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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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September 18, 2013     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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September 18, 2013
 

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PAGE A4 [ bpirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE [ Wednesday, September 18, 2013 I NEWS By BRYAN CLARK stormwater management plans and stud- "We're trying to keep this hassle-free to ies for most kinds of major development, the applicants and low cost to the taxpay- bryan@spiritofjeffersomcom like a new housing subdivision or a new ers," he says. "There is no separate storm- commercial building. The proposed ordi- water permit fee. There is no ongoing pc- CHARLES TOWN - New commer- nance leaves this system essentially un- riodic post-construction inspections by cial and residential developments would changed, but adds new requirements, us.'Once the project is done, it is up to the be required to control the runoff of nitro- "They already have to submit a storm- commercial project or the HOA to main- gen, phosphorous and sediment under a water management plan and report, but tain those stormwater facilities." stormwater management ordinance that it is only for quantity control," Goodwin Rhonda Lehman, president of the Blue is the subject of a Jefferson County Corn- says. "They will be adding new quality Ridge Watershed Coalition, said that mission public hearing this week. control measures in their designs." many of the measures contained in the The ordinance, which is meant toThe ordinance asks developers to im- ordinance will help the county meet its respond to "pollution diets" imposed plement measures like rain gardens, grass Chesapeake Bay Initiative pollution diet. by the Chesapeake Bay Initiative, has swales and infdtration basins to help re- "It is a great step for the county to take," been in development for two years and duce the nitrogen, phosphorous and sedi- Lehman said. "In light of the Chesapeake led by the county's engineering depart- ment content of runoff. Bay Initiative implementation, it is very ment. It attempts, using "best man- "You're giving it a chance to get ab- important." agement practices" established by the sorbed into the site, stay on site and inffl- The Watershed Coalition has construct- state, to begin controlling not only the trate into the ground rather than nmning ed a major demonstration project to limit quantity but the quality of.runoff from off," Goodwin explains. "Plants uptake runoff from a large building in the Blue new developments, the pollutants from the water." Ridge Mountains using measures simi- "We already have stormwater regula- The measure is meant to fend off the lar to those required under the new ordi- tions but they were all in the subdivision possibility that the Department of En- nance. ordinance," said Chief Engineer Roger vironmental Protection may eventually "That is what we did on our project Goodwin. "What you've had so far was push for Jefferson County to be classi- on the Mountain Community Center on quantity control. So you were control- fled as an MS4 community, a designa- Mission Road," Lehman said. "A large ling the peak-flow runoff from the site so tion that comes with much more rigor- amount of water came off' the roof of that neighboring properties wouldn't get ous requirements for municipal sewer that building, so we implemented the flooded." and water treatment systems, Goodwin rain barrel system and put in a rain gar- The new quality control requirements said. den, and we completely eliminated that are aimed at getting 90 percent of the first The MS4 is a special designation giv- hydroplaning issue that was always inch of rain in a storm to be retained on en to many urban stormwater systems there at the intersection of (W.Va.) 9 the property, that causes those systems to be more and Mission Road." Goodwin said the vast majority of pol- tightly regulated by the EPA's Nation- Lehman said the county could benefit lutants ate swept out in the first inch of al Pollution Discharge Elimination Sys- from more support for educational mea- rain, making it critical to prevent early tem and often requires water treatment sures aimed at teaching homeowners how runoff, plant upgrades, to implement inexpensive runoff reduc- "When we had to implement quality "It is voluntary for Jefferson County tion measures. control, or pollution reduction, under the to do this," he said. "We are not an MS4 "I hope that there will be some focus Chesapeake Bay Initiative, we had to put community like Martinsburg or Berke- on teaching best management practices to in the techniques that were required to ley County. My understanding is that, if the public, because all of us can do little meet it." EPA needs to, they were going to pass ad- things on our properties to affect the qual- If the ordinance is enacted, it will be the ditional rules and regulations that would ity of the runoff or to keep the