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Berkeley County Commission briefs

August 01, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

County office roof project bids top $4 million

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg company's $4.2 million bid to replace the roof and HVAC systems of Berkeley County's government office building was the lowest of three proposals.

The $4,290,000 bid from W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc. was less than bids by Brechbill & Helman Construction Co. Inc. of Chambersburg, Pa. ($4,402,700) and Minghini's General Contractors Inc. of Martinsburg ($5,050,000).

A recommendation from DMJM, an architectural design services firm retained by the Berkeley County Commission, is expected within 30 days.

Matthew Hjermstad of DMJM told the commission in May that the work would be difficult and the Dunn Building would become a dirty and noisy construction zone, according to commission meeting minutes.

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Hjermstad said the job would take about four months to complete and the third floor would have to be vacated while the work is done.

Part of the former Blue Ridge Outlet Center, the Dunn Building is at the corner of Stephen and Raleigh streets. It is one of three historic, brick woolen mill buildings that the county bought in May 2002 for $3.8 million.

The building houses the county's tax, planning and engineering departments, fire and ambulance boards, and administration, commission and assessor's offices. The first floor is the home of the Blue Ridge Community & Technical College.

"I think we can afford to do this project," Commission President Steven C. Teufel said. Though the county's general fund is tight, Teufel said the county has bond money in a separate account for the work.

Hospital executive appointed to development authority

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The president and CEO of West Virginia University Hospitals-East was appointed Thursday to the Berkeley County Development Authority.

Roger M. Eitelman was appointed to a three-year term by the Berkeley County Commission after a short interview.

Eitelman told the commission that the medical community still has a shortage of physicians, but said more than a dozen doctors are expected to come to practice in the Eastern Panhandle by February 2009.

"We are getting good at (recruiting)," Eitelman said.

Medical malpractice reforms adopted by state lawmakers just prior to Eitelman's arrival have helped lower insurance premiums for doctors by 25 percent and improved the climate for attracting physicians, he said.

"This little strip of land is absolute paradise," Eitelman said of the community's location in proximity to the Baltimore-Washington area.

Eitelman noted his past experience on a development authority in Virginia prior to coming to Martinsburg in 2005, and Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said that Eitelman's appointment seemed appropriate given the hospital system was one of the largest employers in the county.

- Matthew Umstead

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