Advertisement

Stimulus bond money needs state rules

July 02, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission is eligible to use $30 million in bonds for public and private projects in the county through a federal stimulus "recovery zone" program, but rules have yet to be adopted by state lawmakers to allow and guide their use, county officials were told Thursday.

The bonds would have to be paid back over 30 years, but County Commission President Ronald K. Collins said the county would first have to determine whether it could shoulder the additional debt for government projects.

The county commission currently pays $2.3 million per year for the county's new judicial center and renovations to the Dunn Building, the county's administration building in Martinsburg.

Representatives with Crews & Associates told commissioners Thursday they would like the necessary legislation to be passed this year in special session, which they said could be called for in August by Gov. Joe Manchin.

Advertisement

Commissioners agreed Thursday to write a letter to Manchin to encourage the enabling legislation be proposed and adopted to ensure that potentially eligible projects do not miss out on low interest rates and other benefits offered through the program. The "recovery zone" programs bonds must be issued before Jan. 1, 2011, according to information presented by Crews & Associates, an investment banking firm.

One government project identified Thursday as being eligible for the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act bond program was the renovation of what is known as the Crawford building, between the judicial center at 380 W. South St. and the Dunn building at 400 W. Stephen St.

The Crawford building has been designed as an addition to the judicial center, with plans for additional courtrooms and support office space for the magistrate and circuit courts.

The Dunn and Crawford buildings and what is now the judicial center were formerly part of the Blue Ridge Outlets shopping complex in Martinsburg, and the historic red brick buildings were originally built to house woolen mill operations.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|