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Little movement on school land deal in Jefferson County

April 23, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A donation of land from the Huntfield developers for Jefferson County's second high school remains up in the air, a school official said Tuesday.

Last month, Jefferson County Schools officials said negotiations with Huntfield developers over the school site had deteriorated steadily and there was a fear the plan was dead.

Following that development, Charles Town Mayor Randy Hilton offered to act as a mediator between Huntfield developers and school officials in an attempt to work out a deal, said Lori Stilley, president of the Jefferson County Board of Education.

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It later was determined that Hilton could not act as a mediator because he is an interested party, Stilley said.

Huntfield developers were to offer a 75-acre school site as a result of a proffer agreement between the city of Charles Town and Greenvest L.C., the Vienna, Va., firm developing the 3,800-home development off U.S. 340 one mile south of Charles Town, Stilley said.

Although Hilton could not act as a mediator, Hilton said he would continue to try to work out an agreement between Greenvest and the Jefferson County Board of Education, Stilley said.

Stilley said Tuesday she has not learned of any new developments.

Hilton, who does dispute resolution for the office of human resources for Montgomery County, Md., declined to say Tuesday whether he and Huntfield officials have met.

Hilton said it is unwise to comment on such negotiations because they are delicate issues.

"You can kill deals by saying something," Hilton said.

Jim Duszynski, the Greenvest official who has been negotiating with the Board of Education on the land deal, said Tuesday he has not met with Hilton. Duszynski said he has not talked with school officials in about three or four weeks.

"I'm still hopeful it will be worked out," said Duszynski, senior vice president of Greenvest.

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