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Spring opening possible for Jefferson Co. DMV

June 23, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Jefferson County firm has been chosen to build a new West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles office at the Burr Industrial Park in Bardane, W.Va., officials said Tuesday.

The new DMV office, a long-awaited project designed to make it more convenient for Jefferson County residents to conduct their DMV business, will be built by RAI Properties LLC.

Former Jefferson County Commission member James K. Ruland formed RAI properties with three other people after he left the county commission in 2000.

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RAI Properties owns 18 acres in the Burr Industrial Park and is already building office space on the land, Ruland said. The 18 acres are on the east side of W.Va. 9 in the industrial park.

The proposal submitted by RAI properties was one of six that were considered for the project, officials said.

RAI Properties will build a one-level, 8,000-square foot building for the DMV with a 120-foot-long motorcycle driving test course behind the building, Ruland said. RAI will lease the building to the DMV, he said.

Following county approvals for the site, construction on the building could begin in October and the facility is expected to be turned over to the DMV in the spring, according to a press release from RAI Properties.

The Burr Industrial Park site was the favored site for the office, said state Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, who worked to get a new DMV office for Jefferson County.

DMV officials liked the idea of having the office in Bardane because it is a central location in the county, Snyder said.

That is an advantage not only to Jefferson County residents but to people in the eastern section of Berkeley County who may be closer to the industrial park than the DMV office on Edwin Miller Boulevard in Martinsburg, Snyder said.

"It's great news," Snyder said Tuesday.

Jefferson County officials and delegates have pushed for a county DMV office because residents now must go to the Martinsburg DMV office to take care of business such as car titling and registration.

The Martinsburg DMV office is the second busiest DMV office in the state with nearly 4,000 transactions a week, Snyder has said.

"All of us at the DMV are looking forward to soon providing the convenient and quality service that all the residents of Jefferson County expect and deserve," said Don Godbey, regional office operations director for the DMV.

The new DMV office in the Burr Industrial Park is expected to be part of major growth in coming years.

When the new four-lane W.Va. 9 is built, a cloverleaf intersection near the Burr Industrial Park will connect W.Va. 9 with Wiltshire Road, Ruland said.

RAI Properties has built a 12,000-square-foot office building for prospective businesses on its 18 acres. So far, 6,000 square feet have been reserved for BizTech, a local telecommuting center, Ruland said.

Another 12,000-square-foot office building is planned, as well as a 32,000-square-foot building for commercial and retail businesses, Ruland said.

The office space, which Ruland described as a "park within a park," is being built primarily for high-tech businesses that want to locate to the area.

The 32,000-square-foot building will be divided into 18 30-foot by 60-foot office spaces, Ruland said, adding that about half have been reserved by prospective businesses.

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