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Morgan County Commission briefs

June 27, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

Public hearing date set for hospital sale

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Morgan County Commission announced during a special meeting Friday that a public hearing regarding the sale of War Memorial Hospital will be July 14 at 7 p.m. in the Berkeley Springs High School auditorium.

All three commissioners were in agreement that if the hospital is sold, the proceeds would be used to pay down the courthouse debt.

The new courthouse has an estimated cost of more than $13.5 million. The old courthouse was destroyed by fire in August 2006.

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"But that is not the reason for selling it," Commission President Glen R. Stotler said.

In April, the commission unanimously approved a resolution to consider selling the hospital.

Stotler said the Request for Proposal (RFP) is being drafted by county attorney Richard Gay, and the commissioners want to move forward with that as soon as possible.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said he thought the county should sell the hospital because, "It's so complex. I think we need to get out of the hospital business."

Stotler said it would be advantageous to sell the hospital if the county has local representation on the management board and if employees' jobs would be secure.

Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson said, "It's not just a sale of dollars and cents. We have to protect the community."

Hutchinson said the commissioners will make a presentation at the hearing and the public will have a chance to voice its opinion. Hutchinson said she has heard positive remarks from the public about selling the hospital.

Emergency services to get upgrades

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Morgan County's 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system is a getting an upgrade with more than $640,000 in new operating equipment for the Office of Emergency Services (OES).

During Friday's special Morgan County Commission meeting, a five-year lease purchase agreement of $612,172 with Government Capital Corp. of Brookhaven, Miss., was approved unanimously by the commissioners.

OES will fund the balance of $40,772 needed for the upgrade.

The lease payments will be paid by OES, Commission President Glen R. Stotler said.

OES Director Dave Michael said the radio and telephone equipment will replace aging equipment that has created problems.

He said the current equipment, purchased in 2001, was given a six-year lifespan.

InterAct Public Safety Systems will replace the computer equipment for $179,805. Kenwood Systems Group/Zetron will replace radio and telephone equipment for $432,367.

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