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Delegate Proposes Plan to Bring More Jobs to Mineral County

West Virginia officials say unemployment is still an issue, especially in Mineral County. One delegate is now proposing a plan to the state to bring in more jobs.

MINERAL COUNTY, W.Va. -West Virginia officials say unemployment is still an issue, especially in Mineral County. One delegate is now proposing a plan to the state to bring in more jobs.

Bringing economic growth to the district he represents; that is the focus for Delegate Gary Howell in Mineral County. He says he's working with the West Virginia Department of Highways on constructing a commercial park in Carpendale, as well as a bridge from Allegany County, Maryland.

Howell says this all to bring new jobs for the people in his area as well as Maryland. He says Maryland officials are interested, now he just needs additional funding and approval from the legislature.

"There is a great need for jobs here in Mineral County," said Del. Howell (R) - District 56. "The nice thing about this project is when it's located on the border of Maryland, this just does not help Mineral County, it also helps Allegany County Maryland across the river. But these jobs will bring taxes without raising taxes."

Howell is on the House Committee on Government Organization, overseeing state purchases. He wants a purchasing law proposed; holding the government and state exempt agencies more accountable. He says if laws are violated criminal penalties should be imposed.

"These things cost I think $25,000 to $28,000 each. They put a bunch of them in the storage," said Howell. "They said we will buy them ahead so we will have them for the future. We don't buy technology ahead it goes bad. The exact same router, the state paid $25,000 are now on eBay brand new for $1,500." 

Howell says county health departments in the mountain state are allowed to implement health related ordinances without approval from the county. He feels no county department should have unilateral rule, so he wants county commission to vote on county health department laws.

"When you do stuff without any elected official oversight, that is basically totalitarianism, you know it's a dictatorship, we don't live in a dictatorship," said Howell. "We live in a representative democracy and I'm going to fight for freedom every time." 

Howell also wants to re-propose the Intrastate Coal and Use act, which will allows coal companies to apply for mining permits with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, instead of the EPA.

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