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Jefferson Co. judicial center project stalls

August 08, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday tried to move ahead with a plan to build a judicial center downtown with a maximum budget of $9 million, but the attempt died in a tie vote.

County officials have talked for years about building a court facility to meet the county government's growing space needs and several ideas have been proposed.

Growing caseloads in courts are helping to drive the need for the facility.

The commissioners considered building the annex behind the Jefferson County Courthouse at the intersection of George and Washington streets.

The annex was designed to have three stories, but has since been reduced to two stories due to financial constraints.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan said he believed it was important to move ahead with the annex since it has been under consideration for years.

Local circuit court judges David Sanders and Gray Silver III talked with the commissioners Thursday about how court space would be designed in the facility and other existing facilities.

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The commissioners considered moving ahead with plans for the annex with a maximum budget of $9 million.

Commissioner Dale Manuel objected to moving ahead on the project since the commission recently had to make budget cuts in wake of financial concerns.

Commissioner Jim Surkamp also voted no. Morgan and Commissioner Greg Corliss voted yes.

Since Commission President Frances Morgan was not at the meeting, the move died in the tie.

Corliss said the commission has about $8 million in savings for the facility.

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