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Jefferson officials cut back court plans, keep hope for pool

August 10, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County officials were presented Thursday with a plan to scale down the size of a proposed judicial center in downtown Charles Town to free up money so the center and an indoor pool at Sam Michaels Park can be built.

Members of the Jefferson County Commission have said both projects could be slowed after it was discovered that their recently approved budget was about $2 million too high.

The projects could be slowed because the commissioners agreed to reduce the amount they put into a capital savings account by $1.3 million to correct the budget problem.

Under the plan discussed Thursday, the judicial center would be reduced in size from 40,000 square feet to about 25,000 square feet, Commissioner Rusty Morgan said.

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That would save about $3 million, the cost of the indoor pool, the commissioners said.

The court annex and the pool probably could be built by 2011 under the plan.

The commissioners discussed the proposal in a meeting with Kirk E. Davis Sr., capital projects manager for the county.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said he needs to further study the plan, although he expressed confidence in the county handling both projects.

"I still think we can do it all," Corliss.

Echoing previous comments by Corliss, Commissioner Dale Manuel said he does not want to borrow money for building projects.

At the same time, Manuel said athletic and recreational needs of the county demand an indoor pool, and he reiterated his previous comments that the indoor pool needed to be a community project, with other government entities helping to fund it.

Morgan said after the meeting he wanted to emphasize that the commission was not cutting the size of the judicial annex just to free up money for the pool.

It has been discovered that the annex may not need to be as large as the commissioners envisioned, Morgan said.

The annex would be built behind the existing Jefferson County Courthouse.

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