Brooke tackles annexation issue
WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission will accept comment on a proposed annexation by Windsor Heights at a May 28 public hearing.
Commissioners scheduled the hearing for 10 a.m., before their regular meeting that week, at the county courthouse. The date has been chosen to allow the commission to advertise the proposed annexation at least 15 days in advance, as required by state code.
The issue was discussed at Tuesday’s commissioners’ meeting.
Windsor Heights officials have asked the commission to approve the village’s annexation of Airport Road east to Girtys Point Road and west to state Route 2 and Route 2 south to Brooke County’s southern border.
Village Solicitor Quan Lee said the annexation also would include the bottom of Windy Hill Road, which leads to the hilltop where the community is located.
Lee has said the annexation won’t include any property along the roads.
But the statement hasn’t reassured about 30 citizens, most of them residents of the Short Creek area, who have filed a petition against the annexation and are concerned it’s the village’s first move to ultimately annex their property to gain additional revenue.
Though the proposed annexation doesn’t include residences or businesses, state code calls for the commission to consider any objections from qualified voters whose property abuts the roads.
After Village Police Chief Ulrich Utt confirmed village police would patrol the area, village officials were criticized by some for attempting to establish a speed trap to generate additional revenue through fines.
Utt, who was approached for comment, said misinformation has been circulated about the annexation and the village’s intention is to extend emergency services to the additional roadways.
He said there have been many complaints from Windsor Heights residents about vehicles speeding on Airport Road, garbage trucks spilling trash in that area and suspicious activity at night near the post office at the foot of the hill.
Utt said extending the police department’s service area would make it more eligible for state grants aimed at targeting drunk drivers and other violations.