ROMNEY, W.Va. — The fire whistle is back on in Romney but it will be moved soon.
A social media storm erupted last week when Romney Volunteer Fire Department Chief G.T. Parsons announced the siren would be turned off from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily after threats of a lawsuit from a Romney resident. The chief said it was easier to turn it off for a period of time than spending money in court the department didn’t have.
But in a Facebook message posted last Friday, Parsons announced the siren was back on with plans to move its location.
Romney attorney Lawrence Sherman, Jr. said he and his client were wrongly vilified in social media.
“(They said) it was a lawyer who took a client’s case because he didn’t like the siren—it just annoyed him, but the story comes out it’s much different than that,” Sherman said.
Sherman said his client was never in favor of having the siren turned off for any amount of time. He just wanted the location to be moved and now that will happen.
The dispute apparently began seven years ago when the former mayor of Romney chose to place the siren in the backyard of Sherman’s client whom the mayor had an ongoing dispute with about a right-of-way. Sherman said he learned a permit was never approved for the siren’s current location.
Chief Parson’s message said the siren will be relocated as the result of construction of a new water tower. He hopes to move it to the fire department’s property. The chief is asking for donations to help with the move. They can be sent to Romney Fire Company, 175 S High Street, Romney WV, 26757.