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Regional jail dispute needs resolved

We hope all the fighting over the Tygart Valley Regional Jail is resolved soon. It's getting pretty tiresome.

Amid the battle among officials from Barbour, Randolph and Tucker counties over where the new jail should be located, a new fight recently erupted over who will provide sewage service once it is built.

Among those joining in the latest fight are Barbour County Commissioner Eddie Canterbury, who wants to pipe waste from the jail to the town of Junior, and Elkins Mayor Jimmy Hammond, who wants the jail to use the Elkins treatment plant. Both made their arguments earlier this month before the Randolph County County Commission.

Now, whether the commission even has the authority to decide such an issue is still a matter of debate. Regional Jail Authority Executive Director Steve Canterbury and Amy Swann, director of the wastewater division of the state Public Service Commission, say it doesn't. The county commission says it does, and that it has dealt with this type of thing before.

While it may be uncertain who has the authority in making the decision, what is certain is the reason for wanting the contract. Typically, when such a facility is built, the community that gets the sewage line extension also gets additional money for more construction.

According to Canterbury, the Regional Jail Authority sets aside a certain amount of construction money, usually about $400,000, for a sewage package plant. And often, that money becomes seed money for a community to obtain other construction.

So while we may understand the reasons for the arguing, we'll still be glad when it's settled and the regional jail project begins moving forward.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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