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Courthouse funding options weighed in Morgan Co.

October 16, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Funding options to rebuild the Morgan County Courthouse have been offered to the Morgan County Commissioners, and a decision must be made by Oct. 31.

The courthouse and offices were destroyed by fire in August 2006 and the county government has been working in trailers set up in the parking lot of the old courthouse.

Commissioners Glen R. Stotler and Brenda J. Hutchinson met with officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last Thursday.

Stotler said one option offered was a combination $3.5 million loan at a 4.625 percent interest rate for 15 years with the USDA and a 15-year, $5.7 million loan at a 3 percent interest rate with the West Virginia Development Office (WVDO), which would be deferred for 15 years but would accrue interest over that period of time of about $2.5 million.

The total cost of the WVDO loan would be about $8.265 million, Stotler said.


The other option offered was a $9 million loan from the WVDO at a 3 percent interest rate with a balloon payment due at the end of 10 years.

Stotler said a 3 percent interest rate is too high, and the county can only pay $300,000 a year in debt service.

Hutchinson said the commission cannot accept that option. "We can't meet the debt service," she said.

The deadlines for the offers are the end of the month, Stotler said.

"Before we make a decision, we need to go to Charleston (W.Va.) and meet with West Virginia Development ... to discuss the terms and conditions," Hutchinson said.

Stotler said a meeting is scheduled with the WVDO on Thursday.

"I still believe we can work something out that works for us," Stotler said.

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