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Traffic concerns cited at meeting

November 05, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A local man's complaint about speeding motorists in Jefferson County led Thursday to an in-depth discussion among county officials about traffic control and what police need to deal with the situation.

Scott Hoeksema, who lives near Middleway, said speeding motorists have been a problem near his home and said there has not been enough law enforcement to control the situation.

Hoeksema complained about trucks speeding on main roads near his house and said he is worried about someone getting killed trying to get out of their driveway.

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"It's a situation that's getting ready to explode," said Hoeksema, who added that motorists "have no fear of being stopped."

Commissioner Greg Corliss sympathized with Hoeksema, saying he is amazed at how some motorists pass on double yellow lines in dangerous areas on local roads.

Corliss suggested a committee be formed to study the problem.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan said a possible first step in addressing some of the speeding is reducing speed limits on some roads. Morgan said he believes speed limits need to be reduced because many of the people commuting out of the county each day are in a hurry.

Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober also sympathized with Hoeksema. Boober said he is glad someone from the community is bringing up the issue before the commissioners get ready to develop their budget.

Boober requests funding from the commissioners to run his department, and Boober said he is putting together a 10-year plan that deals with anticipated police needs in the county, such as substations.

Substations, small offices in the county where deputies can work, have been discussed as a way to increase police service in the county.

Boober said he wants the commissioners to give him the resources to build a bigger department.

"I can manage it," Boober said, adding that he also likes Hoeksema's idea of a committee to study police needs in the county.

The discussion led into other areas, such as the possibility of setting up one police department for the county. Instead of having numerous police departments in the county, Corliss said he thinks having one countywide police department would be easier to manage.

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