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Commissioner say Berkeley County plans to connect Jeff. County town to its sewer lines

July 19, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A Jefferson County Commission member said Thursday he has heard of plans to extend water and sewer service to the Jefferson County community of Middleway, W.Va., from Berkeley County and said it was "shocking" to discover how much work has been completed on the project.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan alleged the work apparently has been ongoing outside normal planning procedures.

It was questionable initially whether Berkeley County could extend utilities to Middleway, but Berkeley County's systems have been undergoing an expansion, Morgan said.

Commission President Frances Morgan said the proposal is an example of how Jefferson County's land planning efforts can be infringed upon.

The head of an agency that controls sewer service in Jefferson County told the commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday that she has not heard of a plan.

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"Hopefully, it's just a rumor," said Sue Lawton, head of the Jefferson County Public Service District.

Rusty Morgan said his sources who told him about the plan are "solid."

"There are elaborate plans on paper," said Rusty Morgan, who said he heard the plan dovetails with an attempt to incorporate Middleway.

Middleway, which is off W.Va. 51, is unincorporated, which means it does not have a government.

Middleway has been growing in recent years and there have been problems with failing septic systems. That has spawned talk of extending sewer service to the community.

Peter Fricke, who lives in Middleway, said town residents don't know much about the plan.

Berkeley County Commissioner Bill Stubblefield said he knows of no plans to extend water or sewer to Middleway from Berkeley County.

There was a long-standing agreement to extend Berkeley County water to PriestField, a Catholic pastoral center just inside the Jefferson County line near Middleway, and perhaps there is some confusion with that work, Stubblefield said.

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