Mount Hope to annex portion of Appalachian Heights

MOUNT HOPE, WV (WOAY) – The Raleigh County Commission has voted to approve Mount Hope’s requested annexation of land in Northern Raleigh County.

The portion annexed by the city is on the western side of US 19 in the area of Appalachian Heights Road.

It’s a piece of land that is ripe for industrial development. The process of developing it, however, has been contentious.

Several parcels of land in this area were successfully annexed.

Earlier this year, the Beckley Water Company filed a dispute with the Public Service Commission over a project undertaken by Mount Hope to sell water to the Raleigh County Public Service District, which would, in turn, provide water to a potential development in the area known as Appalachian Heights.

That dispute ended with the PSC recommending a decision that found that the Beckley Water Company should be the utility provider for that location.

Now that the property is within the boundaries of Mount Hope, however, the city is the utility provider.

Commission President Greg Duckworth said he did not take a stance on the utility dispute. Rather, he viewed it through the lens of the property owner’s request.

“Our stance today was that a property owner was requesting to be annexed into the city, and I thought they have that right as a property owner. Northside Development was requesting to be annexed. So they were,” he said.

Mount Hope Mayor Michael Kessinger said that the process of getting the annexation required significant negotiation. He said it’s an opportunity for the city to provide resources it has available.

“This will allow us to provide infrastructure and help that property in any way. We’ll be able to create jobs, and a rising tide lifts all boats,” Kessinger said. “It’s definitely a big win for citizens of Mount Hope and Raleigh County alike.”

The annexation does not change the existing county lines separating Fayette and Raleigh.

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