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Ranson pulls back funding for local agencies in protest of impact fees ruling

October 22, 2008

RANSON, W.Va. - Ranson City Council members Tuesday night decided to stop funding about six local agencies over a recent circuit court ruling on Jefferson County's impact fees.

Impact fees are fees collected from developers to help pay for services demanded by growth and the Jefferson County Commission passed impact fees to help fund schools, parks and recreation, fire and emergency services and law enforcement.

But Ranson city officials do not believe the fees apply to cities and they initially withheld some school money collected in the city.

The county filed suit against Ranson and Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes recently ruled that impact fees can be collected in Ranson.

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Ranson is preparing to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court of Appeals and until then, council members decided Tuesday to withhold funding they give to agencies like the Jefferson County Ambulance Authority, Independent and Citizens fire companies, Jefferson County Health Department and Ranson Elementary School.

Council members said they did not believe that city taxpayer money should be used to fund the agencies when the county appears to be the funding agency under Wilkes ruling.

Mayor David Hamill and council member Duke Pierson regretted taking the action, especially given the city's "enormous" past support of Ranson Elementary.

Rezoning of 250-acre tract gets preliminary OK

RANSON, W.Va. - Ranson City Council members Tuesday night gave preliminary approval to rezoning about a 250-acre tract along W.Va. 115 and Leetown Road that is slated for residential, retail business and office space.

The so-called Lloyd property is being rezoned from rural reserve to traditional neighborhood and mixed use and a public hearing will probably be held in mid-November, city officials said.

The project would be developed by Grand Vista LLC, said City Manager Dave Mills.

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