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Courthouse energy advisory committee forms in Morgan County

November 20, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - An advisory committee to focus on energy efficiency for the new courthouse building was unanimously approved by the Morgan County Commission last week.

Morgan County resident John Peterson will chair the committee, said Glen R. Stotler, commission president.

Peterson did not attend the meeting and did not provide a list of advisory committee members to the commission.

In Peterson's absence, Stotler and Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim culled a list from memory of those who voiced an interest in energy efficiency, and then appointed Peterson, Mike McKechnie, Rebecca MacLeod, Scott Wachter, Sam Ashelman and Larry Robinson to serve on the courthouse energy advisory committee.

"The advisory committee needs to be prepared to make recommendations and options with costs," Stotler said. Tom Potts of the architectural firm Silling & Silling will be back to talk to the commissioners in about three weeks, he said.

The Morgan County Courthouse was destroyed by an August 2006 fire, and the county government offices have been in trailers set up in the courthouse parking lot. The estimated cost for the new courthouse building is about $13 million. Funding has not yet been finalized.

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On Monday, McKechnie said, "I would like to see an energy-efficient design that utilizes renewable energy building processes in the new courthouse. The citizens of Morgan County are interested in a project that will conserve energy and use green building products that are environmentally friendly, cost-effective and readily available.

"It's possible to build a courthouse that looks great and is energy-efficient that will eventually save the taxpayers' dollars on monthly energy bills," McKechnie said.

In September, Peterson met with the commissioners and asked them to "make good choices" in terms of the courthouse building. He wanted Silling & Silling to give more serious attention to citizen suggestions about incorporating energy efficiency into the new building.

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