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Berkeley County Commission briefs

October 08, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

County assessor's office to close for a half day



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Sometime within the next two weeks, the Berkeley County Assessor's Office in the Dunn Building on Stephen Street will close in the afternoon for one day for roof construction.

At Thursday's Berkeley County Commission meeting, Alan Davis, Deputy County Administrator, said the large air exchange units will be replaced on the roof above the assessor's office.

Assessor Patricia Kilmer agreed with Davis, he said, that the office should close while the work is being done that afternoon.

Berkeley County Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said when the date is known an announcement will be made. 

Davis said the yearlong construction project at the Dunn Building is on schedule and the completion date is "hopefully" early 2010.

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County stimulus bonds may be distributed



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission has learned that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) bonds of about $32 million for Berkeley County may be distributed by the county and do not need legislative approval. 

Berkeley County Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said Thursday that at a bond council meeting Wednesday he also learned that municipalities cannot disburse funds. Any funds that are not distributed must go into a pool that will require legislative approval.  

Stubblefield said about $18 million in Recovery Zone Facility bonds will be available to the private sector in Berkeley County and about $12 million in Recovery Zone Economic Development bonds will be available to the public sector.

He said some private companies have shown some interest, "and we will advertise to all the companies in the area, and we will look at how the funds are to be used," Stubblefield said.    

Norwood Bentley, the commission's legal counsel, said he and Stubblefield met with Steve Christian of the Berkeley County Development Authority regarding distribution, and the legal opinion is that legislative approval is not needed.    

Stubblefield said Gov. Joe Manchin may put the bond question on the Nov. 10 special session agenda. If it is on the agenda, the legislature will set the rules regarding the pooled funds that could be reallocated to other counties. 

He said some counties may not be able to use all the funds allocated to them. 

"These low-interest bonds have to be paid back; they are not grants," he said.

Stubblefield said the ARRA funding is based upon recent job losses. As part of the stimulus funds, it is allocated at the federal level. 

       

Martinsburg student is Honorary Commissioner



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Lauren Bartley, 17, a Martinsburg High School senior and civics class student was an honorary commissioner for the Oct. 8 meeting. She was sworn in by Commissioner Anthony J. Petrucci.  

Lauren said she has been in the U.S. Air Force ROTC program for four years and is a cross country runner. She will study pre-med at Shepherd University and receive her medical training at West Virginia University. She plans to be a pediatrician. 

Penny Miller of the Commission office said the Honorary Commissioner program began this school year. The participating students are nominated by their school teachers and their school officials.  

Hedgesville High School students participated last month, Martinsburg High School students are participating this month, and Musselman High School students will participate in November.

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