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Berkeley County building repairs to cost $309,000

March 08, 2001

Berkeley County building repairs to cost $309,000



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County's facilities director Tuesday produced a list of county building repairs totaling almost $309,000.

The work ranges from fixing the Berkeley County Courthouse dome and replacing a leaky roof to providing new space for animal control officers and the sheriff's office.

"We probably won't get it all done this year," said County Commissioner John Wright of the 16-item list prepared by Walt Davis. "The most important thing is safety and security. They're all important, but we have to set priorities."

"A small percentage will be done," said Commission President Howard Strauss. "The emergencies need to be dealt with first."

The county has been dealing with one building problem after another in recent months. At least one building has a bad air problem, another has cancer-causing radon, and others are afflicted with sewer gas problems. Most buildings are overcrowded and old.

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The commissioners have put together a committee to study building a new judicial center across King Street from the courthouse complex.

County Administrator Deborah Hammond said Davis' list is comparable to those he has submitted in the past. Some items usually get done, but unexpected problems always arise, she said.

"We have a fire just about every day," she said. "We have to deal with the emergencies."

The top item on the list is the addition of 1,428 square feet to the animal control office at 800 Queen St. The current building was not built to handle the amount of traffic coming into the building, Davis' report said.

For another $55,000, the dome at the courthouse should be repaired and painted, he said. The old Magistrate Court building needs a new boiler at a cost of $3,500.

Davis also suggested $60,000 be spent to put a modular building behind the sheriff's office at 802 Queen St. to handle the increased number of employees there.

The roof of the county administration building needs replaced at a cost of about $45,000.

Other improvements include better security, computer wiring, new carpeting, improved parking in some areas and a new employee to oversee the county's computer system.

The commission also will look at contracting with a company for custodial repairs.

The county is spending $120,000 a year on cleaning and "the buildings look the same (DIRTY)," Davis wrote.

The commission will consider Davis' requests as it starts preparing the 2001-01 budget next month.

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