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Dugan to lead Morgan County Commission

January 18, 2011|By TRISH RUDDER | trishr@herald-mail.com
  • Morgan County Commission President Stacy A. Dugan
File photo

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Newly elected Morgan County Commission President Stacy A. Dugan is well aware that the president’s job will be a challenge.  

“I know it has more responsibilities attached, and I will do my best to represent the citizens of Morgan County,” Dugan said.

Dugan has four years left on her six-year term, and newly-elected Commissioner Brad Close began his six-year term Jan. 3.

Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson has two years left on her term. She served as commission president the last two years, and she said she did not want to serve as president beginning in January.
 
“As I said two years ago, I believe that the commission president should alternate every two years. That’s common practice in other West Virginia counties,” she said.

Hutchinson said the commission had many accomplishments during the last four years, especially getting the new courthouse built, she said.

Hutchinson worked on securing the funding for its construction, which cost about $10.5 million.

“Getting the new courthouse built was a huge accomplishment for the county,” she said.
 
The old courthouse was destroyed by fire in August 2006. Trailers were used as county offices until the new courthouse was ready in late summer 2010.

Another accomplishment was the sale of War Memorial Hospital, which was finalized in early 2010, Hutchinson said.

“The cash payout of $1.5 million will go toward the courthouse debt of $9 million, plus the rental agreement on the old hospital building of about $57,000 a month which is guaranteed for 24 months, will also go toward the courthouse debt,” Hutchinson said.

“Also, with the new $32 million hospital construction under way, it will lead to economic development and jobs in Morgan County, which is a plus for the county,” she said.

Hutchinson serves on the board of the county’s Economic Development Authority and supports small businesses.  

“I have advocated on their behalf in Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, D.C., to help create jobs in Morgan County,” Hutchinson said.

One of the best decisions the Morgan County Commission made was giving Bill Clark the opportunity to be a full-time EDA director, she said.

“Economic development is so important and is key to developing local jobs,” Hutchinson said.
“It was good to move Bill Clark,” Dugan said.

A top goal for Hutchinson is getting a revenue stream for the new senior center/health department that will be placed on five acres adjacent to the new hospital site on Fairview Drive.

“We have a growing senior population and our current center and health department are outdated,” she said.

As part of the project, doctors’ offices may be included there to create a funding stream to pay for the new senior center and health department, she said.

Hutchinson said utilizing the old hospital property is another high priority, and she would like to see a portion of the building used for post-secondary classes for Morgan County students.

Hutchinson said the commission has many projects for the upcoming year, “and with Brad Close as our new commissioner, I hope that we can all join together to work for good of the community.”

Dugan said she wants to continue to move the county forward “with the goals we have established.”

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