Bob Ford has a bridge he wants to sell you.
That is – he would tear up the soccer field on US 522 across from the ballfields, pave it over into a parking lot, and build a walking bridge over the federal highway to the ballfields on the other side of the road — and to 16 acres of county land just south of the ballfields, which he would develop.
No one knows how much such a project would cost.
Or what it would take for the county to secure the necessary permits to build such a bridge over a federal highway.
Ford is again running for Morgan County Commissioner.
This time as a Republican.
Ford was at the candidates’ forum this past Sunday at the American Legion in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
And he was asked by moderator John Douglas of the Morgan Messenger about the soccer fields on U.S. 522.
Ford said he would never have voted to make the land a soccer field.
Ford said that when he was Commissioner – ten years ago or so – the Commission bought ten acres of ground for $15,000 an acre.
“That ground was purchased for a parking lot,” Ford told the gathering. “We knew there were cars demolished there. We knew they were crushed. We knew the problems. And it should be a parking lot today.”
“If I was County Commissioner and I could influence my other two County Commissioners, I’d say bring in the bulldozers, scrape the grass off of it, and throw it away. I would never have voted to put a soccer field there. My opponent did. She needs to be held accountable for that. Not me. I voted for a parking lot.”
“We have sixteen acres across the road that should be developed. And that should be a walkway across 522. Read the minutes of the meeting when the ground was purchased. At that time, we had plans to go to the Commissioner of Highways, to put a walking bridge across the road. The current parking on that side of the road would be for handicapped parking. We were going to develop the other 16 acres of land. I made that decision then. I’ll stand by that decision today.”
In her remarks, Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson, who Ford is seeking to unseat, addressed Ford’s bridge over 522 idea.
“A walking bridge?” Hutchinson asked. “I can’t even imagine how much money we would be talking if we went into finding the funding to build such a thing.”