Sheetz to build distribution depot


Sheetz selects Kearneysville for one of only two truck transfer stations serving six-state coverage area


Gov. Jim Justice announced today that convenience store chain Sheetz Inc. will build a $2 million distribution truck transfer station at Burr Industrial Park in Kearneysville.

When completed, the truck transfer station will employ 34 workers. That number includes the creation of 30 new jobs, primarily for truck drivers and delivery assistants. Interviews will begin in the summer of 2021 for positions starting in early 2022.

“Any day when we’re able to announce dozens of great new jobs and millions of dollars of investment coming into West Virginia is a great day,” Gov. Justice said. “For years now, Sheetz has been a wonderful partner. We’ve been happy to see them grow all across our state, and the addition of this new truck transfer station is yet another exciting example of how Sheetz and West Virginia are moving forward together with all kinds of momentum.”

This transportation depot will become just the second such facility in the company’s operations and will support Sheetz’s two distribution centers, located in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

The $2 million investment includes 5.5 acres in the industrial park, construction of a 1,900-square-foot building, and designated parking area for tractor/trailers hauling grocery and retail items.

The project was announced in a virtual ceremony that included remarks from Sheetz Inc. President and COO Travis Sheetz, West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch, West Virginia Development Office Director Mitch Carmichael, West Virginia State Delegate Paul Espinosa, and Jefferson County Development Authority Director Dennis Jarvis. West Virginia State Senator Patricia Rucker also joined the ceremony virtually.




SB270, which provides for the collection of the hotel occupancy tax by marketplace facilitators such as VRBO and AirBNB was taken up by House Government Organization Committee. Last year’s bill passed the legislature before ultimately being vetoed by Gov. Justice due of concerns of how the tax would ultimately be paid. This bill addresses those reasons by removing the state tax department as the “middle man,” and requiring the marketplace vendor to pay the tax directly to the county or municipality. The bill goes to the full House for consideration.


Beyond the Dome


Republican lawmakers on opposite sides of local control for cities


By Steven Allen Adams

For the Inter-Mountain


Over the last several years, Republican lawmakers have worked to give cities and towns in West Virginia more local control, but bills being considered this year could tie the hands of city leaders.


The latest example is House Bill2256, passed out of the House Political Subdivisions Committee on Wednesday and sent to the House Finance Committee. The bill would exempt all non-residents of cities from having municipal user fees removed from their paychecks.


Originally intended to just exempt state employees from having user fees removed from their paychecks, the committee approved an amendment from Del. Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, to exclude all non-residents of cities that charge user fees.

Foster was a co-sponsor of HB 2256, and his amendment to the bill incorporates language from two other bills introduced by Foster, House bills 2324 and 2482. In the age of COVID-19 and people often working from home, Foster said those people shouldn’t have to pay for city services they’re not utilizing.


“When you start looking at the idea of taxation without representation, especially during the age of COVID, we have people that aren’t ever in the city anymore,” Foster said. “But because the company they work for happens to be located in the city, they’re being charged $3 a paycheck when they may work three counties over from home. And that’s a big problem to me.”


Others, however, see HB 2256 and other bills as ways for Republican lawmakers to whittle away local control and exercise more authority over cities.


Read Adams’ story in the Inter-Mountain here.


Public Safety & Crime


Committee Substitute for HB2621 passed the House Committee on Government Organization with ease today. Stacy Nowicki, Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, and Randy James, President of the West Virginia State Fire Chiefs Association both explained the need for uniformity in training and protection for the fire departments as a whole.


Meanwhile, in Senate Judiciary, another bill requiring training, Committee Substitute for SB434 was considered. The bill requires law-enforcement training to include standards and procedures for ongoing specialized, intensive, and integrative training for those responsible for investigating sexual assault cases involving adult victims. Senator Woelfel, lead sponsor, said that WV’s Senate Judiciary Committee has been a national leader in passing bills intended to protect our sexual assault victims. He credited the work of RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.


“This bill will make sure a victim of sexual assault will have first contact with a trained person,” said Woelfel. Kanawha County Deputy Adam Crawford spoke in favor of the bill but said they wanted to make sure how the training will be accomplished. Chairman Trump clarified that it is not specified in the bill because the Law Enforcement Training Subcommittee of the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections will dictate the training policy. The bill passed unanimously.


An originating bill also passed Senate Judiciary to clarify the elements of kidnapping. Chairman Trump said he lost the bill from bill-drafting so decided to originate it! The Supreme Court found the current law confusing and these clarifications were developed with input from the Supreme Court.


Roadwork projects map makes debut


Online map of all 2021 roadwork projects statewide


Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways announced today that an interactive online map of all 2021 roadwork projects statewide is now available.

“This is our third year of doing a statewide map like this and, in each of the previous two years, we’ve broken the all-time state record for road maintenance,” Gov. Justice said. “We provide this online tool for West Virginians to use so we can be transparent about where we’re working and also so residents can see just how many projects are going on all the time, in every county across the state.”

The map allows users to search for any address or zoom in on any area of the state to view the types of work that are upcoming, underway, or have already been completed.

The map includes several tabs that allow users to search for paving projects, core maintenance projects, Roads To Prosperity projects, bridge projects, slip repair projects, and slide repair projects. Users can also view a breakdown of maintenance data by county, by Division of Highways district, or statewide.

Individual roads and other project areas on the map are color-coded to show their stages of completion. By clicking on a project, users will find more detailed information about that project, including estimated start and completion dates, scope of work, and more. The map is updated every two weeks.


The map homepage also includes an instructional video, demonstrating how to use the map.

Since Gov. Justice directed WVDOT leaders to make maintaining secondary roads the organization’s top priority in March 2019, Highways crews have completed nearly 70,000 miles-worth of roadwork, including paving, patching, ditching, stabilization, and more.

“Our entire team at the Department of Transportation – from the crews fixing our roads every day, to the staff members responsible for putting together this map, and many others – continue to raise the bar year after year,” Gov. Justice said. “We still have a lot more work to do and many more roads to fix, but I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past couple of years.”

“As we work to implement Gov. Justice’s vision for West Virginia roads, I have been adamant that we communicate constantly with the public,” said WVDOT Secretary Byrd White. “This map allows any citizen to see road projects occurring in their areas of the state from the convenience of any computer or smartphone.”

“This is the third year in a row we have released a detailed, interactive project map,” said WVDOT Deputy Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. “The Division of Highways is committed to being transparent on the hard work our teams are putting in all across the state.”

For more information on roadwork or to learn more about the WVDOT, visit


Sine Die