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Ruritan supports station for Middleway

February 16, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - The Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday agreed to write a letter of support for a new fire station in Middleway, although one commissioner emphasized that no financial support be mentioned because he is concerned about an "overloaded" budget.

County officials and others are interested in establishing a fire department and ambulance station in the Middleway area because it takes too long for firefighters to reach the area. About three weeks ago, a house in the Middleway area burned to the ground because firefighters could not get to the residence in time, said Al Cates of the South Jefferson Ruritan Club, which is proposing the new fire station.

Cates told the county commission last month that his organization would provide 14 acres along Leetown Road near Middleway for a fire station.

The Ruritan club also would construct the building for the fire department. The club would use part of the building for its meetings and community events.

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Cates said the Independent Fire Co. has expressed an interest in putting a substation in the building.

The building, drilling of a water well and establishing parking areas would cost about $650,000, Cates said.

Cates said he was requesting a letter of support from the commission so his group could seek grant funding to help pay for the building. If the project is successful, Cates said he would like the commission to help fund the department's operation.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said Thursday he realizes the need for the fire department, but he said he first wants to "cost it out. The budget is already overloaded," Corliss said.

The commission agreed to write a letter of support for the project, but only as a concept and not as a financial obligation.

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