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Authority OKs fees for trolley use

July 02, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - At their meeting Tuesday night, Roundhouse Authority members approved the fees that will be charged to groups that want to use their trolley, and also discussed whether to begin charging a fee to people who take guided tours at the B&O Roundhouse complex.

Ownership of the $130,000 trolley was transferred earlier this year from the county to the Roundhouse Authority. The Berkeley County Commission used a grant to buy the trolley last summer.

C. William "Bill" Hayes, executive director of the Roundhouse Authority, said he envisions the trolley being used for corporate or tourism-type events. A woman recently called him because she wanted to charter it for a wedding, he said.

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For such "commercial" uses, the authority will charge $325 to use the trolley for up to four hours. Each additional hour will cost $75.

Users also must pay $3.75 for each mile they drive, plus a fee of $15 per hour for a driver's services.

Fees that will be charged to nonprofit groups are lower - $125 for up to four hours, or $250 for more than four hours - while city, county or Roundhouse officials only will be charged the actual cost of a driver and fuel for their events.

Much of the money generated will be used to pay for upkeep of the trolley, Hayes said after the meeting. Any profit will go toward the Roundhouse.

As for the entrance fee proposal, which was first voiced by Hayes, authority member LaRue Frye suggested $3 be charged per person.

Authority member Jim Smith expressed concern about charging any fee, saying it might cause the Roundhouse to cease being a part of the community. He cited a recent instance where he took a tour group of retirees around the facility. He questioned whether it would have been appropriate to charge them.

Frye countered that people should be happy to contribute $3.

No action was taken regarding the possible fee, which will be discussed again at the authority's meeting next month.

Also at their meeting, authority members approved two contracts for work at the complex. Cain Construction of Bunker Hill, W.Va., will pick up loose bricks around the complex, grade around the building, sort through debris and remove it for a total cost of $9,985.

D&L Weld Inc. of Martinsburg will receive $7,350 to remove what Hayes called "contemporary" steel within the building that detracts from its historical character. Awarding the contract is contingent on an engineer first looking over the building to ensure removing the steel will not compromise the building's integrity.

Hayes said he hopes both jobs will be finished before Rail Days, an annual event that is set for July 19-20.

The Roundhouse complex was built before the Civil War, but then destroyed by Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. It was rebuilt after the war.

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