Lance seeks return to Jefferson County Commission

January 14, 2002

Lance seeks return to Jefferson County Commission

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Running on a platform that largely focuses on growth needs in Jefferson County, Greg Lance has announced his decision to run for a seat on the Jefferson County Commission this year.

A former commissioner who served for 12 years before being defeated in 1998, Lance said he wants to return to the job to help schools get the funding they need, pass impact fees, build more recreational facilities and look for ways to save open space in the county.

"I think growth is a big issue," said the 46-year-old Democrat. County residents need to remember "what really brought us here in the first place, which is history and open space," Lance said.

Lance represented the Charles Town District on the commission before he was defeated by current commissioner Al Hooper.

Lance said he has since moved to Harpers Ferry, W.Va., because he and his wife are planning to build a home there.


The Harpers Ferry district seat, which is up for grabs this year, is held by Dean Hockensmith.

The Kabletown district seat, held by James K. Ruland, is also up for election on the five-member commission this year.

If Lance is elected, he would like to see local governments come together to lobby state officials for the funding that is needed for new schools in the county, particularly a second high school.

Jefferson High School is between 100 and 200 students over capacity, which has caused concern about the county's ability to handle additional high school students.

Even if everything fell into place for a second high school today, it would be 2005 before one could be built, Lance said.

To free up more money for county schools, Lance said he favors taking 0.5 percent of the state's video lottery revenues from Charles Town Races - about $500,000 a year - and sending that to local schools.

The county has passed all the requirements needed to implement impact fees, and there is no reason to hesitate on approving them, Lance said.

Impact fees are paid by developers to help offset additional services needed because of growth.

Lance said he wants to also consider making residential building lots larger in the county so housing developments are not so dense. Lance said he favors the idea to help preserve open space.

Lance said it's too early to say how much of a minimum lot size he would favor.

"We need to sit down and review the ordinance and see what a good number might be," Lance said.

Lance said he believes there is money in the county budget to build an amphitheater at Sam Michaels Park and a building at the park where sports and arts programs can be held for youngsters and adults.

Lance said the county park system has been forced to rent space in buildings at the KOA campgrounds in Harpers Ferry because of a lack of facility space in the county.

The Herald-Mail Articles