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Jefferson Commission to make offer on Bardane building

February 27, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday offered $675,000 to buy a commercial building in the Burr Industrial Park to be used to house the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, the county's 911 center and the county's Office of Emergency Services.

The building used to be occupied by Metropolitan Medical, a medical supply company, Commissioner James G. Knode said.

Knode said the structure was one of the first buildings built in the Burr Industrial Park, which is along W.Va. 9 in Bardane, W.Va., a community about five miles west of Charles Town.

Metropolitan Medical moved out of the building several years ago, Knode said.

A contract from another bidder has been offered on the building already, and the commissioners' offer would be a back-up offer, Commissioner Greg Corliss said after the meeting.

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County officials have said there are drawbacks to the sheriff's department current location in the Mason building on West Washington Street, and they have looked at different ways of meeting the sheriff's department's space needs and the space needs of other county offices downtown.

A new location is also being considered for the Office of Emergency Services and the 911 center because those operations are cramped, Corliss said.

Last summer, the commissioners were presented with a proposal to move the sheriff's department and the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation operations to a building along Leetown Pike that originally was built to house a recycling operation.

A partnership that owns the building proposed making the needed improvements to to convert it into a sheriff's department and leasing it to the county.

The commissioners have since decided not to pursue that plan.

The commissioners have considered four different proposals to build new office space downtown, a project that could cost up to $30 million depending on which plan is chosen.

Knode voted against Thursday's proposal to offer $675,000 for the former Metropolitan Medical building. Knode said one of the reasons he voted against the proposal is because he believes the commissioners should not be buying the building when they haven't decided what type of building plan to pursue.

The Mason building is among a string of county offices along West Washington Street which could be torn down depending on what type of building plan the commissioners may approve.

In other business Thursday, the commissioners decided to conduct a historical review of the county buildings along West Washington Street to determine if they have any historical value.

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