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Town, county officials discuss courthouse space

May 05, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA.-Town of Bath officials met Friday with the Morgan County Commission to hash out how the town can be part of the county's new courthouse building.

"We invited the town to meet," Commission President Glen Stotler said. "I thought we had resolved this issue, but apparently we had not."

A debate ensued between town and county officials about who was at fault for not having the discussion earlier, and that it resurfaced when Gov. Joe Manchin met with the commission last month.

At that meeting, Manchin told the commission he wanted the new county courthouse to include town government offices, and the county and town should work together toward that goal.

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The commission needs to know what space is needed for town offices, how it would affect the current design plans and how much money would be needed from the town, Stotler said.

Bath Town Councilman David Crosby, who chairs the town's finance committee, said the town will determine as soon as possible the space needed in the new building, an estimated cost and how the town would pay for it.

Crosby said based on an estimated cost of $230 per square foot, the town would need about $700,000 to fund the space.

Town of Bath Mayor Susan Webster said a meeting has been set for May 17 with town officials and Manchin to discuss funding.

The estimated cost for the current courthouse design is more than $12 million. The county has about $4 million in insurance from the fire that destroyed the building and passed a $4 million revenue bond to fund the rebuilding.

No funding has come from the state.

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