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Commission to seek architect for center

April 29, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission agreed Thursday to seek the help of an architect to create a proposal for a public safety center that would house the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the county's 911 center.

Last week, Commissioner Greg Corliss pushed the commission to seriously consider building the center, saying the county will not have any room for new government office space downtown until the sheriff's department is moved.

County officials also say the sheriff's department needs to be moved because the department's current office along West Washington Street in Charles Town is not a good location.

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A new 911 center is being considered because the current one, which is in the same building as the Jefferson County Health Department in Bardane, does not have enough space.

The commissioners are proposing to build the center next to the health department.

County officials are planning the center in a way to meet the needs of the county through 2020, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober told the commissioners Thursday.

About 52 deputies would be needed in the county by 2020, Boober said. The county will have 23 deputies after July 1.

Although Commission President Rusty Morgan voted to obtain an architect to develop a proposed safety center, he continued to express concerns about how police services will be offered in the future.

At last week's commission meeting, Morgan said he wants to know if the state police will be increasing or decreasing operations in the county before the county spends money on such a facility.

Commissioner Jane Tabb said the commission needs to realize that there are other demands and there is not enough money for everything that needs to be done. Tabb said she is concerned that plans for developing more government office space downtown seem to be getting pushed back.

Although $1.4 million has been set aside for the center, it is unclear how much it will cost.

Some plans have been developed for the public safety center, but they are preliminary, Tabb said.

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