Morgan County Commission briefs

March 03, 2011

Vietnam vets foundation wants memorial

A Morgan County man has begun raising money for a Vietnam veterans memorial in the county.

Chuck Hampe has been working with Carol York, the county's grant administrator, to find funding for the project.

At Thursday's Morgan County Commission meeting, Hampe requested the county help him secure grant funding by being the fiscal agent of the grant. He said he would need help to raise the matching funds that are required.

Hampe said he did not serve in the war, but he wants Vietnam veterans to be recognized.

"I felt something should be done for them," he said.

Hampe said he has raised about $850.

Commissioner Bradley J. Close said he wanted to help Hampe with his project. "If the county cannot do it, I want to help you personally," Close said.

Commission President Stacy A. Dugan said she wants Hampe to form a committee before the county can discuss allocating funds. She said the $50,000 grant in which Hampe is interested does not seem like enough money for a memorial.

"I don't know if we're ready for this. I don't know if you have enough funds," Dugan said.

"You need a plan," Close said.

Parks and Recreation wants county be responsible for maintenance of facilities

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Morgan County Parks and Recreation wants to expand its programs and wants the maintenance responsibilities to be handled by the county.

At Thursday's Morgan County Commission meeting, Bruce Beadenkopf, acting parks and recreation director, said the organization wants to expand programs to provide more services for youth and to add adult programs like softball and tennis.

Instead of "just maintenance of the facilities," it wants to focus on upgrading the facilities, he said.

He requested the county pay for maintenance of parks and recreation projects. That would free up about $16,000 for the maintenance employee's salary, Beadenkopf said.

Commissioner Bradley J. Close, who serves on the parks and recreation board, said he wants the organization to be self-sustaining.

Beadenkopf said that could be achieved by bringing in more programs.

Beadenkopf said the organization spent about $83,000 in 2010 and is budgeting about $77,000 for next year. He said he received $13,000 from the county, $25,000 from the Board of Education and the remaining funds from grants and fundraisers.

Morgan County firefighters might become exempt of fire fee

One way to increase the number of firefighters in Morgan County is to make them exempt of the fire fee, according to a county resident.

Mel Harmon told the Morgan County Commission at Thursday's meeting that he and fellow resident Phil Harmison want to provide an incentive for volunteer firefighters to join.

"Perhaps an incentive is not having to pay the fire fee," Harmon said.

The yearly fire fee is based on square footage, and the average property owner pays about $43, according to Sandy Kesecker of the Morgan County Fire Board.

Commission President Stacy A. Dugan said before a decision could be made, it must be discussed with the fire board.

Harmon asked that $5,000 be put aside by the commission "to recognize the firefighters until the tax reduction is done," he said.

Dugan said the $5,000 request will be discussed at the upcoming budget meeting.

"In my opinion, it's a great start," Commissioner Bradley J. Close said.

— Trish Rudder

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