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Buyouts approved for Sportsman's Paradise

April 02, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The state Office of Emergency Services has approved Berkeley County's Sportsman's Paradise buybacks, but another flood-prone area may have to wait for assistance.

The Berkeley County Commission was notified this week that the buyback plan includes not only the purchase of 29 properties in the Sportsman's Paradise subdivision, but funding for demolition and cleanup if the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves.

"Taking out septic tanks, filling wells, everything that needs to be done," said County Administrator Deborah Sheetenhelm of what the plan entails.

Across the state, 255 properties are to be acquired and six elevated for $12.95 million. Berkeley County properties will cost $1.65 million.

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The properties are to be acquired or moved from flood plains as part of the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides funds for states to lessen the possibility of damage in flood-prone areas.

Those who live in homes and trailers along U.S. 11 north may not see their flooding problems evaporate as quickly.

The commissioners will ask the state to hold off on fixing drainage problems near Berkeley Station Road until they know if the runoff will create flooding on other parts of U.S. 11.

On Thursday, the commissioners said a letter will be sent to the West Virginia Division of Highways, which is expected to install 150 feet of 18-inch pipe along U.S. 11 in the next two weeks to alleviate standing water along the road near Pineview Mobile Home Park.

William Donaldson, Berkeley County superintendent for the Division of Highways, said the piping is on the way, but the work could be postponed if he gets approval from the district office.

The state planned to clean out culverts on the right-of-way and install the pipe along U.S. 11 north on the west side. The water would have emptied into a ditch on the east side of U.S. 11, Donaldson said.

But the commissioners fear that will only clog culverts about 400 yards further north.

"(The pipes) might get the water out of the area quicker, but that could cause the water to run faster and collect," said Commissioner D. Wayne Dunham.

County engineer William Teach and a representative from the state Division of Highways are expected to look over the area again before any decisions are made.

"What we're thinking is, maybe we'd be better off if we could spend that money down further," Dunham said. "But we don't want to lose the money either."

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