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Town hall draws huge crowd with concerns over solar compounds

By Toni Milbourne, The Journal

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A large crowd packed the room at Corner Connection in Charles Town on Friday evening as local office-holders and candidates gathered for a public discussion on the increasing number of solar compounds both approved for and heading into Jefferson County. Emceed by Mark Everhart, the panel for the evening included State Sen. Patricia Rucker, candidate for Senate Tom Willis, Delegate hopefuls Chris Anders, Barbara Fuller and Daphne Andrews as well as Jefferson County Commission candidates Mike Mood and Jack Hefestay. Rounding out the group were current Commissioners Tricia Jackson and Jennifer Krouse.

Many in the room identified themselves as property owners adjacent to current or proposed solar locations.

The format of the evening’s gathering consisted of brief statements from each panelist with the majority of time given to audience members to voice concerns and raise questions. Rucker’s opening statement simply stated that “this is such a mess,” while Willis touted that the indication that these solar compounds are a free market issue is untrue because of the federal subsidies they receive. He also voiced concerns over potential toxic metals getting into the aquifers and into the atmosphere. Anders concurred, saying as a strict Constitutionalist, he sees nowhere in the Constitution that the federal government can take tax dollars from citizens and give them to corporations.

“That’s not free market, that’s socialism,” Anders said.

Concern for the preservation of farmland was an idea that arose.

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