County gets grant for courthouse

December 02, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. - A check for $500,000 was presented to the Morgan County Commissioners Friday from the W.Va. Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to help rebuild the courthouse.

The 1908 courthouse on the corner of Fairfax and Washington streets was destroyed by an Aug. 8 fire.

Kris Richmond, executive director of the authority, said usually about 46 of the 55 West Virginia counties apply for courthouse improvement grants each year. This year only 26 counties, including Morgan County, requested funding.

Richmond said many of the other counties said, "if money is available to give, please donate our share to Morgan County, because they need it worse than we do."

Judge L.D. Egnor, chairman of the authority, said the $500,000 is one-fourth "of the annual sums we get" and the largest grant made since the authority was created by the W.Va. Legislature in 2001.


Del. Charles S. Trump, R-Morgan, said "Kris Richmond was on the telephone with the commissioners and me to offer assistance, and we are all very appreciative of their support."

The Authority receives its funding through county fees, such as gun permits, Richmond said. Those fees were increased and a portion goes to the courthouse facilities improvement authority to fund projects, she said.

"Thanks to the other counties that gave up their share to us," said Commissioner Tommy Swaim.

Not all counties request funding, Richmond said. "Jefferson County has never asked for money because they have their own fund," she said.

Patsy Noland, Jefferson County Circuit Clerk and Authority board member, said the county has its own funding source from video lottery games.

Commission President Glen R. Stotler said, "This will be a big boost to help us get on track."

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