Commissioner to conduct this week’s zoning hearing
Morgan County Commission president Brenda Hutchinson will be conducting the slide presentations planned for the two public hearings
on the proposed countywide zoning ordinance.
The hearings are set for Thursday,July 1 at 7 p.m. in the Warm Springs Middle School cafeteria and on Friday, July 2 at 3 p.m. in the Paw Paw School cafeteria.
Hutchinson said Planning Commission President Jack Soronen was originally asked to do the slide presentations, but the planning board decided at their June 22 meeting that the county commissioners should make the presentations and conduct the hearings.
Commissioner Tommy Swaim, who has been against zoning from the start, said it was fine with him as long as Hutchinson, a proponent of zoning, doesn’t “try to spin” the presentation.
“I will remain neutral,” Hutchinson promised.
County Planner Alma Gorse asked commissioners to approve the cost for outside printing of 150 copies of the slide presentation to be distributed at the hearings.
Gorse said it will cost more to print the copies on the county’s only color copier than to have them printed outside. She estimated the cost at $350.
Commissioners approved the expense.
Gorse said 150 copies of the draft zoning ordinance, also to be distributed at the hearings, could be printed by the county. Hutchinson said she would help Gorse get those copies made.
Library parking lotConnie Perry told the commissioners that the parking lot at the Morgan County Public Library is developing sink holes and is being undermined by nearby Warm Springs Run.
She said a deteriorating retaining wall, running from the bridge over Congress Street along the run next to the lot, needs to be replaced. Perry said the silt in the run had to be removed in that area as well.
Perry spoke with three different state agencies about the problem and enlisted the West Virginia Soil Conservation Agency in Morgantown to produce engineering drawings to design a fix for the wall.
Once she has the drawings, Perry told commissioners, she could move forward to get quotes and look for grants.
Commissioner Hutchinson suggested Perry talk to county grant writer Carol York.
County Administrator Jody McClintock said the cost to repair a
portion of the roof at War Memorial Hospital is $17,400. An exterminator found carpenter ants were the cause of the roof problem.
Valley Health is leasing the hospital building from the county until the
new hospital is completed and offered to “front” the money for repairs if
the commissioners agreed to pay it back after the start of the new fiscal
Hutchinson told McClintock that Valley Health could move forward
and pay for repairs as long as they kept the commission apprised of costs in advance.
County resident Christina Vogt asked commissioners to start a community service program to allow those who are unable to pay for traffic tickets and court costs to work off their fines.
In these economic times many people just aren’t able to pay the fines. Many states have community service programs, Vogt said.
Chief Deputy Tony Link said state law only sets fines and specifies violators pay those fines. He said he didn’t think there are provisions in the code to allow violators to work off fines doing community service.
Vogt said she would do more research and report back to the commission.
Hutchinson suggested the issue might be one to take up with state legislators.
Traci Welch of Weiss Brothers of Hagerstown presented a quote to
commissioners for cleaning supplies and equipment for the new courthouse.
A variety of cleaning equipment, including vacuums, trash collecting dollies, janitor’s carts, a floor scrubber and associated supplies were included in the $4,599 price.