Proposal offers plan to house Jefferson departments together

August 29, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County officials were presented with a proposal Thursday to move the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation operations to a building along Leetown Pike that was initially built for a recycling operation.

The empty building, next to the old Jefferson County Landfill, is now owned by a partnership.

Peter Chakmakian, a Charles Town attorney representing the partnership, proposed the partnership would make all the needed modifications to the building to house the sheriff's department and parks and recreation programs.

Chakmakian told the Jefferson County Commission the partnership would convert the building into a facility that would house a gym and other facilities.


Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober told the commission several advantages would be gained by moving the sheriff's department to the building, which is five miles northwest of Charles Town.

The sheriff's department could share the gym facilities with parks and recreation, providing a place for deputies to work out and exercise, Boober said.

The sheriff's department is in the Mason Building on Washington Street in Charles Town and Boober and Chakmakian said the building does not meet the department's needs in several ways.

The sheriff's department parks its cruisers behind the building, which means anyone can walk through the lot and damage the equipment, Boober said.

Cruisers at the proposed new facility would be in a fenced area that would have a surveillance system, Boober said.

The Jefferson County Parks and Recreation leases space in several areas in the county to hold its recreation programs and has been looking for a new facility, county officials said.

The building on Leetown Pike is on 15 acres, which would offer plenty of space for facilities such as tennis courts and soccer fields, Chakmakian said.

Chakmakian was involved in a similar project - a $3.5 million renovation of the St. Margaret's building on George Street for magistrate court facilities.

He proposed a lease with option to buy on the Leetown Pike building. Under the proposal, the commissioners would pay a gradually increasing annual lease that would range from $670,720 the first year to $830,016 in the 15th year of the lease.

The commissioners said they would study the proposal.

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