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Lost and found

By Staff | Jul 8, 2009

The town of Friendly has taken steps to ask the circuit court for a new and more specific order concerning their charter.

“I have tentatively figured out the situation with your charter,” said the town’s legal counsel, Luke Furbee.

After some investigating, it was found that the original charter of Friendly was awarded by the circuit court in 1898. From there, a lawsuit was pursued in 1920 that did away with the charter from 1898. However, in 1921, the town was reincorporated by the circuit court.

“The town is incorporated according to what was then chapter 47 of the code of West Virginia,” said Furbee. “That was prior to the code of 1931, which is what we still use today. The town was reincorporated in the circuit court of 1921.

“The town exists and has for a long time. It didn’t ever cease to exist other than the one lawsuit ending and another one beginning,” Furbee explained.

Furbee recommended to ask the circuit court for a new order, one more specific than the order from 1921. The price for the complete process was estimated at $300. He also mentioned that if someone wanted to show up and contest it, they would be welcome to.

“We’re not going to find a document on a fancy piece of paper that says ‘charter’ at the top of it. The original corporation of the town wasn’t done that way. It was done by the circuit court which has a lot of power to do a lot of things. I don’t know why they incorporated it that way back then, which we really don’t read to know.”

Furbee searched several places for the information, but found what he was looking for when examining the old chancellery orders, hoping to put everyone’s mind at ease.

“That explains why there isn’t one where it’s supposed to be, which is in the office of the clerk of the House of Delegates,” he said. “That’s because there was never one in there. That’s why they don’t have it. There was never one to have down there other than what’s in the old file box in the courthouse.”

Class IV towns aren’t required to have a charter filed in the Secretary of State’s Office. It would be needed should the town choose to disincorporate.

In other matters, an issue was brought up concerning tearing down selected buildings in town to make it more presentable. It was said that a grant was out for funding of tearing down the old school, but the council members have not heard anything more.

The demolition of the building would cost $94,000 with asbestos needing to be abated. Hearing more about the grant could take up to two to three years.

Hoping they will get the grants, council plans to move the fence back, put in a playground, and lay cement for a basketball court.

Additionally, the date of the ice cream social was changed from July 19 to Aug. 22.