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Boundary commission says surveyor's line is correct

The commission was appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, at the request of the Pocahontas County Commission. The PCC questioned the border after surveyor Jeff Hiner of Monterey marked the border more closely than the established U.S. Geological Survey line. Hiner had been hired by Highland New Wind Development LLC to survey property owned by the McBride family, which is erecting a 38-megawatt wind energy utility in Highland County, Va. When Pocahontas learned of the new survey, officials were concerned about the accuracy of the border, since at least one of the turbines was within a few feet of the state line.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Yesterday, the West Virginia Boundary Commission met in Charleston to discuss information and research it had collected about the Virginia-West Virginia boundary dispute.

The commission was appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, at the request of the Pocahontas County Commission. The PCC questioned the border after surveyor Jeff Hiner of Monterey marked the border more closely than the established U.S. Geological Survey line. Hiner had been hired by Highland New Wind Development LLC to survey property owned by the McBride family, which is erecting a 38-megawatt wind energy utility in Highland County, Va.

When Pocahontas learned of the new survey, officials were concerned about the accuracy of the border, since at least one of the turbines was within a few feet of the state line.

Charles Sypolt and Curt Keplinger, two members of the boundary commission, visited the project site in person recently to walk the line with Hiner. Its third member, Tom Rayburn, was unable to attend, but did his own research with maps.

The commission met Thursday, Nov. 19, reviewed the information, and determined Hiner's line was correctly marked. They asked that Hiner put permanent... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Yesterday, the West Virginia Boundary Commission met in Charleston to discuss information and research it had collected about the Virginia-West Virginia boundary dispute.

The commission was appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, at the request of the Pocahontas County Commission. The PCC questioned the border after surveyor Jeff Hiner of Monterey marked the border more closely than the established U.S. Geological Survey line. Hiner had been hired by Highland New Wind Development LLC to survey property owned by the McBride family, which is erecting a 38-megawatt wind energy utility in Highland County, Va.

When Pocahontas learned of the new survey, officials were concerned about the accuracy of the border, since at least one of the turbines was within a few feet of the state line.

Charles Sypolt and Curt Keplinger, two members of the boundary commission, visited the project site in person recently to walk the line with Hiner. Its third member, Tom Rayburn, was unable to attend, but did his own research with maps.

The commission met Thursday, Nov. 19, reviewed the information, and determined Hiner's line was correctly marked. They asked that Hiner put permanent markers in place near the two closest turbines, at HNWD's expense, and notify them when those markers were in place.

Friday, Sypolt told The Recorder, "We will be finalizing our report in the next month and submit it to the Governor's Office and then receive any further directions from his office. Since this is my first experience at this, we are feeling our way along with their direction."

The fully quotes notes and determination made by the commission are as follows:

Facts:

• Jeffery Hiner is correct in stating that "Pocahontas County was formed in 1821. An excerpt of the 1821 Acts of the General Assembly obtained from the book History of Pocahontas County West Virginia states the Pocahontas County Line ran "a straight line to the top of the Allegheny Mountain opposite the head of the east fork of the Greenbrier River; thence with the top of said mountain to the Pendleton line, and thence with the top of said mountain to the beginning.

This established the Pocahontas County line and it was the clear intent that the boundary should run with the top or highest points of the Allegheny Mountain which is a natural monument. In surveying this is a monument of highest dignity.

• The western boundary of Highland County Virginia is coincident with the boundary of Pocahontas County. As Mr. Hiner stated, "Highland County was formed in 1847 from Bath and Pendleton Counties. The survey of Highland County is recorded in Surveyors Record Book 1 page 1 in the Courthouse at Monterey. A copy of the survey is also found in Morton's History of Highland County Virginia on pages 399, 400 and 401. The northwestern corner of Highland County is described as "eight hemlocks and three small beeches and a small maple on the top of Alleghany Mountain in the Pocahontas County Line." The line then runs southward "along the main top of said mountain with the county line to the plum orchard,: where the surveyors "marked one plum tree on the top of said mountain." That plum tree was the southwest corner of Highland County.

• Mr. Hiner is correct when he stated that the western boundary of Highland County is the Pocahontas County line which is located on top of Alleghany Mountain.

• Mr. Hiner has located the top of Allegheny Mountain by doing cross sections with a level, which is quite adequate. He has located these in numerous locations so that there is little doubt as to the "top" or high point on the ridge. Points could be established at an infinite number of points, but that is not practical.

• On June 4, 1863 West Virginia became a state and the boundary between West Virgina and Virginia would have remain in the same location between Pocahontas and Highland Counties

• The United States Geological Survey was established on March 3, 1879, which is about 58 years after the establishment of the line between these two counties. They have produced maps which are generally correct for the need for which they serve.

• In Chapter 7 Section 2 Article 6 of the West Virginia Code it states that "The boundary lines between the several counties of the state shall be established in the following manner: Topographic quadrangle maps prepared by the United States geological survey and the West Virginia geological and economic survey in conformance with prior act of the general assembly of Virginia, acts of the Legislature of West Virginia and other applicable provisions of law, shall be filed by the state geologist with the secretary of state of West Virginia and shall thereafter constitute the official boundary lines between the said counties;"

• This section of the Code specifically refers to county boundaries and not to state boundaries. This Chapter of the Code would have been written at least 16 years after the formation of the State of West Virginia. It was probably a fast, cheap and easy way to construct boundaries between counties that were established or would be established in the future.

Therefore we resolve that:

• Mr. Hiner has used modern equipment in the proper manner to establish a portion of the state boundary on the top of Alleghany Mountain between West Virginia and Virginia.

• The Commission suggests that Mr. Hiner establish, and if necessary re-establish permanent monumentation for the high points of the three cross sections nearest to turbine site 1T and at the corner in which the boundary turns to the southwest near turbine site 2T. That these monuments be set at a cost to the owner/owners of the company installing the wind turbines. The commissions are to be notified when the construction is completed and the monuments are set.


Source: http://www.therecorderonlin...

NOV 19 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23263-boundary-commission-says-surveyor-s-line-is-correct
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