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Morgan County Commission briefs

August 20, 2010

Grand opening ceremony for courthouse being fine-tuned



BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- After spending an hour Thursday discussing the Morgan County Courthouse grand opening ceremony planned for Sept. 25, the county commissioners made some tentative decisions.

About $6,500 has been pledged by Silling Associates, the architectural firm; Milestone Construction, the contractor; and Citizens National Bank to pay for the cost of the grand opening.

The majority of the cost will pay for food, tents and tables, which will be provided by Berkeley Springs caterer Bob's Big Beef.

Commissioner Stacy A. Dugan, who is in charge of the grand opening ceremony,had a list of many people to speak at the ceremony, but Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson and Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said people would not appreciate standing that length of time to hear them.

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"We can't let all these people speak," Swaim said.

The number of guest speakers at the ceremony was trimmed to include West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and state Sen. Walt Helmick.

Former commission president Glen R. Stotler is also slated to speak at the ceremony.

Cell tower committee formed



BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- A committee to provide an environmental assessment of cell tower sites was approved by the Morgan County Commission on Thursday.

Economic Development Authority director Bill Clark said in order to build the towers funded through grants by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), an environment assessment has to be done.

The committee will consist of Carol York, Morgan County Commission grant administrator; Rodney Hovermale, who heads up the Warm Springs Public Service District; and Dave Michael, director of the Office of Emergency Services.

The Sideling Hill and Purselane Mountain areas are targeted for tower sites, he said.

Liberty, a private tower company, will build a tower on the Don Largent site in Paw Paw, W.Va., Clark said.

Service will be improved in western Morgan County with the new county cell towers and the Liberty tower, Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said.

Riparian buffer approved on flood plain property



BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- A riparian buffer will be established by the Warm Springs Watershed Association in an area next to U.S. 522 south, which is owned by Morgan County and is in a flood plain.

Watershed association president Kate Lehman told the Morgan County Commission on Thursday that the $5,000 grant funding from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Stream Partners Program will provide the buffer along Warm Springs Run. The buffer will help reduce the risk of flooding in that area.

She said shrubs and trees will be planted about 30 feet on either side of the run, and native wildflowers will be added.

The association wants it to be a "no mowing" zone, Lehman said.

The buffer will filter out sediment and pollution, and she hopes the public will see the value of the riparian buffer, she said.

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