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Jeff. Co. Commission says towns' expansion complicates planning

September 14, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Jefferson County Commission members said Thursday they still have concerns about annexation issues in the county, even after being able to debate the topic with state lawmakers this week.

Two of the commissioners expressed concerns in an interim legislative meeting Monday in Martinsburg, W.Va., about how towns are expanding their boundaries.

There was a string of interim legislative meetings this week at the Holiday Inn on Foxcroft Avenue.

Commission President Frances Morgan said during the meeting Monday that annexation proponents are "locked in a race" to take in land across the rural county, and she worried about the county being stuck with providing services to deal with the growth.

Developers also appeared before Judiciary Subcommittee B and emphasized that the newly annexed areas have resulted in significant commercial growth, which is a shot in the arm for the state's economy.

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Commission member Rusty Morgan said he did not believe there was much progress on debating the problems with annexation.

Morgan said no one introduced the members of Judiciary Subcommittee B and he thought the meeting would have been more of a work session to deal with the issue.

"I just don't think we connected at all," Morgan said.

At the suggestion of Commissioner Greg Corliss, the commission agreed to send a letter to state officials requesting more time with them to debate the issue with lawmakers.

The Jefferson County cities of Ranson and Charles Town have grown by thousands of acres since 2002, and say it is necessary to create strong economies in their towns.

County officials have complained that the annexations complicate their land-planning efforts.

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