Anmoore’s water dispute
heads to court
Woman responds to city’s suit, says she
was not allowed to set up payment plan
by James Fisher
STAFF WRITER

    A Clarksburg woman who has been sued by the Town of Anmoore for an overdue water bill says she has unsuccessfully tried to set up a payment plan with the town.
    Patricia Anderson of Route 1, Box 493-A is one of 22 people the town sued in March. According to the suit, Anderson owes a past-due water account of $73.88. She is the only person to respond to the lawsuits, so far, according to magistrate court records.
    Anderson said she does not dispute the bill, but says she just wants a chance to make payments. “They gave the mayor’s wife payment arrangements and she has almost a $3,000 bill,” Anderson said. “Why can’t they give me a payment plan?”
Anderson was notified of the lawsuit March 31 and filed an answer the same day, said Harrison County Magistrate Tammy Marple.
    Anderson said she has tried to set up a payment plan, but town officials would not let her, according to the answer she filed. “I first became aware of the bill when I got a certified letter from the town about a month ago. But I never got anything before that in the regular mail,” she said. “I called the town about the bill, and they said I couldn’t make payments. “Then it just jumped from a certified letter to the magistrate.” Anderson moved from Anmoore to Clarksburg in July 1998, she said.
A hearing before Marple is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. May 14.
    The town filed the 22 lawsuits in March for water and sewage accounts more than 90 days past-due totaling $2,272.61.
Town officials, however, say Anderson did not respond to their attempts to collect the bad debt and only asked about a payment plan after she was sued.
    “She was already served when she called here wanting to make payments,” said Anmoore water clerk Kim Hinerman. “It’s out of our hands now that it’s in magistrate court.”
    If Anderson and the town can resolve the debt, there may not need to be a hearing and the suit could be dismissed outright, Marple said. “Somebody told her that we could set up a payment plan, but we don’t do that,” Marple said. “She needs to make payments to the town, not us.”
    Final water bills and a collection letter were sent to Anderson, Hinerman said, but the town received no response.
Anderson also did not respond even after a letter was sent saying if the bill was not paid a suit would be filed in magistrate court, she said.
 



Bridgeport plans for future growth
by Torie Knight
STAFF WRITER

Bridgeport isn’t finished growing.
    Mayor Joe Timms said Tuesday that although no one is knocking on the door saying, “Let me in,” there is still room for the city to grow.
    Timms appointed three Bridgeport Building Commission members to also serve on the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Economic and Industrial Development. The commission is part of the city’s charter and needed for continued growth, Timms said.  Residents Al Hefner, Okey Bowers and Bridget Furbee serve on the committees.
    According to the charter, the group’s purpose is to examine economic development, the use of public buildings and issues in planning, zoning, housing and annexation. “It’s anything that would relate to the development of the community,” Timms said.
    At the next meeting of the commission, members will look at incentive plans for new and old businesses, work on a retention program to strengthen existing businesses and develop an annexation plan. “We have to ask where we should be going as a city,” Timms said. The group will work with growth and development in both the industrial and residential sections.
Also Monday, Bridgeport City Council:
- approved a resolution to obtain city credit cards from WesBanco.
- appointed election workers for the June 8 election.
- approved on first reading an ordinance repealing a section of the city code concerning employment provisions. The ordinance conflicted with the city employee’s policy manual.
- approved a budget realignment for the fiscal year 1998-99.
- scheduled to establish levy rates at 7:30 a.m. April 20 at Bridgeport City Hall.



Local service recruiters want to make sure troops know we care
by Torie Knight
STAFF WRITER

    Brad Shoulders won’t forget the 128 days he spent overseas in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf conflict.
He said the memories of war don’t go away quickly.
    Shoulders remembers watching CNN on television and seeing those back home wearing and displaying yellow ribbons.
He also recalls the care packages people sent to him while serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force.
    As the country’s troops once again enter dangerous territory, with the U.S. military having  joined the United Nations’ effort to bomb Yugoslavia, Shoulders sits at his recruiting office in  the Meadowbrook Mall. He knows that thousands of troops are in the midst of an international conflict and are hoping for signs of approval from back home.
    That’s why Shoulders, a U.S. Air Force technical sergeant, and other recruiters from all branches of the military joined forces with the Clarksburg Post Office and the Meadowbrook Mall to open a “troop box.”
    The yellow box, formerly a large blue mail box, is for donations to make care packages like the one Shoulders received. They are asking for hot chocolate mix, lip balm, video games, small games, cold beverage mixes, assorted hard candies, microwave popcorn, cider mix and playing cards.
    Shoulders said the soldiers aren’t going without, but any extra touch of home is nice. “It makes you feel better,” he said. It’s a sign of support for the soldiers, said Wanda Kile, marketing assistant for the Meadowbrook Mall.
    The box is displayed near the military recruiters’ offices at the mall. No glass items or books will be accepted. Books are too heavy, and the military censors what troops can read.
    Already, one box is ready to go. Local residents have donated everything from microwave popcorn to a small Nerf basketball with a hoop.
    “We realize while the crisis in Kosovo is many miles away, we should be prepared to do our part,” Kile said. “We want the troops overseas to know that people back home are supporting them.”



