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Morgan County government to operate in temporary quarters

August 12, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. - It is too early to tell what can be salvaged from the Morgan County Courthouse offices or if another structure will be built, Morgan County Commission President Glen Stotler said Friday.

The courthouse building on the corner of Fairfax and Washington streets was destroyed by fire Tuesday. Most of the other offices in the complex were badly damaged, including the assessor and commission offices.

"We don't know all the answers, and we don't know all the questions yet," Stotler said.

The buildings still are being evaluated by insurance adjusters, Stotler said.

"We could be looking at a demolition and total reconstruction of a new complex," he said.

The following county offices will be in the following locations:

· Beginning Monday, the county commission and county planning offices will operate from the Morgan County Rescue Squad office at 1258 Valley Road (U.S. 522). All commission meetings will be held there, Stotler said.

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· The Prosecuting Attorney's office will move next week to the Board of Education office at 247 Harrison St.

· The Morgan County Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement Division will continue to be housed in the West Virginia State Police barrack on U.S. 522.

· Elected officials will move into modular housing units on Wednesday.

· Beginning Monday, the sheriff's tax office will open temporarily at the West Virginia Extension Office at 129 Fairfax St.

· The sheriff's tax office and all other county offices that were in the courthouse are scheduled to be in the modular units by Monday, Aug. 21.

Stotler said the modular units will be used for "quite some time."

The fire marshal has not determined the cause of the fire, county Administrator Bill Clark said. It might be some time before it is known, he said.

"They are very systematic in their approach to the investigation," Clark said.

Stotler said the commission is seeking proposals from architectural firms to construct a new courthouse. Proposals should be submitted to the Morgan County Commission, P.O. Box 28, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 by Aug. 31.

"We are looking at all our options," Stotler said.

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