville High School Alumni will be hold its next five year planning meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church on Third Street, Moundsville. The alumni get-together will take place during Labor Day Weekend-2020.

All who have attended MHS, spouses and friends are invited to the organizational meeting.

One of the items for Monday’s meeting will be the updating of the committee’s memberships.

Anyone wishing additional information is to call Lexie (Riggs) Hanket (Class of 1960) at 304-845-0078.


The Marshall County Commission is accepting letters of interest from any Marshall County resident who is a registered Democrat and is interested in being considered for the appointment of Marshall County assessor.

Letters must be postmarked on or before May 8.

The letters can be mailed to: Marshall County County Commission, in care of: Assessor Appointment, PO Drawer B, Moundsville, WV 26041. The courthouse Annex Office on the west side of the courthouse is the location for letters dropped off.


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