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Morgan County, groups agree to send minutes to stage agency

October 27, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA.

trishr@herald-mail.com

The minutes of any Morgan County Commission meeting that involve an official action regarding the rural water committee will be sent to Danny Evans, the conservation resource planner for the West Virginia Conservation Agency (WVCA).

The new policy was agreed upon Friday between the Morgan County Commission and the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District (EPCD) and the West Virginia Conservation Agency (WVCA), the two agencies that oversee the $300,000 rural water study grant that was awarded to Morgan County two years ago.

Joe D. Michael and Jim Moore of the EPCD and Michael Sykes of the WVCA met with the commission to discuss the renewal of the Morgan County Water Resource Assessment Agreement.

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Amendments were added to the agreement regarding policy procedures on water advisory committee and water resource committee issues, and Glen Stotler, commission president, wanted to make sure it was understood that all decisions are made by the Morgan County Commission, not the committee.

Officials discussed who made the decision not to go forward with a mineral sample survey, because the WVCA felt it was necessary to test the mineral samples, and without the minutes, there was no way to learn what transpired in the commission meeting.

Stotler said "all decisions will be made by the Morgan County Commission, and the decision was made regarding the mineral testing."

The advisory committee brings the recommendations, and the commission makes the decision, Stotler said.

Jack Soronen, chairman of the Morgan County Rural Water Committee, said "the committee had not agreed right away" regarding the mineral sample testing."

"There were significant reservations by the rural water committee," he said.

But the commission did vote to test the minerals, Stotler said.

"We took action to pursue heavy metals," said Commissioner Tommy Swaim.

There was discussion about whether the agencies were receiving the commission meeting minutes that contain actions taken regarding water issues.

Alma Gorse, Morgan County planner, told the commission that all the minutes were recently sent to Sykes, but Moore said he "did not know they had been given to us until right now."

The minutes should be sent after each meeting, Sykes said. Michael said the minutes will show what decisions the commission makes.

Sykes said a paper trail is needed.

"A record of the decision needs to be in writing," he said.

Commissioner Bob Ford said he understood "government needs accountability, and I agree with that."

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