Government, Latest News, Monongalia County, News

Granville plan gets public hearing

After a year of back and forth with the Monongalia County Commission — and vocal opposition from the town of Star City — the town of Granville could know the fate of its annexation efforts as soon as next week.

During a public hearing held during Wednesday’s regular county commission meeting, Granville officials, including Mayor Patricia Lewis, Fire Chief Butch Renner and Police Chief Craig Corkrean, once again made the case for annexation.

Unlike a 2017 expansion effort that was denied by the commission, this annexation by minor boundary adjustment includes only West Virginia Division of Highways rights-of-way and no residential or business properties.

The plan, which first came to the commission in March 2019, includes County Route 19 from the Star City Bridge to 507 Scotts Run Road (Granville Fire Department Station 2), Lady Bug Lane, Scotts Run Road from the municipal line to Lady Bug Lane and Chaplin Road from Westover’s municipal boundary to the intersection of 19.

Lewis said the DOH submitted a letter stating it does not oppose annexation of the roads in question.

The annexation would also connect the town to 507 Scotts Run Road, which is property of the Granville Fire Department. Renner said the town wants to invest in that property to make it a training facility available for use by first responders across the county.

As she has previously, Lewis explained that the annexation’s primary goal is to allow the town’s personnel to access the University Town Centre without leaving Granville’s boundaries.

“The proposed annexation is not a method to generate taxes or any other revenue for the town of Granville,” Lewis said.

Among those speaking out in opposition to the annexation plan was Star City Mayor Herman Reid.

Reid cited an ongoing boundary dispute between Granville and Star City, claiming Granville overstepped at some point in the past when it came below the Star City Bridge and placed its corporate boundary sign along Main Street (Route 100).

“My council approved at our last meeting to hire a surveyor. That’s part of the area we want surveyed, to see exactly where our Star City limits are,” Reid said, later adding, “I’m just saying, if we had University Town Centre, we’d be satisfied, and apparently Granville is not.”

None of these issues are new. Star City presented a letter stating similar information when Granville last presented this plan, in December.

Among the issues the commission will consider is how legislation currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Jim Justice — SB 209 — could impact this effort.

The bill would substantially alter the minor boundary adjustment process by requiring the consent of those impacted by annexation.

While there are no properties being brought in through this annexation plan, it would encircle some properties.

“This is legislation pending the governor’s signature. So what does that mean for this annexation? Does it invalidate it? We will seek legal counsel on this,” Commission President Ed Hawkins said.

TWEET @DominionPostWV