runoff on first time that Jefferson County has had a have given the state DEP power to clas- our properties," she said. separate, defined stormwater ordinance, sify us as an MS4. Then we would have The Watershed Coalition has recently There are already stormwater regula- to do all the things that requires, which is begun a systematic water quality moni- tions on the books, but they are dispersed pretty stringent, toting program, which is meant to un- throughout the county's subdivision ordi- "By implementing voluntary quality cover the major contributors to nitrogen, nance, controls, we get out of some of the oth- phosphorous and sediment runoff. "We decided to pull out the regulations er things, which is a lot of record keeping Lehman said it is too early for her into a separate ordinance," Goodwin says. and public outreach - stuff that costs you to draw conclusions based on the four "If somewhere down the road we have to a lot of money administratively."months of data they have collected, but make changes to it, it makes it easier to Goodwin said the ordinance will not re- noted that the data is available for the amend it as a standalone ordinance." quire any new fees or new spending in the public to review at blueridgewatershed. New developers already have to submit engineering department, org. Food fruits and vegetables grown by eight other farms in the Panhandle and near- FROM PAGE A1 by Smithsburg, Md and Winchester, Va. about 2,000 students each day. "That's going to be a challenge for "It's the type of system we would West Virginia - finding enough mid- like to see imitated throughout West size and big farms to handle this kind Virginia," Helmick said. of commercial need," he said. The state education department has He said he's heating positive feed- been Working to cultivate ties between back from cafeteria managers. "We've school districts and farmers, with the sold more peaches this year than ever goal of getting locally grown foods on before and we're told students real- school lunch trays, said Richard Goff ly loved them," he said. "Nectarines -';*h the department's Office of Child have been another big hit, and stu- : ,arition. dents enjoy all the varieties of apples The department has backed the ef- that we can supply now - not just Red fort with about $1 million in the past and Golden Delicious apples but Fuji, three years, he said. Pink Lady, Ginger Gold, lots of differ- For Jefferson County, where pub- ent kinds." lic school enrollment stands at 9,068, Buddy Davidson, a spokesman for finding local farms able to provide the state agriculture department, said food for the whole school system can transportation could be a factor in sup- be challenging,Leonard said."We're a plying West Virginia-produced food more urban district," she said. into schools where there's tittle agri- In some cases, high schools in the cultural production, Panhandle have as many students as But the distances within the state some entire counties elsewhere in would be much shorter than for most West Virginia. Larger school systems foods served in the state's schools such as hers and neighboring Berkeley now, Davidson said. County's need to be able to work with "How far is the food that they're al- vendors capable of supplying produce ready getting being transported?" lie for the whole school system, she said. said. "ff they're getting it within West Derek Kilmer of Kilmer's FarmVirginia, it's bound to be closer " Market has made it easier for Pan- Davidson said more than half of the handle schools to serve more locally school systems in the state are buying gro ,n goods, Leonard said. local food already thanks to work by "Agriculmre is his world," she said. the state school system. "Now we're "He came to us and offered to make it trying to get our farmers more aware happen. He set up delivery. With apples, of the program," he said. he had them graded for us and provides Feedback on the expansion of the us with different varieties. He looks for farm-to-school approach so far has local farmers who supply vegetables for been "extraordinary," Davidson said. salads. "The lunch Friday in Preston County "It's worked out very well." got a lot of attention and the students As Kilmer connects with more sup- seemed to really enjoy it. I had the pliers in the region, he's able to ensure lunch, too - it was delicious." more fruits and vegetables for Panhan- There are so many pluses to the idea, die schools, Leonard said. Davidson said. "You're creating more Derek Kilmer, who owns Kilmer's income for farmers, money that stays Farm Market in Inwood, says Jefferson in West Virginia and gets recirculated County Schools was the first system to in West Virginia," he said. "Students partner with him and now he also pro- get fresh, local food that's healthier vides produce to Berkeley, Pendleton, and tastes better, and the school sys- Hardy, Hampshire and Grant county terns get to deal with local farmers so schools, they know where the food is coming "As long as it's in season, compet- from. itively priced and packaged the way "It's a winner all