MAN —Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Senator Art Kirkendoll have had a busy summer and things have not slowed down much when it comes to major challenges and projects in our region. The duo has been working in connection with the town of Man to try and get funding for a very important project for the residents of that town.
Last week, Mayor Jim Blevins and the Man Town Council heard from representatives of Dunn Engineering about breaking up a large multi-million dollar water project into a series of smaller projects that would be easier to find funding for. Blevins said he would contact Kirkendoll about getting that help and according to Kirkendoll it very well could be forthcoming soon.
“We are working diligently on it,” Kirkendoll said on Tuesday, July 17. “I have met with the Governor and we discussed the two proposals Dunn Engineering had. The first one, was to put in a new tank, which would have required a raising of rates. The second proposal was to renovate the existing tank, which had been damaged.”
Kirkendoll said the second proposal was more viable for several reasons, not the least of which was that it was less of a burden on the residents of Man.
“The Logan County Commission had $30,000 for it put up, the town of Man had $10,000 and I met with the Governor and he said his main objective was to get the tank fixed without having to raise rates on the citizens. Sometimes you have to raise rates, but in this case, he felt and I felt that if you could do it without raising rates, that would be best for the people who live there, and I think what we have worked out will turn out pretty good.”
Kirkendoll said Logan County has been very lucky in recent years in terms of having good people in office who care about the people of the county.
“Time and time again, our mayors across the county (Jerry Price in Chapmanville, Serafino Nolletti in Logan, Jim Blevins in Man and Darren Akers in West Logan) have gone above and beyond what is required of them on behalf of our communities,” he explained. “It is because they care.”
During his tenure with the Logan County Commission Senator Kirkendoll
was involved with many different projects, organizations and groups. One of the organizations he remains most proud of is the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation
Authority where he has served over a decade as chairman of the board of directors.
“It has become a tremendous success,” Kirkendoll said of the Trails. “It is now a proven commodity in state tourism and it is still bringing in new investments. Look at the Thompsons, who have had tremendous interest and success with the cabins they built. Look at the hotels, motels and lodges and that have been successful thanks to our visitors coming here to ride. People continue to come here for the trails and while they are here they stay and spend money in our communities.”
Kirkendoll noted that the Hatfield-McCoy Trails was anything but an overnight success story and in fact it “was many, many years of meetings with several people who shared a vision…” he noted, adding that sometimes he wondered if the effort would ever pay off. “But it did, bigger and better than even the most optimistic of us could have imagined.”
Kirkendoll said he felt the best is yet to come for the trails and he has some more big visions he would like to see fulfilled.
“We are moving steadily in the direction we need to go for our people and tourism,” he said. “My ultimate dream is for us to have some towns on top of those mountains similar to what they have in Pigeon Forge…”