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Martinsburg plan annexation of 740 acres

April 12, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The City of Martinsburg would get about 28 percent bigger under a planned annexation that would accommodate a large water system expansion.

City Manager Mark Baldwin said about 14 undeveloped parcels, a total of 740 acres, would be added to the city from the west side of Interstate 81, between exits 12 and 13.

The city expects to build a 1.5-million-gallon storage tank and install 12-inch pipes parallel to the interstate to serve an area that does not have public water, he said.

All of the landowners have agreed to the plan, aware of the increased opportunities for development, Baldwin said. A mix of residential and commercial growth is likely, he said.

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"It markets our city as a place to be," he said.

The Berkeley County Board of Education entered into a purchase option in March for an undisclosed piece of land west of I-81. The district is considering building an intermediate school there.

The City Council is expected to discuss a resolution on the annexation when it meets on Thursday.

Baldwin would not name the landowners, who initiated the proceedings by turning in a petition to be annexed, he said.

The Berkeley County Commission must hold a public hearing on the annexation. Baldwin said that might occur in mid-May.

The anticipated water line extension is part of an $18.1 million water system project that's a combined effort of the city, the Berkeley County Public Service District and the Hedgesville Public Service District, according to Baldwin. It is being financed by loans.

The bulk of the project, or about $15 million, is the city's. Two filtration plants are planned. One is at Baltimore and Williams streets and will have the capacity for 2 million gallons a day, and the other - the Big Springs plant off U.S. 11 north - will have the capacity for 4 million gallons a day, Baldwin said.

The filtration plant construction will probably go out to bid next week. The city hopes to secure financing by June, according to Baldwin.

He added that funding for the storage tank and mains may be secured by December.

Baldwin said the project could have been kept within the existing city limits and started a year ago, but the mayor and City Council were "patient" and decided on a better plan.

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