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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
May 2, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 2, 2018

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and FA]~ ~I')VOCATE " ~N ~J W S Wednesday, May 2, 20 lS e SHEPHERDSTOWN -- at Berkeley Medical Center Paul T. McDermott, presi- WANT TOWATCH? in Martinsburg, will deliver dent and chief executive of- Shepherd University the commencement address- ricer of the Washington Real will livestream the es during Shepherd Univer- Estate Investment Trust ingraduation ceremonies . sity's 145th Commencement Washington, D.C and Dr. at on Saturday. Paul Welch, a physician/ commencement McDermott, who will de- nephrologist caring for pa- liver the undergraduate ad- tients in Berkeley and Jeffer- dress at 1:50 p.m. in the son counties and president of the medical staff Butcher Center, will be awarded a Doctor LEFT: Paul T. McDermott, president and chief of Business honorary degree during the cer- executive officer of the Washington Real Es- emony. The Friends of Popodicon, a volun- tate Investment Trust in Washington, D.C is teer group working to bring Popodicon and its one of the commencement speakers slated for gardens back to their original grandeur, will Saturday's ceremony at Shepherd Universi- be awarded the President's Award. ty. Also speaking (but not pictured) is Dr. Paul Welch, the physician who serves as the presi- Welch, who will deliver the commencement dent of the medical staff at Berkeley Medical address to master's and doctoral degree can- Center in Martinsburg. didates at 11 a.m. in the Frank Center, will re- ceive a Doctor of Science honorary degree- , during the ceremony. This marks the first year :, that Shepherd will award doctoral degrees to the inaugural class of the Doctor of Nursing -, Practice. Both ceremonies are by ticket only. A lives-, tream of the ceremonies will be available at .' :; on the day of. the ceremonies. "' A Shepherd University alumnus, McDer- mott pioneered a comprehensive transfer-. mation of Washington Real Estate Invest- . ment Trust, including relocating its corporate headquarters, its rebranding and an increased share value, since taking over as president and , chief executive officer in 2013. He previously served in a variety of positions with compa- nies in the Washington D.C area. , t , Share "We all know that in economics, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Someone's going Onoszko said during the most re- cent con'n'nission meeting, to pay for it; it's just how are they going to pay A big sticking point in the new fee schedule is that some entities that for it, Are the businesses going to increase were paying nothing would now be hit with fees in the thousands of dol- prices down to consumers to make up the lars. The biggest number came with difference of revenue? Possibly, if that's a the casino, which would pay an es- timated $51,000 per year for ambu- business decision they want to make." lance fees. Onoszko said he thinks that with I JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOSH COMPTON I the size of the casino's operation, $51,000 isn't that much money to such a huge business, sending a message to commercial "They don't charge businesses, "Given the millions in profits that businesses that want to locate here but they essentially overload their the casino takes in, $50,000 isn't that maybe business is not as im- residents with the fire fee and a am- enough to round up or down a num- portant here as if you were to go to bulance fee to a few hundred dol- ber," Onoszko said. "$50,000 to me, Berkeley County," she said. lars," Compton said. is a heck of a lot of money; $50,000 Onoszko said that in his mind, it Berkeley County's ambulance fee to the casino is basically barely vie- all boils down to fairness, is $65 and it's fire fee is $35. Late ible in terms of accounting.""Having Walmart and the casino charges, however, are aggressive After a meeting held two weeks pay the same $85 per annum as the for both fees and if paid late, can run ago to garner public comment on shops on Washington Street is a bit much higher -- into the hundreds of the new fees, the commission will out of kilter," he said. dollars. meet once again Thursday and may Compton said that the money has Compton said that reducing the vote to enact the new fees, which to come from somewhere, residential fee from $40 to $35 has would start on July 1. "We all know that in econom- done little to hurt the ambulance At the last meeting, Commission- ice, there's no such thing as a free budget. er Patsy Noland expressed doubts lunch," Compton said. "Someone's "I know there's some rhetoric about the new measure and ques- going to pay for it; it's just how going around that we're increas- tioned whether the new commercial are they going to pay for it. Are the ing commercial ambulance fees to fees would hurt Jefferson County res- businesses going to increase prices make up the differential in the $5 idents when those businesses tacked down to consumers to make up the reduction," Compton said. those new costs on to the prices of difference of revenue? Possibly, if Compton noted that residents al- their products and services, that's a business decision they want ready pay 88 percent of the ambu- Noland questioned the overallto make." lance fees and that he wants to see message being sent to area busi- Compton pointed to neighboring something more eqt itable in allow- nesses by the new fees. Berkeley County as an example he ing everyone to shoulder the burden. "I'm concerned that we may bedidn't want to follow. "We're not just throwing darts in the sky here when we're talking about these commercial fees or try- ing to make up revenue from the $5 reduction," Compton said. Both Onoszko and Compton said they supported requiring schools to pay for ambulance service. Onoszko said that at times, the school system is a heavy user. "Certainly, during the fall athlet- ic season with football and the like, there is an increase to all in ambu- lance services," Onoszko said. "The school system has its own budget and to charge them for what every- one else is already paying for is only proper and just." Compton said that ambulance fees wouldn't be the only public service entity that the school system has to pay. "I suggest looking at what they pay in sewer fees to the Public Ser- vice District," Compton said. t'I you they're going to be far morq concerned about those amou ats of I WANT TO GO? What: Discussion/action on proposed ambulance fees Where: County Commission Meeting-, Room located at the Charles " Town Library at 200 E. Washington St. in Charles Town When: Thursday. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. but as an item, the discussion on the proposed fees is scheduled to be addressed toward the end of the morning session, around 11:30 a.m. money versus what they would be charged here for commercial ambu- lance fees." Under the new fee structure, Shepherd University, which has an enrollment of 3,436 students, would have to pay $11,000 each year. "Take all their students," Comp- ton said. "At $11,000, the increase in tuition would be quite minimal, I'm sure -- and they're a large user of services." Commissioner Jane Tabb said she wanted to future rates to be deter- mined by computer-aided dispatch statistics. 'Td like to use the CAD data that's been updated every year or every two years so the fees can be adjusted not only on the commer- cial side but also on the residential side," Tabb said. "I don't feel it is fair since we have this data now to put the burden more on one or the other." 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