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Jefferson Co. wants to mediate to settle fee dispute

March 16, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission agreed Thursday to enter into mediation with the City of Ranson, W.Va., in an attempt to settle a long-standing suit over the collection of school impact fees in Ranson.

School impact fees went into effect Jan. 26, 2004, but none of the $1.6 million in fees that has been collected in Ranson has been forwarded to the county, officials said Thursday.

The county commission believes that Ranson officials are collecting a school impact fee but are calling it a "voluntary proffer." The county commission complains in its suit in Jefferson County Circuit Court that the proffers are not a uniform way to collect the school fee.

In the mediation process, a mediator will be selected and the sides will try to reach common ground, Commissioner Dale Manuel said.

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Ranson Mayor David Hamill said he hopes the suit can be settled, but Hamill said no one notified him that the case was going to mediation.

"Do I have a vote in this?" Hamill said.

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