City, county governments plan joint ventures

March 26, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

City, county governments plan joint ventures

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.- In an effort to open up the lines of communication between the county and the city, the Berkeley County Commission and members of Martinsburg City Council met Wednesday to discuss working together on some projects.

"I think the city and the council should get together to do more things for everybody," said Commissioner Robert L. Burkhart. "Anything we can cooperate on, we need to do."

During the roundtable discussion, members of the council, commission and other city and county agencies discussed possible joint efforts, including emergency service, litter control, garbage collection and law enforcement.


Members of city and county governments agreed to hold quarterly meetings to discuss joint ventures.

The first will likely be held in June.

"If you really look back on a daily basis of how much we do work together on police protection, law enforcement issues ... planning department and zoning issues, we really work a lot together more than people realize," said Mark Baldwin, Martinsburg city manager. "I think what we should dwell on is what we can do in the future."

The county and city have been working together for about a year on the countywide address conversion system.

Mary Kackley, director of the county's 911 system, said all unnamed roads have been named, and the committee is now working on getting rid of duplicated road names and those with similar-sounding names.

One of the projects to be discussed is the formation of a committee to streamline ambulance and fire services in the city and county.

"Our volunteers do a wonderful job, but at the same time they're volunteers and they work," Burkhart said.

Commission President James Smith said it makes sense to work together.

"If you're working at General Motors or Corning or whatever and the whistle goes, you can't leave your job," Smith said. "One of these days we're going to have a catastrophe."

Martinsburg Mayor Earnest Sparks said some areas of Berkeley County are 20 minutes away from emergency crews, and he is willing to work together to blanket the county.

"If the county is alluding to the city providing the services, define the area ... and we'll simply work together and do it ... if we can just lay out the parameters of what needs to be done," Sparks said.

Officials will meet Wednesday to schedule the first of the quarterly meetings.

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