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Letters to the Editor 4/7

April 06, 2000

Morgan needs four-lane W.Va. 9

To the editor:

The new millennium elections are upon us and we must go to the polls and cast our vote for the most qualified person to fill the position. Many have thrown their hats into the ring this election.

I like politicians who will run on their record and past accomplishments for the county in which they are running for office. I also like leaders who will dedicate themselves to the people and not to a special interest group.

For years I have heard about the upgrade of W,Va. 9, but I have seen little effort on the part of the three counties collectively to bring this four-lane to completion. W.Va. 9 is the main artery that connects Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties together. With the completion of this four-lane highway, all three counties will receive an added economic boost that is dearly needed in Morgan County, especially.

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If you ever traveled from Berkeley Springs to Leesburg, Va., on a regular basis you would fully agree that the time is past for the new upgrade of W.Va. 9. Many innocent people have lost their lives because of the leaders' inability to move this project forward.

In Morgan County it seems that the leaders are more concerned with US 522 instead of working together to make Route 9 the priority of road projects in the Eastern Panhandle. With the completion of W.Va. 9, the people of Morgan County will be able to experience an economic boost that has been long overdue. Our children have no future in Morgan County under the present leaders because the youth are forced to move away to find reasonable employment. Can we afford six more years of the sit, wait and see syndrome that has plagued the leaders of Morgan County? I say no. We must move ahead with the proper infrastructure to grow the county, increasing the county's tax base so that we can afford the goods and services that we need for our citizens.

Berkeley County has a gigantic commercial tax base and Morgan County has a gigantic residential tax base. The residents do not contribute enough taxes to pay for goods and services that we need. However, a commercial tax base takes very little in the goods and services expenditures, but they pay higher taxes for the privilege of those services. Please move commerce into Morgan County and stop burdening the taxpayer with more and more every year. Infrastructure suitable for growth is the key, because growth is coming whether we prepare for it or not.

Ron Payne

Hedgesville, W.Va.

A comprehensive plan

To the editor:

A lot of people will probably be annoyed with Tim Rowland's column about all the recent plans for the city and county, but I think he hit the nail on the head.

I've been thinking it over, and have come up with a plan (which puts me ahead of the planners).

1. Build the new stadium across the street from the present stadium, in the site now occupied by the paper recycling fiasco.

2. Make the old, still-empty Lowe's building multi-level and put the Civil War Museum in there.

3. Transform the original Wal-Mart into the campus. This would only leave the vacated stadium as a useless eyesore, and it could be used to house the city and county planners. Lack of a roof shouldn't be a problem, as they seem not to have enough sense to come in out of the rain anyway.

Hagerstown and Washington County need to stop copying Frederick and come up with creative ideas that will preserve the area's charm (which is fading fast). This "ready, fire, aim" mentality benefits no one.

I also have a couple of suggestions for The Herald-Mail:

1. Publish some figures, like how much revenue is generated by the present stadium; how many visitors does Frederick's Civil War Museum have annually, and how many other communities this size have two Wal-Marts.

2. Publish the names of the people who make up the various planning committees - city/county residents would find this highly enlightening. If you really want to create a furor, publish their meetings (they are all open to the press, aren't they?)

I fail to understand how the city and county get by with doing things first and announcing them later. Why do the residents (taxpayers) only find out about these schemes after they're already half-baked?

Kathleen E. Jordan

Hagerstown

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