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Annexation requests hits snag

U.S. 340

January 16, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Residents told the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday that if Harpers Ferry annexes a segment of U.S. 340 it would allow the town to set up a "speed trap" on the highway.

Harpers Ferry officials want to annex a little more than a mile of U.S. 340 from the east end of the bridge over the Shendandoah River to the Virginia line.

Town officials said one reason they want to annex the highway is to reduce the amount of illegal drugs being transported into the county. It is common for motorists on the highway to transport drugs into the community from cities to the east, Harpers Ferry Police Chief Donald Buracker told the commissioners Thursday morning.

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Harpers Ferry needs approval from the commissioners to allow the annexation.

Several county residents raised concerns Thursday.

Paul Ashbaugh, who complained about a "Barney Fife attitude," criticized the police department and said the annexation would result in speed traps being set up along the highway.

"They're preying on those people," Ashbaugh said.

Buracker said no speed traps would be set up. He said his department typically does not issue speeding tickets until motorists start reaching 12 mph above the speed limit, and that approach will not change if the annexation is approved.

Harpers Ferry Mayor James Addy defended the police department, saying speeding tickets are not issued "willy nilly."

"Our officers are well trained. I'm responsible for the police department and I don't put up with any foolishness," Addy said.

The commissioners delayed action on the annexation until April 22. One reason the commissioners did not act on the proposal is because there is not a plat of the area that shows its boundaries.

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