State lawmakers look to fund projects
by Troy Graham
STAFF WRITER

    Although money has been tight for state government this year, it hasn’t stopped the usual flood of budget digest requests from local delegates and senators hoping to get money for Harrison County.
    Digest funds, generally considered as money set aside to fund pork barrel projects, will be doled out during interim
meetings next month.
    Officials in both the House and Senate finance committees said there were so many requests that they haven’t been able to catalog them all yet.
    Delegate Barbara Warner, D-Harrison, estimates she has put in $3 million worth of budget digest requests, with more to come.
    There is only $2 million that will be handed out by the House and the Senate, she said. “You know darn well you’re not going to get all of that,” she said.  “If I get $200,000 that will be closer to my share.”
    Warner, who sits on the conference committee that decides who gets what money, has asked for funds for dozens of community centers and schools in the county, as well as money for  the dredging of Simpson Creek.
    Sen. Joe Minard, D-Harrison, has asked for money for some of his favorite causes, such as senior citizens centers and a purple heart memorial.
    In addition to lawmaker requests, cities and counties have also asked for a share of the pie. Harrison County officials have asked for $750,000 for a proposed hotel and conference center and $75,000 to help a beleaguered Harrison County Emergency Squad.
    The Harrison County Development Authority has also asked for $90,000 to help fix a drainage problem at its industrial park, and the City of Clarksburg wants $100,000 for heating and air conditioning at the Waldomore Library, said Delegate Larry Linch, D-Harrison. “Of course, everyone requests everything,” said Sen. Bill Sharpe, D-Lewis.
    Nonetheless, Sharpe and other House and Senate leaders have insisted that the budget requests are down this year because lawmakers recognize how tight the funding is.
    But Linch doesn’t believe that only $2 million will be given out. More than $30 million went out in budget digest funds last year, he said. “Maybe they’ll just do a better job of hiding this year,” Linch said.



As trash piles up, county residents raise stink
by Paul Leakan
STAFF WRITER

    Garbage cans choked with trash have sat festering for weeks in some areas around Clarksburg, and a small yellow sticker  may be the culprit.
    Several area residents have complained that Enterprise Sanitation in East View has been neglecting to pick up refuse lately. Bertha Webb, who lives off U.S. Route 50 and Jarvisville Road, said that Enterprise Sanitation hasn’t picked up her trash for weeks. “Something has happened to this service that is just deplorable,” Webb said.
    The problem may be due to some confusion with a small yellow sticker that Enterprise gives to its customers to determine who has paid for garbage collection service.
    The sticker, roughly the size of a silver dollar,  should be placed on an area where garbage collectors can see it, such as a fence post or trash bin.
    An employee at Enterprise who wanted to remain anonymous said that the company has received complaints about garbage not being picked up. The employee said that the company is still working on its sticker system.
    The manager of Enterprise Sanitation was unable to be reached for comment about the situation Tuesday.
Webb believes that regardless of whether the stickers are used, people who pay for garbage removal service have a right to have their trash picked up on time.
    Webb chose not to wait any longer for Enterprise and hired a man to haul off her trash to the landfill.
She recently had to collect her strewn garbage after it sat so long that some animals clawed their way into it and ripped it open. She said she’s not the only one. “You can see diapers strung all over.”
    Kim Floyd, who lives on Davisson Run Road, has also had problems with the trash service. “To drive up the road and see huge mountains of trash everywhere is really disgusting. With the hot, sunny weather it doesn’t smell real great.” Floyd’s trash had piled up above her head before it was picked up on Tuesday afternoon.
    Vincent Patton, whose trash has been picked up on Holly Street, finds the sticker system strange. “It seems a little weird that you have to put a sticker out there just to have your garbage picked up. They should have it on record who pays for it and who doesn’t.”
    Either way, Webb simply wants a solution. “I know that there are probably people who are behind in their trash bill. But to leave trash sitting around for weeks is not the answer.”
 



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