The topic of annexing the Wilson Run area just outside of Pine Grove was the topic of a healthy debate at Monday night's Pine Grove town council meeting.
The concerned resident of the affected area that first proposed the matter at last month's meeting approached the council this month to plead his case of why city limits should be extended to the Wilson Run area. Pine Grove's lawyer, Gary Rymer, was on hand to help sort out the legalities of the matter and explain each of the three processes that could lead to annexation, which in this case would affect, at the most, a handful of residents.
The three processes, in simpler terms, include the following: five percent or more of the landowners of the Wilson Run area could file a petition in writing with Pine Grove, asking that a vote be taken. The petition would have to include a survey of the land and has to include a surety bond in the amount it would cost to hold the election.
Secondly, an annexation could occur if a majority of all freeholders and qualified voters file a petition to be annexed; the third option involves Pine Grove Town Council requesting that the Wetzel County Commission make a minor boundary adjustment.
After several moments of confusion and tension over the matter, the resident expressed his frustration: "It's just a plain and simple question. That's why I'm here . . . you have to bring the lawyer and law books out."
Mayor Brian Price responded, "I would not have been able to answer the question . . . I still don't know what we have to do legally."
Council members Eva Adams and Dave Williams also expressed similar confusion, Williams stating that he did not even know where the city limits were at and Adams questioning the resident's motives for wanting to be in the city limits. "Really . . . really, what is the reason that you really want in the town limits?" Adams questioned.
"Seriously, there's no secret hideaway here," the resident responded. "I want to become a council member, a mayor. I want to get involved in doing all that stuff out there in the park. I don't know what kind of answer you are wanting, but that's what you are getting."
"This is going to take time, and you know you can't run this year," Recorder Kimberly Bates added.
Attorney Rymer then recommended that the resident write a letter to the council, expressing his intentions and telling them which method he is going to take toward annexation. When asked if he knew which route he was going to take, the resident replied that he needed to study more on the processes.
In another matter, Julie Liggett and Tina Rush appeared before council to express their intentions of holding the first annual Shortline Ramp Fest on April 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Byrd Center. The women stated that they want the event to be a family event and community event.
"We have big plans to build it as the year goes," Rush stated. "We are figuring for about three hours on the 20th. We want to have a flag raising and we have contacted different groups and organizations. We would like to have a blessing. We want to have maybe a blessing of the bikes and such. The Patriot Guard has indicated they'd be interested in this."
Rush added, "We want to have a ramp cook-off and have individuals and business and organizations such as the Lion's Club and the baseball team participating. We are going to have horseshoes and corn hole and a foul shooting contest." The women described the event as an "apple pie, Americana kind of thing . . . kind of like how it was when we were growing up."
Liggett mentioned that herself and Rush had also talked to Scott Irvin about bringing a stock car down. "How many kids can afford to go to the races?" she added. "We want to do stuff that brings the community back together, you know."Rush added that there is no booth fee for those whose booth belongs to a civic organization, charity, or scholarship. "You keep the proceeds," she said.
The town council decided to allow Liggett and Rush to use the Byrd Center, for no charge, providing that they clean up the area after the event.