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Jefferson County lends support to new volunteer fire department

November 09, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission lent its support Thursday to the formation of a volunteer fire department in Middleway, W.Va.

The letter that will be drafted to the state fire commission will include mention that no funding will be available in the 2007-08 budget, commissioners said.

"There's no provision in our current budget for this," Commissioner Rusty Morgan said.

The commissioners said they also will include a section saying they want Middleway's organizers and all nearby fire departments to work together.

Mike Mood, who asked the commissioners for $65,000 in the department's first year, said his proposal will go to the state fire commission for initial licensing.

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"Then, we will start to generate membership and we will start to fundraise," Mood said.

He presented the commissioners with a proposed five-year budget and letter from Citizens Fire Co. saying it doesn't intend to open a satellite station at the South Jefferson Ruritan Club.

Citizens doesn't have the funding or manpower for a satellite station right now, Mood said.

The commissioners urged Mood to consider using the Ruritan's 14-acre site as its headquarters.

He said that he already has an early agreement for a location, but would be happy to work with the Ruritan.

The commissioners' letter doesn't rule out a satellite station from Citizens, Commissioner Dale Manuel said.

Jay Watson, president of the Independent Fire Co., said any existing department would have to go through the same process with the state if it wanted to open a substation.

Watson, who is also a representative of the county fire and rescue association, said the need in the Middleway and Summit Point, W.Va., area is based on response times.

Mood said that the new department might be able to incorporate by February or March of 2008.

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