CARPENDALE – Carpendale residents support keeping Trooper 5 and its lifesaving abilities local.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
CARPENDALE – Carpendale residents support keeping Trooper 5 and its lifesaving abilities local.
Mayor-elect Casey Lambert told residents at the June meeting of the town council that the state wants residents to start utilizing helicopters out of Martinsburg, Morgantown and Buchanan in place of the one located right in Mineral County at the airport in Wiley Ford.
“What it boils down to is money,” said Lambert, noting that the transport helicopters being suggested do not have the success rate or the rescue capabilities of Trooper 5.
“We need to support Trooper 5 being stationed here in Cumberland,” he said.
The June meeting was the first meeting since the gas leak which prompted a partial evacuation of the town in May.
Ridgeley Police chief Jim Cummings reported that the gas leak went smoothly and that citizens were cooperative.
Commissioner Mary Jo Hinton agreed, noting that the police and fire departments handled things well and that people knew what to do.
“It could have been a real catastrophe,” said Armentrout, noting that members of the fire department went door to door notifying those that needed to evacuate.
Residents in the audience expressed concern over a lack of communication with the town not only in the gas incident, but also during boil water advisories and other concerns.
The idea of a Facebook page for the town was suggested, but it was noted that in incidents such as the gas leak or other emergencies all operations are handled through the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services and that by signing up through them residents can get alerts.
John Lecky of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, who was on hand for the meeting, suggested that the issue of information may be  something the chamber could help with as towns look at ways to communicate and the need to attract young people to local communities.
Carpendale does have emergency escape routes which can be utilized in a crisis such as along the railroad tracks or through the Rails to Trails tunnel, but the council noted that the gas line accident is just one more reason in support of the proposed bridge to Bowling Green.
Residents in the audience stated that younger people in the town were against the proposed bridge, which officials feel would remove tractor trailer traffic through the residential area and increase opportunities for economic development and development for recreation with river access.
“There are more advantages than disadvantages,” said Councilman Clarence Murray.