County Commission briefs from 3/14

March 15, 2002

Resident inquires about sandbags near river

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Harpers Ferry, W.Va., man told the Jefferson County Commissioners Thursday that sandbags have been placed along the edge of the Shenandoah River at the Millville Quarry and he wants to know why.

Harpers Ferry, W.Va., resident Fred Blackmer said he began getting calls from nearby property owners about the sandbags and other issues relating to the quarry on Monday.

Blackmer, who is running for the 58th House of Delegates seat in West Virginia, said it appears the sandbags are being placed in the river to keep river water from entering the quarry.

Blackmer asked the County Commissioners Thursday to contact officials at the quarry to determine the status of their operations there.

"The community at least deserves to be informed," said Blackmer.

The Millville Quarry is off Millville Road west of Harpers Ferry.

A man who answered the phone at Millville Quarry Thursday night said he had no knowledge of the sandbags and referred questions to management.


County official urges support of farmland bill

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - With one state official coming out against the proposal, Jefferson County Commission President James K. Ruland is asking Jefferson County residents to put pressure on Gov. Bob Wise to sign a farmland protection funding bill.

The bill passed by the Legislature last Saturday allows counties to raise money for farmland preservation efforts by taking a share of county hotel and motel taxes or increasing a real estate transfer tax.

Ruland said state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass is opposed to the bill because he has concerns about the funding operations occurring at the county level.

At the commissioners meeting Thursday, Ruland urged county residents to write, call or e-mail Wise's office to urge him to sign the bill into law.

Farmland preservation has been a popular issue in the Eastern Panhandle where farmland is starting to quickly disappear for residential development.

Berkeley commission OKs fire nuisance fee

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to implement a $100 fire service nuisance fee on calls that mistakenly dispatch fire service equipment or personnel.

The Berkeley County Fire Board will assess the penalty to every fire service consumer who directly or indirectly causes the dispatch of fire service equipment and personnel to their property, by error, whether human or mechanical, more than three times in any calendar month, according to the ordinance signed by the three commissioners.

The penalty will also be assessed to a property owner for all "false alarms" in excess of three in a month, according to the ordinance.

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