WELLSBURG - The Brooke County commissioner who suggested closing the county courthouse on Saturdays said he will monitor traffic there on those days for a while before revisiting the idea.
Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said he plans to be at the courthouse on Saturdays for a while to measure the number of visitors. He said he was there Saturday and observed about 35 visitors.
The commission has received varying reports about that number from courthouse staff. He and others have acknowledged the number of visitors often varies according to the time of year, peaking when property tax is due though it's now possible for that to be paid online.
Andreozzi asked the public to comment on whether the commission should eliminate the three hours on Saturday morning in which the courthouse is open and replace them with early evening hours on Thursdays.
He said the move isn't financially motivated because a small number of staff man the courthouse on Saturday mornings and take a few hours off on a weekday when it's their turn to work then.
Following his request, attorney Marc Chernenko encouraged members of the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce to oppose the proposal.
Chernenko said the courthouse's Saturday hours are convenient for those who commute to workplaces in the Pittsburgh area on weekdays or live out of the area but have matters of estate or other business to conduct there.
Some courthouse employees have noted the Brooke courthouse is one of only three county courthouses in West Virginia that are open on Saturdays and if they need to contact a state department or other agency to assist visitors, they can't because those offices are closed.
Andreozzi said the commission might consider a compromise, such as opening the courthouse on a specific Saturday of each month only.
In other business:
The commission heard from Windsor Heights Mayor Bill Liposchak and other village officials, who have asked it 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.
Liposchak said the village already maintains much of the roadways. It wasn't clear if the village's part-time police department would patrol them.
He said the annexation wouldn't affect existing or future businesses because it doesn't include property along the roads and the village doesn't have a business tax.
A former request, with mapped boundaries, wasn't submitted. Windsor Heights officials are expected to discuss the request further next week.
Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson advised the commission former Follansbee Police Officer Tim Robertson has joined his department as a deputy.
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