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Morgan County Commission briefs

September 22, 2007|By Trish Rudder

Commission backs grant application

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Morgan County joined with Berkeley and Jefferson counties to support a brownfields assessment grant application by Region 9's Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council.

At Friday's Morgan County Commission meeting, Patrick Kirby, Director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University, explained the $200,000 grant would be used to conduct environmental site assessments. No matching funds are required, he said.

Brownfields are usually abandoned industrial and commercial sites such as former orchards, he said. They also include vacant warehouses, factories, abandoned railroads and former service stations.

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Kirby said there are 50 to 100 possible brownfield sites in all three counties, but only nine sites will be chosen - three sites from each county.

Commission President Glen R. Stotler said the commissioners will appoint a representative to work with Region 9 to determine the brownfield sites in Morgan County.

Kirby said some brownfield sites did not necessarily contain real hazardous materials but the sites are perceived as being environmentally contaminated.

"It's about educating the public," Kirby said.

Bill Clark, the county's Economic Development Authority Director, said he liked the idea.

"We have these old places to develop. We don't have to tear up new places," he said.

The application deadline is Oct. 12.




Energy-efficient courthouse requested

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Local resident John Peterson met with the Morgan County Commission on Friday and asked the commissioners to focus on energy efficiency for the new courthouse building.

More than a year ago, the century-old courthouse was destroyed by fire.

Peterson asked the commission to "make good choices" in terms of the courthouse building. "Energy costs will get larger and larger and will go on long after the architect is gone," he said.

Peterson said he felt Silling Associates, the Charleston, W.Va. architectural firm hired by the commissioners to design the new courthouse, was not giving serious attention to the suggestions made by residents at public meetings for more energy efficiency technology be incorporated into the building.

"This building will be here with us a long time, so let's look into new technology for the building and make it a central part of the issue," Peterson said.

Commission President Glen R. Stotler said the commission has asked Tom Potts with Silling to put more emphasis on better energy efficiency, "but maybe we need to look into it more."

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