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Berkeley County briefs

October 24, 2008

County auction set for Saturday morning

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 4.1-acre lot, lawn equipment and vehicles owned by the Berkeley County government will be among the items slated to be auctioned on Saturday.

Beginning at 9 a.m., the real estate will be auctioned at the end of Addition Street in Martinsburg, County Commissioner Ronald K. Collins said.

The vehicles, lawn equipment, furniture, two scooters and other items then will be auctioned at the former Martin's Food Market building across South Street from the Berkeley County Judicial Center.

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Other items to be offered are two canoes, two propane-fueled generators, computer monitors and accessories, and various photographs of the United States.

For information, call the Berkeley County Commission office at 304-267-5000.

Fire board dispute erupts at commission

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Fire Board chairman David Ditto on Thursday asked the Berkeley County Commission to remove a fellow board member for undermining efforts to complete a long-standing fire hall project.

Board member Tim Feltner told the commission on Thursday that he was concerned about the management and cost of the Hedgesville, W.Va., fire station project, which he said continues to increase.

"The process was flawed from the beginning," Feltner said.

Ditto admitted to the commission that some mistakes were made, and that the project's cost had increased, but said Feltner had yelled at an individual who is working on the project during a recent meeting.

"Mr. Feltner's term on this board is caustic," Ditto said.

Ditto said the bids to build the new station ranged from $2.1 million to $2.8 million, and noted the potential need for a $1.5 million loan. About $300,000 has been raised by the Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Company for the project, Ditto said.

Feltner said he believed the project could be completed for less, noting that fire fees paid by county residents should not be used to build a fire station and not "a community center."

Coalition wants I-81 to be "Corridor of the Future"

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A coalition of six states threaded by Interstate 81 is hoping to include the highway in a new federal initiative to reduce congestion and improve freight delivery, officials said Thursday.

Six interstates, including Interstate 95, were designated as "Corridors of the Future" by the U.S. Department of Transportation in September 2007, and the I-81 Corridor Coalition hopes to add I-81 to the group, officials said Thursday.

Berkeley County Commissioner Ronald K. Collins said the designation ties into an ongoing lobbying effort to convince Norfolk Southern Corp. to build a rail-based inland port in Berkeley County as part of a project to take some freight traffic off I-81.

Collins said the railroad company also was looking at Hagerstown as a possible location for the inland port.

- Matthew Umstead

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