the way around." they're used to, they're happy to buy - The Associated Press contributed from us," said Kilmer, who relies on to this report Nationwide has been serving West Virginia for over 75 years! Auto Home Life Business Charles Town 725-3434 Kearneysville 725-5567 Inwood 229-6722 INSURANCE AGENCY TM by ComJnunity ful termination lawsuit against the Smith commission, which was settled out FROM PAGE A1 of court for $225900. The commission did not admit any chief administrator with then-Com- wrongdoing in the settlement. missioners Jim Surkamp and Francis Smith agreed, as part of the settle- Morgan and current-Commissioner ment, not to seek future employment Lyn Widmer voting in favor of her from the County Commission. termination. She later fded a wrong- The Commissionvoted 4-1 at their DINNER Stay for "You Pick It" BONANZA. 5:30-7:30 PM. Tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10 and 7 for $20. Win a drawing every 15 minutes/ Win prizes/ MIDDLEWAY Win money/Tip jars~ VOLUNTEER FIRE CO. 304-725-0006 Leetown Rd, 1/2 mile south of Middleway across from Hinton Rd. Harpers Ferry Friendship Co #1 last meeting to enter into negotia- to spend $10,000 for a contract we dons with Smith for a 30-day con- don't need with monies we don't tract not to exceed $10,000, with a have to know the problems with broad mandate to analyze and/or re- the budget," she said. "I don't think construct the current budget as well we need to pay a consultant $300 a as past budgets. The contract would day to tell us we've got problems also authorize her to submit a report in terms of revenues that are lower concerning the preparation and pre- than we expected due largely to the sentation of county budgets and to casino returns, and we've got expen- work with state and county officials ditures that exceed our income. We to gather data on revenue and spend- need to solve that as a county com- ing. mission?' Commissioner Patsy Noland,Widmyer told the other com- who sponsored the resolution, said missioners she was also concerned she was confident in Smith's abili- about talking about Smith's potential ty to help the county cure its budget hiring in an executive session of the woes. commission. "Leslie is an expert in this field" ' 'his contract for a financial con- she said. "It is essential that we have sultant has been on the" county's someone in there to take a look at agenda four times, and always in ex- our budget. We are getting ready to ecutive session," Widmyer said"My consider funding outside agencies concern is that this is a contract with and contingency agencies, and I just a vendor for $10,000. I think that as- want to be sure that the funds are go- pect should have been discussed in ing to be there to do that. public session." "I feel that we need someone with Widmyer said she has written to Leslie's knowledge - her institution- the Ethics Commission of West Vir- al knowledge, her expertise and un- ginia seeking a ruling on whether it derstanding of county budgets - to was appropriate to discuss a con- be able to have her look at it and to sultant contract in executive session make recommendations to the com- under the Open Meetings Act's per- mission and to help us along in that sound exemption. She said she was process?' worried that the contracting pro- Commissioners Dale Manuel and cess might be complete before the .= Jane Tabb expressed similar send- Ethics Commission could issue an ments during the meeting, opinion. 4 s 3 a "I am familiar with Ms. Smith's "It is an issue, to me, when we 3 s s ~ ~0 ~ work on budgets in the years that she can go into executive session un' ~ ~ 5 :z ~ 2 ---~7 ~and I worked together, and I think der a personnel exemption when we a- - q ! she was exemplary," Manuel said."I ate actually talking about a contract 8 4 0 72 don t think anyone has more back- for services" Widmyer said. "Why : (I I I gr,o,u d or expertise in the field." ' can t those services be discussed in She taught me a lot about coun- public?" 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 a- --i--- - ty budgets. I can nowhere near touch This week's county commission ! - - - her knowledge," Tabb agreed. "At agenda notes the possibility of an- ::lll i l lItl 2 2 1 1 3 this moment in time, that is what we other executive session in relation to iil:I/i1~tI~:lE'1~ 1 " 2 1 ~ need." the Smith contract this week. ' ' Widmyer said she was opposed to During the meeting, Tabb said the " ~iii;; opening the negotiation and suggest- sessions were used to discuss sensi- 4- 8 6 6 5 2 * 0 ed the proposed contract was a waste five contract and legal matters. 13 26 25 35 13 6 1 72 of taxpayers' dollars. "I have felt comfortable in our use "My position is that we don't need of [executive session,]" Tabh said. m o,=oo,0 i - Bob & Janle s --I " Stw Small Engine Lavaz Mover Repair POOl Supplies 130 South George Street Fu~ Eroe Seappet Oea~er Charles Town, WV (304) 535-6855 Ftow~9 ~ Rd. Charles Town. WV 1471 W, WaShitl~,~ St. Harpers Feny, WV 13041 725"708t 304-725-2908 Jellol'son. 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