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Berkeley County buys Raleigh Street home

October 21, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A house on Raleigh Street purchased by the Berkeley County Commission will be used for offices, while the land around it will be used to add an entrance to an existing parking lot and to create an access road for trucks making deliveries.

The Berkeley County Commission signed a contract Thursday morning to buy the house for $169,000. Adding additional parking spaces also is possible, Commissioner Howard Strauss said.

The two-story home is at the intersection of Raleigh and Stephen streets across from the Dunn Building, which houses several county offices as well as The Community & Technical College of Shepherd.

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"This is an island on county property," Strauss said.

Strauss said the first floor of the house will be used for offices for the county's facilities department, while the second floor could be used for file storage. A workshop could be built in the backyard, Strauss said.

Strauss said the current College Street building used by the facilities department - which handles maintenance on all county buildings - can be sold next year.

Initially, the homeowner was asking a higher price for the property - Strauss did not give the amount - but agreed to lower it for the commission. Strauss thanked her on behalf of the county's taxpayers.

One condition of the contract is that the City of Martinsburg agrees to rezone the property from residential to downtown business, Strauss said.

The access road for deliveries will be for the Berkeley Building, which is being remodeled to house a judicial center that is scheduled to open next summer.

Like the Berkeley, Dunn and Crawford buildings, the house will be titled to the county's Building Commission.

In May 2002, the county bought the buildings, which formerly housed the Blue Ridge Outlet Center, and several hundred surrounding parking spaces for $3.8 million.

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