Morgan County Commission briefs

August 07, 2010

Zoning ordinance will be on November ballot

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- By a unanimous vote, the Morgan County Commission on Thursday approved the zoning ordinance to be placed on the November election ballot.

All three commissioners said previously they wanted Morgan County voters to decide on its fate.

County Planner Alma Gorse said before the vote that the updated ordinance included the amendments the commissioners made, and "we are at the do-or-die time."

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim made the motion to put the ordinance on the ballot and said, "we spent a lot of money and time ... and it's time to take it to the public."

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Stacy A. Dugan, who said that during her campaign for commissioner, she stated she "wants the people to vote" on the issue.


Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson agreed that a lot of time was spent by good people on the issue, and some money was spent.

She said she has been working on the issue for four years and "it's time to put it on the ballot on Nov. 2."

Hutchinson said Gorse will update the final ordinance and will put it on the county's website, along with updated maps.

Sprinkler system work begins Aug. 23

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Work on the sprinkler system going into the former magistrate court building will begin Aug. 23 and will be finished by Sept. 6.

Morgan County Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said at Thursday's meeting that an additional $5,280 is needed to make the system work because some problems were found.

The original cost by Chesapeake Sprinkler Co. in Asburn, Va., which was awarded the bid for the job, was $13,800.

Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said the additional funds needed still bring the project in under cost and she wanted to go forward.

Commissioners Stacy A. Dugan and Swaim agreed.

Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said renovations and painting inside the building will be done by him, the deputies and community service personnel.

He said the entire building will be used by the sheriff's department, since Morgan County Teen Court cannot be held in the old magistrate courtroom because it has no jury box.

Shambaugh said he and his staff will remove the insides of the courtroom "with care" and try not damage the wood.

Dugan said the courtroom oak pieces will be placed in storage and might be sold.

Commission meeting room use limited

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The Morgan County Commission voted 2-1 Thursday to allow only nonprofit community organizations to use the commission meeting room.

The decision was made because a law firm used the meeting room last week, Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said.

She said it is to be used for board meetings and community organizations, not for law firms that have conference rooms available on the third floor of the courthouse.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim agreed and suggested guidelines be made.

But Commissioner Stacy A. Dugan disagreed because the courthouse "should be used by the people," she said.

"I want it open to anyone," Dugan said.

Commission employee Peggy Oakes will supervise the room's use, Hutchinson said.

Local restaurants to cater grand opening

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Local food services will cater the grand opening of the Morgan County Courthouse on Sept. 25.

At Thursday's meeting, Morgan County Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said she is willing to handle the food suppliers for the grand opening.

It should be a "taste of Morgan County" to showcase the local restaurants, Hutchinson said.

She said a number of people were enthusiastic about the concept.

Commissioners Stacy A. Dugan and Thomas R. Swaim thought it might be more difficult to parcel the event out than it would be to have one catering company handle the entire menu.

Hutchinson said she will write letters to the restaurants and give them a week to respond.

"If not, we will go to Plan B," she said.

The commission decided that the grand opening ceremony will be held Sept. 25, from 2 to 5 p.m.

It will not conflict with the homecoming celebration at Cacapon State Park, Swaim said.

-- Trish Rudder

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