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CURRENT LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


To all Board of Health Members ...

This mayor was sad to hear last fall that the Health Department, located in the Harrison County Courthouse, was being forced to vacate because of the creation of (the position of) another circuit judge. This mayor has sympathy for the workers and administrators of the Health Department and understands why the vacate notice was given.

I, along with some citizens of Shinnston, former Vice-Mayor David Sturm and Shinnston City Manager Jeff Silka, met to try and help alleviate the situation. We came up with a solution. The Health Department couled relocate in Shinnston. One specific location, the Rife Medical Arts Building, is ready for operation, with little or no remodeling to be required and an abundance of free parking.

Shinnston extended an open invitation to the Health Department. The workers of the Health Department -- some have toured the Rife facility -- spoke out at a recent board meeting to voice their positive views on the Rife Building.

I was recently informed that the Shinnston sites were not even considered. I was also informed that the site selected is the second story of the Clarksburg Beauty Academy. This facility will require major renovations, with extensive renovations to accommodate the handicapped.

Also, the Health Department will need additional time in its present location until the renovations are completed. This will cause a delay in the scheduled remodelilng of the courthouse for the new judge. If the board had selected the Rife Building, very little taxpayer money would have been required for renovations.

The Rife Building is presently handicapped-accessible and has several free parking spaces. The retention of the Health Department in Clarksburg is the only reason I have been informed for the justification. Should we not consider -- as all elected or appointed officials should do -- all alternatives to save taxpayer dollars? Why should money be spent for unnecessary renovations?

Why should people who will use the Health Department pay for parking and wonder how they will get to the second floor of the beauty academy? I understand that the City of Clarksburg supports the Health Department, but the taxpayers of West Virginia and Shinnston support the Health Department, also. Give Shinnston a chance!

Sammy J. DeMarco

Shinnston mayor

City of Shinnston

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