By Ed Parsons – Editor | Mar 24, 2021
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Huge things are happening in small places all over the country. However, none are working any harder to make things better than Hundred, West Virginia.
It’s often said that if you want to get anything done, do it yourself. This little community of slightly over 300 people in the far corner of Wetzel County has taken that to heart when it comes to improving the life style of it’s citizens.
While they have received help in many forms and from many places, the majority of the work to make change has originated at city hall under Mayor Charles “Chip” Goff, and his council.
While most small communities are struggling to keep the street lights on, Hundred has taken a different approach and gone proactive, in hopes of bringing back the glory days.
Back in 2017 a devastating flood nearly wiped out the entire community. After nearly 10 inches of rain fell, flash flooding destroyed businesses, homes, and wiped out the volunteer fire department along with it’s equipment and fire trucks. It looked like a war zone and most residents had little hope it would ever get back to normal. However, as often happens, people pulled together and turned a bad situation into something good.
In a recent interview with Mayor Goff, the Wetzel Chronicle asked him what the Town has done since the flood. Goff stated,“We have completed all of our recovery efforts since the 2017 flooding. “All of the damaged streets have been resurfaced and all water runoff issues have been addressed.”
Goff said he was not Mayor at the time of the flood, but was on town council, and active in the community with the fire department and the high school. Following the flood Goff was in charge of the recovery effort along side Wetzel OES and was Co-Chai of the Hundred Littleto Long Term Recovery Group that served Wetzel County residents that were victims of the flood. Shortly after the flood newly elected Mayor Charles Sine of just one month into his term resigned due to health issues, so council appointed Goff as Mayor for the remainder of the wo year term. Goff ran unopposed in the 2019 election and seeks a third term this June for a one year term if passed in April.
For anyone wanting to run for Mayor, Town Recorder, or Town Council, at the April 5, 2021 Town Council Meeting, council will vote on a proposed change to the town charter to change it from a 2 year term to a 4 year term to get on the same schedule as the county to help us save money from holding elections every two years.
“Since then I have established efforts and developed a plan to make major changes for the better of the community,” Goff said. “My goal is to see Hundred grow in ways many think are not logical. I want to see people move here and bring business to our area. I definitely believe it can happen.”
While many have given up on small out of the way communities, Goff believes they are places that future generations will want to live and raise families.
“We has a community have seen major improvements and we have many more still to come. Right now all dilapidated structures from the flood have been torn down. We have several events here each year including the Hundred Fourth of July Celebration with a parade and fireworks. We also have the Hundred old fashion Christmas and hope to bring back October fest.”
Goff said the town purchased brand new beautiful Christmas lights which they display throughout town. “We are working to create an Amazing Town.”
We asked the Mayor what they do to combat crime in the community! “We have Municipal Court with two Judges. Our police department consists of the Police Chief, a one man force who is doing a good job cracking down on drugs and other illegal activity. He keeps a good eye on the town!”
“I took this job with the idea of making a difference, now I believe we have to go a step further and create an amazing town,” said Mayor Goff.
Hundred has worked with the Wetzel County Sheriffs office and adopted their protocols. They also follow the WV State traffic code. The idea is to make Hundred as safe as possible and to eliminate most illegal activity.
Under Goff’s leadership Hundred has established Code enforcement with two code inspectors and work with the cities of Fairmont, Moundsville, and New Martinsville Code Enforcements. They have also adopted the WV State Building Code and National Property Maintenance Code. “We want to make the community attractive, our goal is to beautify the town the best that we can,” stated Goff.
Goff has suggested to Federal Government to create jobs for cleaning their streams, using the DOH headquarters. He believes this would create jobs and by cleaning the streams and making them deeper and wider, it would prevent flooding and property damage and most of all possibly save lives.
The town has a good working partnership with the Wetzel County Board of Education, Wetzel County Commissioners, Hundred High School, United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, Upper Ohio Valley Conservation District, Visit Wetzel County, Wetzel County Sheriff Office, Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, Mark West, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, EQT, WV Municipal League, WV Municipal Judges Association, Cities of Mannington, Fairmont, Bridgeport, Shinnston, Wheeling, Moundsville and Town of Pine Grove, plus many more municipalities.
Mayor Goff stated, “We have put in new ordinances and we’re currently working on a new ordinance book. Another thing we did was participate in and were recognized by the Untied States Census.” “We want to make our area of Wetzel County one of the best. We participated in the Make it Shine program and we work well with help from the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority.”
It takes cooperation between all parties to make positive change and that is one of the strong points of the current administration at Hundred town hall. During our talk with Mayor Goff he spoke well of all the different agencies, and people who have lent a hand to help along the way. He said he can’t give enough credit to so many kind and generous people who go out of their way to make things better. He said the town works extremely well with Delegate Dave Pethtel and Wetzel County Commissioners.
Just to name a few he mentioned the WV State Fire Marshal’s office and the State of WV Division of Homeland Security, the Wetzel County Office of Emergency Management services, FEMA, WV HUB and Belomar Regional Council. He also mentioned working with the Wetzel County Board of Education to buy and build a new football field facility, when he was a councilman under Mayor Himelrick.
Work is currently taking place by HHS students on a new Ampitheatre to be finished soon. HHS also recently finished a replica house of what the towns Founders Henry and Hannah Church would have lived in, it is to be used as a informational building along with bringing beauty to the town.
Along with those changes an AT&T tower is being built and is approximately 50 percent completed, with total completion estimated for the end of the year. High speed internet service is making it’s way from Clarksburg to New Martinsville, Hundred is the last stop on that project which should be close in a year or so.
There is plenty more happening to make Hundred unique. For example, Hundred Area Pride has received funding to resurface the East Wetzel Rails for Trails and continue to help make Hundred Shine. They are also teaming up with the town to work on grants for new sidewalks and resurfacing the streets inside Hundred Town Limits.
Over the long term the community hopes to bring Hundred back, making the community cleaner, safer and more attractive.
The goal is for residents working with the city to be active in revitalizing Hundred, cleaning up properties, and livening up the community with color.
While Mayor Goff, with the help of council and many others, has accomplished several positives, he admits there is still plenty to do and plenty to get excited about. He says he loves the community and believes in it and it’s people.
“Who knows what all can happen when people join together in an effort to see progress. I believe with hard work and the right attitude we can accomplish anything we set out to do,” stated Goff.
Goff said the the town is currently working with EQT on a beautification grant to be turned in May 1, and hopefully awarded in June. He addded they are reaching out to try and find investors to build new affordable housing so they can attract more people to the community. He said he has reached out to the Harrison County Housing Authority and Housing Fund and Habitat for Humanity. Also they have contacted the contractor that build a nice new eight unit apartment complex in Mannington near Rainbow Plaza.
He said they are working with Terradon from Nitro on engineering new sidewalks that qualify for grants money, they have to be located near a major highway. So he says they will seek to get new sidewalks along U.S. Route 250 and WV Rt 69 inside town limits.
The City council meets twice a month on the first and third Mondays, and is open for residents who may have complaints, or want to offer assistance to make change. All are welcome to attend the meetings, Goff said they need volunteers to help turn things around.
The Town election will be held this year on June 8, with the deadline to file being April 3rd.